It may have taken longer than expected, but SLAM! Wrestling’s Greg Oliver finally interviewed The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith over the phone from his Calgary home on January 30, 1998.
Most of the questions were submitted by SLAM! Wrestling readers. Unfortunately, some of the three-week old questions were a little out of date by the time the interview was conducted, as The Bulldog had returned to action on WCW Monday Nitro January 26, beating Steve Mongo McMichael.
Below is the transcript of the 45-minute interview. I’ve given credit to the readers who sent in questions.
Q: Did it feel good to get back in the ring Monday night?
A: It felt great. I wasn’t really expecting to be in the ring so fast in WCW. But they wanted to put me out there. They wanted me to be out there in the last pay-per-view, the Starrcade one, because Diesel, what’s his name, Kevin Nash was hurt. They wanted me to wrestle Scott Hall. But my knee wasn’t fully recovered. But I got there on Monday and found out I was working with Steve McMichael. It was good to get back in the ring. But I was a little bit ring rusty. It’s like riding a bike, you just never forget right. You just keep going.
Q: How is the knee? [Frank Livyns, Belgium]
A: It’s really good, you know. I got four tears fixed in it, but my anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] is still torn in half. They said that if they fixed that, it would take five to six months to heal. I didn’t want to take five to six months off. I’d already taken two and half, almost three months off. I’d rather just get back in the ring. It doesn’t feel like it’s torn but it is. My legs are so strong that it doesn’t really bother me.
Q: Are you going to take any precautions, like wearing a knee brace?
A: Yeah, I’ve got the knee brace still. I’ll take some precautions — wrap my knees, and really warm up before I go into the ring. Stuff like that. Since he fixed the four tears in it, it’s been really strong. It feels as strong as it ever felt.
Q: Got a question here wondering how long you’re signed for, and whatever details of the contract you can give. [Mike LaValley]
A: I don’t really want to disclose the money part of it. I got more money than the WWF and less days.
Q: So how many days of the year would you be working?
A: I would say 180. As opposed to the 280 or whatever it was in the WWF. They had me going every single night. Just mind-boggling how many nights I would wrestle. I would never get a day off.
Q: How long have you signed for?
A: I’ve signed for three years.
Q: Did you learn anything from having the longer contract before? Did you purposely sign for less?
A: No, the WCW contracts are basically three-year contracts where Vince’s [McMahon] were five-year contracts. It’s the same old situation where you sign a WWF contract and everything’s for them, and nothing’s for you. You’re locked in, you can’t get out. It’s always stipulations. Everything’s for them, and nothing’s for you. You have all these masterminds in the WWF running it, running a sinking ship I should say. That’s what I told Vince on the phone. They’re wannabes. They thrive on bad taste, shock value, fancy angles, things like that. Vince told me in December before I had the knee surgery that he wanted to go a different route. He wanted to get away from the wrestling and more to entertainment. I don’t want to be involved in this sexual stuff and racism. All I’ve done is be a wrestler. I’m not turning obscene gestures towards the camera, talking about sending your wife over to my house and I’ll show her a good hard time. It got to a point where I can’t even let my kids watch the show. I told Vince that. I can’t let my kids watch the show. Vince came out on TV and said we’ve going a different route, it’s going to go be an adult show. If you don’t want your kids watching, then don’t let them watch TV. He said that himself right on TV. Shawn [Michaels] comes out on TV and says Davey’s hurt his knee or something. He went on TV and forfeited the belt. Supposedly a knee injury that was career ending. They did an MRI on his knee and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. They did an MRI on mine and said your knee’s shot. I’ve actually had surgery. I told Vince I didn’t appreciate Shawn saying that Davey had supposed knee injury. We all know about supposed knee injuries, because that’s what he did when he forfeited the belt. He forfeited the Intercontinental belt too. I’ve always been business with Vince. In my match in England, they screwed me. The same referee that did my match did Bret’s match. [The referee was Earl Hebner.] He rang the bell and gave Shawn the European belt. I don’t mind putting someone over. It’s just not the way to lose a belt.
