This week, VICE will be airing the next edition of their highly-acclaimed series: Dark Side of the Ring. With last week’s episode covering the dark and disturbing nature of professional wrestling’s Grizzly Smith, this week’s episode will cover the tales of Tom Billington (aka Dynamite Kid).
On December 5, 1958, Thomas Billington was born to a family notorious for being executioners (and no, I’m not referring to the Excellence of Execution.) Tom’s great-grandfather (and great-great-grandfather) were notorious executioners in Great Britain from 1884-1905. Instead of taking an interest in the family business, however, Billington would pursue a different route in life.
Tom’s father, Billy, was a boxer – and he had every intention of imparting his boxing knowledge on his young son. Training him at a young age, Tom seemed less interested in this variation of combat sports and found greater interest in another. After his father introduced him to wrestler “Dr. Death” Ted Bentley, Billington knew that he was destined to wrestle professionally. It’s rumored that Billington began training with Bentley after meeting him in order to avoid working the British coal mines, but this claim has never been substantiated.
Billington would make his debut in wrestling as “Dynamite Kid” in 1973. However, the earliest recorded match-up of Kid’s is noted as being for the British Lightweight Championship at a Best Wryton event in Manchester, England. In this match, The Dynamite Kid would defeat Jim Breaks to become the new champion! Kid would continue to wrestle for a multitude of promotions around the world before settling down in the World Wrestling Federation for a notable run alongside Davey Boy Smith.
Throughout his career, Dynamite Kid would win a litany of championships in Stampede Wrestling, AGPW, NWA, and WWF. He would wrestle his final match on October 10, 1996, at a Michinoku Pro event. In this match, he would team with Dos Caras and Kuniaki Kobayashi to defeat Tiger Mask, Mil Mascaras, and The Great Sasuke. That is an absolutely legendary cast of stars!
Dynamite Kid would utilize a multitude of maneuvers throughout his career (namely the diving headbutt and kneeling piledriver). Billington is also credited for innovating the superplex. Often considered one of the best technical wrestlers and high-flying wrestlers of the generation, Dynamite Kid’s legacy as an in-ring competitor will never be forgotten.
While we could sit here and document the struggles of Dynamite Kid’s personal life, we feel it’s best to leave that to the crew on VICE’s Dark Side of the Ring series.
The Dynamite Kid episode of Dark Side of the Ring will air live on VICE TV this Thursday at 9 p.m.
“I think he knew there was something wrong with him. He wasn’t the same person. This violence was out of control. I don’t think he had control of it anymore.” – Michelle Billington, Ex-Wife of The Dynamite Kid
Check out Dark Side of the Ring’s social media for more on this upcoming episode, and stay tuned to eWrestling News for more on this special!
We here at eWrestlingNews.com are excited to see this week’s edition of Dark Side of the Ring. Check out the rest of our website for more professional wrestling rumors, news, results, and articles that you’ll absolutely love.