In 2020, the “Icons” documentary series was announced for the WWE Network, with “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith marketed as one of the subjects. Documentaries were something WWE had excelled at going back to its DVDs on stars, and it was highly anticipated to see one of the company’s most underrated stars get spotlighted. Unfortunately, the series never actually happened. Instead an abridged version became A&E’s latest legends documentary which aired on March 24, 2024.

Previous A&E documentaries were 90 minutes, not including commercials. For some of them this season, they are cut down to 42 minutes. While it certainly tries, the documentary doesn’t do justice to the Bulldog’s legacy. The first 15 minutes includes starting in the business, meeting and marrying Diana Hart, his run with Dynamite Kid and his iconic SummerSlam ’92 match with Bret Hart. This highlight is followed by his release, and a brief mention of him going to WCW without anything of substance before his 1994 return. In terms of in-ring accomplishments, barely anything is touched on. His heel turn, his fantastic matches with Shawn Michaels in 1996, his bloody rematch with Bret in 1995, being the first European Champion, none of it is mentioned.

Instead the biography goes down Dark Side of the Ring territory and focuses on Smith’s painkiller addiction, staph infection from landing on a trap door at WCW’s Fall Brawl 1998 and his struggles in returning to WWE in 1999. Surprisingly no mention of Smith’s 1996 assault trail is included, nor the fact that his final days were spent with the ex-wife of his brother-in-law Bruce Hart, Andrea.

Although it’s not likely much more would have been added if filmed recently, the interviews with his ex-wife Diana and kids Harry and Georgia are several years old. The doc refers to Nigel McGuinness as a WWE commentator when he is included for perspective from an English wrestler, despite his release from the company in 2022. In many ways the documentary feels thrown together from what should have been a bigger story.

What the documentary does get right is Davey Boy Smith as a person. Anyone who ever met him could immediately feel his kindness and caring personality. He was loyal to a fault – as pointed out by him leaving WWE twice in allegiance to Dynamite Kid in 1988 and Bret Hart in 1997. He had a great sense of humor and his antics with Owen Hart are legendary. Despite his addictions, it would be a struggle to find anyone who has bad things to say about Smith as a person. The show ends with his kids talking about him being a great dad, and Bret describing how everyone loved him.

While it is great to see Davey Boy Smith get recognition with a documentary and his 2021 Hall of Fame induction, as a fan I find myself wanting more, and wishing that the Icons documentary had materialized, or the current season was the longer show. Even in the DVD era it would have been amazing to get a set dedicated to The Bulldog. The documentary barely scratched the surface of the man or his career. Fortunately there is lots of footage of his matches on the WWE Network/Peacock and YouTube to remember one of the underrated talents of the 1980s and ’90s.