Q: Back to the reader questions. What are some of your best gym lifts? [JEFF]
A: On a good day, I can squat five-six hundred pounds. I don’t do too much deadlifting because of my back. It’s not as strong as it used to be. My whole back. I’ve got to watch my discs, and that. I’ve been known to bench-press 525 pounds. 550.
Q: How many hours a day would you work out?
A: I work out two hours a day. Every day.
Q: That’s just with weights?
Q: What would you do cardio-wise?
A: I do half-an-hour on the Stairmaster. I just finished completing my workout video. I’ve got my own workout video coming out on the market sometime next month.
Q: Well you should tell your company to get in touch with us when it’s all prepared and get in touch with us.
A: It’s actually prepared now. We’re just waiting for them to bring it to my door. I okayed the video. It’s called The British Bulldog’s Basic Bodybuilding Workout. It’s open-close on the Bulldog. It’s my private life. It shows my holiday, return, my cars, my house. And Diana’s in the video with me too. So it appeals to young kids and women who want to get in shape.
Q: Where’s this going to be available?
A: It’s going to be available in Canada. We’re going to try to get it into Europe. I’m going to try to get it everywhere I can. The women who does the movie show, Kirstie Day, and her husband does the news, Larry Day, they want to enter it in the Houston Film Festival. She thinks it’s going to be a really hot seller. I think its one of the first times a wrestler has ever done a workout video. I don’t know anyone else who’s ever done a workout video.
Q: I’ve got a question here. How did you meet your wife Diana? [Kes107]
A: I met her when I first came to Calgary in 1981. She saw my picture in the Stampede Wrestling Magazine and she asked who I was. I’d met Bruce [Hart] in 1977 in England when I was training to be a wrestler. Bruce said [to Diana] that I was Dynamite’s cousin and was coming over to wrestle for Stampede wrestling. She took my picture out of the magazine and put it in her high school binder. I came over and I met her. She came over the Bret’s house and was looking for someone to go to a movie with her and a friend. She was trying to call Owen, and I said I’ll go with you. I don’t mind. We went to the movie together, and we’ve been together even since.
Q: How many children do you have?
A: I’ve got two children. Harry and Georgia.
Q: What do you think about the state of British wrestling, and what do you think could be done to improve it? [firstname.lastname@example.org]
A: It’s gone downhill. I was back there in 1993 and I was doing my own little thing with the old promoter I used to wrestle for in ’78 to 1980. We ran all over the U.K. We did really well. But it was taken off TV, so people lost interest in it. All tuned in to WWF and WCW. So it’s just gone downhill. I’d love to see it come back up. I can see with myself back in WCW, and Bret, all we’re missing is Owen, really, to put wrestling back on the map in the United Kingdom. It’s a weird place to be and to wrestle. And people are just dying for it. When I wrestled Shawn Michaels in Birmingham, it was sold out in two hours. You just can’t give people enough. And England’s so big, there’s so many places you can run. Right now there’s, well I shouldn’t say there’s no talent there — there is talent there. It’s just not shown on TV, on British TV. For the independent circuit, the British wrestlers, it’s a shame because there’s some potential there.
Q: What do you miss the most about England? [Inderdeep]
A: I miss my family and all my friends. The fans are really good to me. Especially being born and raised in the United Kingdom, I just missed England period. There’s rumors I might buy a house there. Could be a possibility to move my family there.
Q: Is that just a rumor, or are you just trying to float that?
A: No, I’m thinking of it. I just got off the phone with my Mom. She told me there was a house that I really liked for sale. I’m supposed to go and check it out. I might just check it out. My wife and kids, they love England. They’d move there in a heartbeat.
Q: What’s your favorite British football team? [Inderdeep]
A: I used to follow Manchester United.
