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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Davey Boy defies critics and signs deal with WWF

By RICK BELL -- Calgary Sun

  It's Rocky and Family Feud all wrapped in one.

Davey Boy Smith, the 35-year-old wrestler the world calls The British Bulldog, returns to the ring next month.

He's inked a five-year, multi-million dollar deal with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation.

Still, with all that, Davey is angry.

Angry at those who thought he was all washed up.

Angry at the WWF's rival, World Championship Wrestling, which fired him months ago as he lay in hospital.

Angry at brother-in-law Bret Hart, who dragged Davey through the dirt when Davey vowed to wrestle again.

"I'm really psyched. My strength is ungodly. I feel I could run through a wall," says Davey, in his first interview with the press since his signing a few weeks ago.

"I baffled the doctors. There were the doubters who said I was all washed up.
BULLDOG'S GOT BITE ... Davey Boy Smith gets pumped for his return to the WWF after recovering from a serious back injury and infection that left him bed-ridden in hospital. The British Bulldog last month signed a multi-million-dollar contract with Vince McMahon, owner of the WWF. -- MIKE DREW, Calgary Sun


"There were those who said the Bulldog was a lazy, fat slob.

"There were some people in my own family who were hoping I wouldn't come back.

"But I said: I'll show you all. And I'll show Bret. When I really get mad, I get furious. Make me motivated and I'll go for it. I'm not afraid of anyone. If Bret's got a problem with me, he knows where I live."

When this column informed the public of Davey's comeback in July, Bret used his Sun column to slam Davey.

"Saw a strange sight yesterday. Dogs rolling in manure and loving every minute of it.

"For some reason, it made me think of how the British Bulldog will do anything to work for the WWF," wrote Bret.

"There were these four little pigs in the pig races. The guy there told me they'd sell out their mothers and brothers and sisters to the slaughterhouse, just for those mini donuts. Kind of reminds me of ... er ... I won't go there this week," Bret also wisecracked.

Davey can't understand Bret. Davey does not think his comeback is in any way defiling the memory of Owen Hart, who died in a WWF match earlier this year.

"Why does Bret attack me? What have I done to him except stick by him? I can't figure out why. He even called my wife on the phone and said: If I see you on the street, I'll run you over, you..."

The rest cannot be printed in a family newspaper.

"I'm really angry at Bret. I went with him to the WCW. I paid a $100,000 fine to leave the WWF. I was backing Bret up. I felt responsible for what happened to Bret, when he lost his belt.

"After all that, he nails me. When I was let go, who the hell backed me up?"

"Why should I leave what I love for one person? Does Bret expect me to sit at home and do nothing the rest of my life? Does he want me to lose everything just to satisfy him? I refuse to do that.

"What happened to Owen is tragic but there is nothing I can do about it. Vince did not push Owen."

Six days a week down at B.J.'s Gym, Davey shakes aside all the naysayers and keeps his eye on the prize.

He diets like crazy and sweats like crazy to get down to his fighting weight of 245 lbs.

There is something in the heart and guts of this former delivery boy from the English town of Golborne, near Manchester.

Something that will not say no.

The way back amazes even Davey.

Davey smashes his back against a trap door in the ring a year ago.

He gets hooked on painkillers and enters rehab.

Three discs in his back dissolve in a sea of infection.

Doctors say his career is through.

His sister dies. His mom dies. Owen, his brother-in-law and one-time tag-team partner, dies.

But he does not give up.

The road to his new contract begins in April with Davey in a bed at the Rockyview Hospital. His back battered, his wrestling career seemingly over.

It was then Vince McMahon called. Davey and Vince joke around. Vince asks about Davey's back.

"Six specialists tell me I'll never wrestle again but Vince told me: 'If anyone can do it, you can do it.' Then I was really psyched. I was ecstatic."

WWF stars Chyna, Triple H, The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin called Davey.

WWF star Mankind visited him. "I thought to myself: This is where I belong, where I started. With Vince," recalls Davey.

Davey signed the deal last month but kept quiet until now.

In July, Vince sent first-class tickets to Davey and his wife Diana.

A limo took them to their suite at the New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

At lunch the next day, the deal was done.

"I felt like a bloody movie star," says Davey, who is counting the days to his first match -- expected to be Sept. 20.

"If you put yourself down, you stay down.

"I get back up. If I can't perform, then I'll hang up my tights and burn my boots.

"But it will not happen. No way. I mean it. No way."

And, in that very moment, Davey once again takes on all the doubters, the critics, the WCW, and yes, even Bret Hart.

More on The British Bulldog




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