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Thread: The Dynamite Kid Passes Away On His 60th Birthday

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    Gotta Brother Named Arm
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    The Dynamite Kid Passes Away On His 60th Birthday

    It's been reported that Tom Billington, better known to us wrestling fans as the Dynamite Kid, died today at the age of 60. Today, ironically, also happened to be the Kid's birthday.

    Billington had a host of health problems, most of which stem from the roughly 20 years he spent in the ring, ranging from neurological problems brought about via concussions, back problems, leg issues that included loss of the use of his left leg for about the last 20 years of his life, heart issues that may have been the result of years of steroid and drug abuse and he suffered a stroke about 5 years ago. Billington was also one of the 50+ former WWE stars who were part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE in 2015 that was dismissed earlier this year due to lack of evidence that WWE knew about and deliberately suppressed knowledge regarding cranial and spinal trauma.

    The Dynamite Kid is somebody who leaves behind a complex and, in some ways, contradictory legacy. He was someone who was thought to be well ahead of his time when it came to in-ring athleticism and technical ability; he was doing a lot of the stuff we see as being pretty common in pro wrestling today before I was even born and I'm 38. He was a major star in Japan, the UK, Canada and the United States who was always praised for his in-ring knowhow among other wrestlers, yet was pretty underappreciated by fans back in the day, at least here in America. When he started to become well known here in the United States during the mid 80s, it was the era of Hulkamania where larger than life personas and, in many cases, wrestlers of great physical size and/or stature were more appreciated than in-ring ability. Today, I suspect a 30 year old Billington would be among the most sought after talents in wrestling.

    However, a less flattering aspect of Billington's legacy is that even though he was praised for his in-ring technical and athletic capabilities, he was also someone who wasn't remotely as safe as he should have been. A downside of Billington's style, something that's become a common complaint and criticism in modern pro wrestling, is that Billington would take a lot of risks, perform a lot of spots and take a lot of bumps that were considered to be dangerous and unnecessary. In fact, many feel that his disregard for his own safety is a key factor in the cause of so many of the health issues that plagued him the last 20 to 25 years of his life. Another less flattering bit of his legacy is that so many of his fellow wrestlers, while respecting his abilities as a wrestler, felt that the guy was a pitiful excuse for a human being. Some stories range from what could be perceived as pranks, such as Billington, along with Davy Boy Smith sometimes, messing with the clothes of wrestlers who dressed nice, to bullying other wrestlers like Jaques Rougeau before Rougeau had enough and knocked him out by punching him with a roll of quarters in his hand, to more serious things like picking fights with random strangers over nothing, mixing dog shit in with people's food, spiking people's drinks with sleeping pills, sometimes purposely injuring other wrestlers during matches and, perhaps the worst of all, I've HEART that there were times in which he'd wake up his ex wife and hold a gun under her chin, pull the trigger and tell her that he'd load it one day. I don't know if the last one is true but Billington himself, in various interviews over the years, has come right out and confirmed most of these stories and who knows how many others there are.
    "What Do I Know Of Cultured Ways, The Gilt, The Craft And The Lie?
    I, Who Was Born In A Naked Land And Bred In The Open Sky.
    The Subtle Tongue, The Sophist Guile, They Fail When The Broadswords Sing.
    Rush In And Die Dogs - I Was A Man Before I Was King."


    Conan Of Cimmeria

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    Member LibSuperstar's Avatar
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    Opened my IG this morning and saw WWE's post about his death. I thought they were acknowledging his birthday until I read the caption.

    New column on my site dedicated to WWE
    Nightmares Do Come True

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    Administrator Slyfox696's Avatar
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    I have to be honest, I had no idea he was still alive. I knew wrestling took a huge toll on him and I assumed he was dead years ago.

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