Q: Back to the video a little bit. Following Bret’s footsteps, are you considering getting into acting? [Inderdeep]
A: I’d like to. I’m kind of like Bret. You’ve just got to know the right people and be in the right place at the right time. I’d like to do things. It’s not like I’d need a stunt man to take my bumps. I can do it. If someone wants to go through a window, I can go through a window. As long as there’s something to land on.
Q: What are some of your favorite pastimes? What do you like to do in your spare time? [Inderdeep]
A: I play video games with my kids. When it’s not cold out, I like to ride my Harley. I play around a lot on the computer. I like to play the Flight Simulator games. I’ve got a real neat computer. I like to learn how to fly planes and helicopters and things like that. Play solitaire.
Q: Do you do much on the Internet?
A: A little bit. Not too familiar with the keyboard. I’m like, aw geez, where’s the next letter. But when it comes to video games, that’s my favorite.
Q: That completes our more personal section. We’re getting into the most wrestling-related questions now. The next bunch are about the end of your WWF run. The next question comes from Charlottetown, PEI. Would you call your break-up with the WWF a clean one? [Mike Gallant, PEI]
A: It was pretty clean. The only thing that left a sour taste in my mouth was that I was straight lied to. Vince looked me straight in the face and just lied to me. He said what’s going to happen in Bret and Shawn’s match [Survivor Series 1997]. I was going to run down there when Shawn gave the superkick to Bret and I was supposed to pull the referee’s leg, and he was supposed to DQ Bret for outside interfere. I was actually waiting in the gorilla position — what we call the production position — to run to the ring. All of a sudden I hear Shawn’s music, and I wonder what’s going on. And Bruce Pritchard [a WWF honcho, formerly Brother Love] took his headset off and threw it down. I thought, something’s wrong here. They didn’t show it on TV, but I walked down to ring and I talked to Bret and asked what was going on, that wasn’t the finish I was given. And Bret said ‘They screwed me.’ I said, ‘Did they really screw you? Don’t play mind games with me. This is serious. They’re playing with someone’s life, career here.’ He said, ‘No, they screwed me.’ I just couldn’t believe it. So he’d been screwed and I’d been lied to. And Owen. We were both standing behind the curtain ready to run down.
Q: What will you miss the most about the WWF and who were some of your friends there? [Topper Lee]
A: They were all basically my friends, all the wrestlers. I don’t think that I’ll really miss that much. It was good to be, but it’s not good to be lied to. If they’re going to do that to Bret, then what are they going to do to me? They had already done it to me in England, which I accepted. But when they did that to Bret, I said this is going way too far. There’s no telling what they’re going to do the next night on RAW. That’s when I went back to the dressing room to talk to Bret. When I got to the dressing room, I saw Vince coming. I said ‘Bret, Vince is coming.’ He said to tell him not to come in. So I told Vince not to go in there. ‘He doesn’t want to talk to you, to see you right now.’ He said that he wanted to address the matter. Bret was taking a shower. He came out of the shower. Bret said ‘If you’re still here when I put my clothes on, I’m going to punch you out.’ He called Vince a bunch of names, and some of the office guys told us to leave, everyone else to leave. I got up to leave, and Owen got up to leave. And I said to Owen, ‘don’t leave Bret here by himself. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen.’ So we sat back down. Bret finished getting dressed, and then went over and just punched Vince. Knocked him out with one punch. Then Shane [McMahon, Vince’s son] jumped on Bret’s back and I pulled him off. And then after Bret a few more times, Vince grabbed him around the waist and I pulled Bret off. I kind of twisted my knee. I said ‘enough’s enough.’ I didn’t want Bret to do any serious — I shouldn’t say serious damage, it was kind of too late for that. He was already knocked out. I thought enough was enough.
Q: How do you feel about Owen staying there? [Jaime Cole, Barbara]
A: Vince is just keeping him there in spite of Bret. When I talked to Vince in November-December before my surgery I told him that I didn’t want to be a part of these obscene gestures and stuff like that. He said that he’s going a totally different way, and I said that I didn’t like the way he was going. He said, ‘You sound like you’re bitter.’ And I said that I am. He said, ‘well maybe you should find yourself a new job.’ And I couldn’t believe that he’d say that to me. And I said, ‘Really?’ And he said ‘Yep’. So then I called my lawyer, and he called WCW. Within 20 minutes I was hired. My lawyer called up Vince. Jim Ross and Vince’s attorney told him that Davey’s got a full release. And the next day, they denied saying it. They said ‘we never said that. If he wants out of his contract, he’ll have to pay a fine of $150,000.’ I said to my lawyer, ‘I can’t believe that. I’m the one that saved Vince. I pulled Bret off Vince. And I’m getting fined?’ How the hell can you fine me $150,000? For what? What have I done wrong? Vince said, ‘that’s the way it’s going to be, pal.’ I said, ‘that’s a rotten way to treat me after all the service I’ve given you.’
Q: What was your take on the USA Vs Canada feud you were involved with in the Hart Foundation? [Brian Gilbert]
A: “I didn’t really mind the feud. That was allright. I didn’t really like going out there and putting the USA fans down. They paid their money to see us wrestle. You can’t really get on the microphone and insult the fans of the United States of America. That’s what kind of put a bad taste in my mouth, too. I felt very uncomfortable saying some of the things that I was told to say, doing some of the things I was told to do. Like planting someone in the audience with an American flag, and having to pull the American flag out of the guy’s hand and break it in half. I didn’t really want to do that. The feud itself — there was a lot of money-making involved in it for Vince. I think that Bret, myself, the whole Hart Foundation was so strong that when we went to the States we were just selling out no matter what. When we came to Canada, the fans would just cheer the hell out of us. Some the wrestlers from the States, they didn’t like that, but that’s just the way things go. The fans would cheer me or Owen and boo other wrestlers. They couldn’t handle it. We’d say, well this is what we have to go through in the States. It’s a turnabout.
Q: That leads to a logical question that everyone wants to know. Will the Hart Foundation be re-united in WCW? [Johnny G., Queen’s, NY]
A: One of my stipulations in my contract was that we couldn’t use the name. The only way that I could get my release and sign an agreement was that we couldn’t use the name Hart Foundation. Or any similarities at all to the Hart Foundation. I told my lawyers, ‘I’m not the Hart Foundation. I’m the British Bulldog. What’s that got to do with anything?’ That was just a matter of Vince holding on to me. Him thinking ‘what else can I do to hold him back from appearing in the WCW ring? Let me think of something. Well, he can’t be a part of the Hart Foundation. You can’t wear the jackets. You can’t tag up with Bret.’ It’s like, fuck off. Gimme a break here. We’re the ones who came up with the whole Foundation. We’re all together. We’re all brothers or brothers-in-law. It’s like breaking up a family. You just can’t do that.
Q: We’ve got a question that leads from that. Do you think that any member of the Hart Foundation will ever go into the WWF Hall of Fame? [anita]
A: I don’t think so. Not after what happened at the Survivor Series.
Q: There’s one question here. It hurts to say, but Jim Neidhart is, and has been for a while, a high-profile jobber. How do you feel about that, and will that ever happen to you? [Dustin Diaz]
A: I don’t know what to say about that. Jim’s had a good run in the WWF. Then they let him go, and I got him hired in WCW in 1993. He kind of overpriced himself when he went in 1993. And so they didn’t really want to touch him. I don’t think that they’d do that to me, on the basis that if they want to run England, or run Europe, it would be silly to do that to me. To sign me up for three years, they will use me to the best of my abilities to draw them money in Europe.
Q: Have you discussed with WCW any plans for a British/European tour? [Ryan Gray]
A: Yeah, they’re working on Europe right now. And they’re working on Canada. They’re getting the TVs [shows] all on good stations. So hopefully they’ll do good.
Q: More questions about allegiances here. Before you were in WCW, you were with Lex Luger as the Allied Powers. Do you see that re-uniting? [Greg]
A: We could possibly tag up. I’ve still got my jacket, even though Vince gave me a contract, wanting me to sign it saying that he owns all the rights to the name Allied Powers. I never did sign it. They day that we were supposed to sign it was the day that Lex left for the WCW. So I never did sign the contract saying that I’d give the name to Vince. I’ve still got the jacket upstairs. I think that I’ve worn it one time.
Q: Would you consider teaming up with fellow Brits like Chris Adams or Steve Regal? [Clifford D. Pine]
A: Yeah. There’s a lot of potential there. There’s Steve Regal. There’s Fit Finley, who I’ve known for a very long time. There’s always potential to get together. The more the merrier, I guess. There’s strength in numbers.
Q: Even the Canadian contingent is there. There was Benoit and Jericho last night [Thursday Thunder]. It was nice to see.
A: Yeah, I was just traveling with Chris [Benoit] last week. We drove because I had not seen Chris in a few years. It was nice to travel with him again and talk to him. WCW’s expanded so much. When I was there, it was go to the Centre Stage [where WCW used to tape] and try to give tickets away to people to get them to come into the arena. Things like that. We couldn’t even fill that. Now it’s like, this is really weird, you know. It’s just packed. These big arenas, and you go backstage and you’ve got all the talent people and agents. It’s almost like the WWF, the way it was in the early 80s. That’s what I see WCW as — what wrestling used to be like in the early 80s. And Hogan was nice to me. And Savage was nice to me. Everyone was nice to me.
Q: In your past WCW tenure, you shared a main event with Sting. What are your memories of that, and where do you see yourself fitting in to WCW? [Meladdin1]
A: I have good memories of tagging with Sting. We laughed about some of the things, some of the Clashes, some of the photo shoots we did in England. Where you had the guy blow up the boat, and I saved Sting. It was a kind of mini-movie thing. We just laughed at how horrible it was. It was a mistake. He asked, ‘you remember when we did this?’ And I said ‘yeah. That was the worst thing I ever did.’ ‘Yeah, that was the worst thing I did too.’ We just laughed about it.
Q: Do you see yourself on par with Sting, who is by far the biggest thing they have going at the moment? Where do you fit in the scheme of things?
A: I think I’ll slowly but surely fit in somewhere. I don’t know where right now. I talked to Bret the beginning of this week, he said he was in Boston tomorrow night [January 31] then they’re taking him off TV for three or four weeks. I don’t know if they don’t know what to do with him, or if they’re planning something big or what. There’s so many guys right now in WCW that are under contract that they don’t know what to do with them. So I’m just sitting back waiting for my opportunity, my chance to get in there and do something. I don’t want to rush into it.
Q: Do you think there’s too many people in WCW?
A: There is a lot of guys, but I think there’s enough guys that they could run, if they wanted to, two or three shows a night in different cities. You could have Sting in one place in the main event, Bret in another place and event.
Q: But if you all have contracts that say you can only wrestle 150 to 200 dates, doesn’t that make the planning a lot harder?
A: I don’t really know. That’s a hard one. I’m not the one that’s planning it. They’re the ones that are planning it. If they want me to wrestle more than that, then I guess I’ll wrestle more than that. They came up with the number of days, I didn’t. If they want me to wrestle three or four times a week, I’ll do it. I’m used to it. It’s not going to turn me off any. But again, it’s a lot easier than WWF. It’s a lot easier on my body. I’m not taking all these bangs, getting hit by chairs, being physically damaged. I think being in the WCW, you can look at it and go, this schedule I’m doing, I could do this for another ten years. Whereas in the WWF, you go, the schedule I’m doing here, I could get hurt tomorrow night. You just don’t know.
Q: I’ve got a question that leads well from that. If you were to retire tomorrow, who would you like your last match to be against? [Dr. Placid Lasrado]
A: I would say Bret. I could say Hogan, because I’ve never wrestled Hogan. I’d love to go over to Europe and wrestle Hogan.
Q: Interesting answer. I hadn’t considered that you’d never wrestled Hogan.
A: No, I’ve never, never wrestled him. If he was the world’s champion, I like to go over to England. Bulldog Vs Hollywood Hulk Hogan. People have never seen that. I’d be interesting to see.
Q: The next bunch of questions deal with the past. When did you first start wrestling pro? [Rob Taylor, Niagara Falls, ON]
A: I started when I was 15. I started training when I was 12, and turned pro when I was 15. So I’ve been around for a number of years.
Q: Who trained you?
A: Ted Betley.
Q: Obvious question here. Do you still keep in touch with the Dynamite Kid? [Caetano Pereira]
A: I haven’t spoken to him in a number of years.
Q: Do you know his status? What’s going on with him these days?
A: He has a job in England. Just a regular job. His back’s bad. My Mom sees him more than I do. His Mom and my Mom live practically next door to each other. He’s just got a regular job.
Q: So we’ll probably never see him in the wrestling ring again? [Caetano Pereira]
A: He went to Japan a couple months ago, last month, or something like that. And he broke his foot, or something like that. That’s what I was told. I don’t know how true that is. That’s what my Mom said. That’s the first I’d heard of it.
Q: How as your childhood growing up? Any bullies or family problems or were you fairly normal? [Bean62]
A: Normal. No bullies. Never really had a problem in the dressing room, with any of the wrestlers. I’m a pretty happy, go-lucky guy. I don’t look for trouble. I don’t want trouble.
Q: In the past, you never really got much shot at the WWF World Title, despite being a main eventer. Do you regret that, or is that something that you thought would have eventually happened? [creasy]
A: I thought that it eventually would have happened. When Bret had the belt, I worked with him a few times overseas and in the States. We always had good matches. Yeah, I regret not having title matches.
Q: Bret, in his interview with us, called his match against you at Wembley the best match he ever did. What are your thoughts on that match?
A: That was the best match I ever had.
Q: What are your favorite memories from Stampede? [Chris Brady]
A: Oh, god. Stampede wrestling was probably some of the happiest days of my life. Really. We did lots of driving no matter what the weather conditions were like. Twelve guys in a van and just set off to Vancouver or Regina every Tuesday or Lethbridge. There were funny jokes played on all of the wrestlers. I was living with Bret at the time. I used to live with Bret in a little house in Calgary. I was going out with Diana. I was just really happy. It was a really good territory to be in. It was really booming at that time. In the early eighties, no matter where you went, Edmonton or Lethbridge, Red Deer or Calgary, it was sold out no matter what. I was just glad that they gave me the opportunity to come over and wrestle for them.
Q: What are your thoughts on Bruce Hart’s attempts to be the area started again?
A: I think it’s good that he gets something going. He’s really bored with his time and his brother Ross’s. When they can be doing something. They’ve got some investors and they’re trying to get wrestling established in Calgary once again because WWF comes once or twice a year. I don’t think WCW has ever been here. There’s a lot of fans out there who want to watch wrestling. They’ll want to come down to see it. It’s just a matter of Bruce and Ross getting the right talent to come down at wrestle for them. We’ve heard that they’ve already got TV time and Ed Whalen’s going to be doing commentary again. I heard it’s going to be just like the old Stampede wrestling days. That’s what they’re aiming for anyways. It’s always good when you’ve got competition out there, I always say.
Q: This may be a simple one to answer. Was the sexual harassment accusation of Shawn Michaels by Diana legitimate or just another attempt by the WWF to get ratings? [JEFF]
A: It was just an attempt by the WWF to get ratings.
Q: Your feelings on that?
A: I didn’t mind it at first. I’m working the main event, and this and that. But it was Jim Cornette’s idea, and Bruce Pritchard’s. They took it one step, and then tried to take it one further and I just put the brakes on it and said no. You’ve got to stop doing this now. You’re not dealing with someone out of the crowd now, you’re dealing with my wife. I’m not standing for it. There was the thing with Brian Pillman. You know, he’s passed away, just leave him alone. Don’t have his wife and family on TV and keep plugging it on TV. They’ll do anything for ratings. It’s unbelievable.
Q: What are your thoughts on Brian’s passing away?
A: I was really sad because I was traveling with Brian. He roomed with me, we drove together. I was supposed to meet him that same day. I flew in to Minneapolis and saw Bret and Owen and Jim Neidhart at the airport in Minneapolis and they were going to the show in Minneapolis. I’d just come off a knee injury again and Owen said ‘come to the arena and chat with the boys.’ And I said that I didn’t want to go, but everyone was trying to get me to go to the arena. I said I was going to go to St. Louis, check in, and get a good night’s sleep. Get ready for the pay-per-view. I’ve got to meet Brian there. I got to the hotel and asked if he had checked in. They said, no he’s not checked in. I thought, that’s real weird, he’s not checked in. The next day, about 4 o’clock that afternoon, that’s when I found out. I just couldn’t believe it.
Q: Who was a tougher opponent, Bret or Owen and why? [TheLouje]
A: That’s really hard. Bret’s a good technical wrestler, one of the best. Owen’s a good technical wrestler. Owen’s a little sneakier than Bret, more mischievous than Bret. I would say Bret’s tougher. Just when you think you’ve got him beat, he turns your move. It’s like playing a game of chess. You get so frustrated with Bret. Another great match was with Owen in Germany for the European title. Thirty-five minutes of non-stop, packed action. That’s what I’m known for. That’s what I do. That’s what I do best. That’s all I’ve done for 20 years. And for someone to turn around and say to me, we don’t want you to wrestle like that anymore, we want to go this way, that’s like … I don’t want to do that.
Q: On the topic of the European title, what are your thoughts on it being defended almost exclusively in the U.S.? It’s not a European title anymore.
A: No it’s not. When they took it off me, it didn’t mean anything. Then the way Hunter won it … When you had seen Owen and I go at it for 30 minutes in Germany, giving a non-stop wrestling action match. Then to see Shawn and Hunter lock-up, and hit the ropes and splashing, and covering. It’s like ahhhh … After the match I had with Shawn in Birmingham, it just degraded the belt like poof. It doesn’t mean anything. Like the tag team belts don’t mean anything any more in the WWF. It’s switched back and forth so many times it doesn’t mean a thing.
Q: What has been your most memorable moment in your career? [Dr. Placid Lasrado]
A: I would say, again, Wembley Stadium. That was the biggest of events. My most nervous event. I’d come back from staph infection of my knee. Not wrestling for six weeks, and then going into the ring with Bret for 40-45 minutes in front of 83,000 people. Wow. Having Lennox Lewis carry my flag out to the ring.
Q: He’s Canadian too.
A: Yeah, I know.
Q: He’s from Kitchener [Ontario], where I grew up. One of the heroes around town.
A: It’s weird, I think he tries to have a London accent.
Q: It think that’s the word – tries.
A: It think that was his downfall. They tried to put him over in England. When he stepped into the ring with me in Wembley Stadium, he couldn’t believe it. He was just totally shocked. He just couldn’t believe a wrestling could pull in as many people as we did. He tried to do the same thing with Frank Bruno where he did that thing in Cardiff, or somewhere like that, in the outdoor arena. He wasn’t the same. He tried to it. In England, he tried to portray himself almost as me, I think. With interviews, and commercials and things like that, drinking the tea. When they found out he was born and raised in Canada, it was like ‘you’re not really English.’ These people are not stupid. You’re either from there or you’re not. When I went over there for the first time for the WWF, they quizzed me up and down. They swore blind that I wasn’t British. It’s like, where do you think I’m from? They thought I was acting like a Britishman. Newspapers came down to my house, and I had to take them to my house, to my school, introduce them to the people who taught me in school and everything to prove. Show them my passport, birth certificate and everything. Because if they found out you’re not really from England … His [Lewis’] parents are British, but he was born in Canada. They just bury you.
Q: That leads right into the last couple of questions. Can you ask Dave Smith about his time at Golborne Comprehensive School. This is from someone named Simon Swzandt.
A: [Laughs] Yeah, that’s where I went to school!
Q: Yeah, he apparently knows that. So he asks what your days were like at school there? [Simon Swzandt]
A: They were good. I was still going to that school when I started wrestling. The headmaster had come up to me and said you’ve got to go home. Your Mom called. That’s when the promoter called saying some wrestler’s sick and you’ve got to be Brighton tonight. We’re going to need you there. I was like, oh my god. So I had to leave school at noon that day. Then one day, on Saturday afternoon, they put me on TV with Big Daddy against Nick McManus and Steve Logan. That’s when the whole country saw me on TV. I had my headmaster come up to me and say, ‘that’s what you’re doing. You’re wrestling on the side.’
Q: So how did your life change from there? Were you recognized everywhere?
A: Oh yeah. All the kids at school — ‘we saw you on TV on Saturday’s wrestling’. It brought me out in a new light, because I had kept it really secret. No one knew what I was doing, that I was training to be a wrestler. All of a sudden, I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore because I was on World of Sport on ITV on a Saturday afternoon when everyone’s watching it. It’s like, ‘young David from Golborne’. ‘Oh my god, he’s on TV! We didn’t know he did that.’
Q: There’s a question from the same guy. Do you still go to the Queen Anne? [Simon Swzandt]
A: Oh my god, this guy must live next door to me.
Q: What is the Queen Anne?
A: It’s my local pub. When I go home, I go there every night.
Q: How often would you get home? [Simon Swzandt]
A: I like to get home as often as I can really. If I’d known I was going to be off this long, I’d have gone home for a week or two. But you never know when someone’s going to call and say we need you right now. So I was kind of on hold. Then I got sick after my surgery. I got staph infection in both of my legs. Both my legs went completely black. That was pretty scary because no one knew what was wrong. I couldn’t eat. I was just throwing up constantly. One of my nephews died from the same disease. So I went to one hospital and the doctor said get off anything you’re taking, off antibiotics. You might be having a allergic reaction. So I did and I got even sicker. So my brother-in-law came over, he saw my legs. This is the same guy who’s son died. [Editor’s note: Matthew, the son of Georgia Hart and B.J. Annis died in July 1996] He took me to the same doctor that took care of his son. He said to me that I’ve got a staph infection in both of your legs. You’ve got to get on antibiotics right away. So as soon as I started taking them, then I got better. It was pretty scary, especially after going through a surgery and being so healthy. And I was under a lot of stress too. I think that’s what caused the too, a lot of stress. This crap with Vince. Fining me $150,000, things like that. Going through a lot mental stress. Not knowing what I was going to do next, not knowing where I was going to be. My wife was under a lot of stress because everything was so tense.
Q: Got two more questions here. Who was your favorite tag team partner? [Kathy Elsi]
A: The Dynamite Kid.
Q: What ever happened to Matilda? [Roger Brown]
A: She passed away a couple of years ago.
Q: Now who’s dog was that?
A: That was my dog.
Q: Would you like to say any final things to your fans?
A: Just keep watching The British Bulldog. I’ll get my break in the WCW. I’ll bring wrestling back to TV where it should be [in Britain], not some freak show.
Q: Thanks for your time.
A: You’re welcome.