Des­per­ate plea from for­mer pro wrestler

Calgary Herald - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL LUMSDEN

The wife of for­mer Stam­pede Wrestling and WWE leg­end Dy­na­mite Kid is ask­ing his fans to help him re­turn to his Eng­land home af­ter suf­fer­ing a stroke.

Dy­na­mite, whose real name is Tom Billing­ton, has been in a U.K. hospi­tal since De­cem­ber of last year fol­low­ing a stroke.

The pop­u­lar wrestler has been wheel­chair-bound since the 1990s, af­ter a hor­rific in­jury to his back left him par­a­lyzed.

His wife, Dot, said in a state­ment that they haven’t re­ceived any roy­al­ties from World Wrestling En­ter­tain­ment, nor has the cou­ple re­ceived any help or sup­port.

Dot has started a GoFundMe page and hopes to raise $20,000.

“We have never ever asked for help from any­body, but we have been left with no choice. This will save his life,” she said in the state­ment.

For­mer Stam­pede Wrestler and mem­ber of the famed Hart clan Bruce Hart said the WWE has to step up and help a man who had made them mil­lions of dol­lars over the years.

“I was told about his con­di­tion be­ing pretty grave. I’m go­ing to throw the gaunt­let down to Vince McMa­hon to en­deav­our to do some­thing for him,” he said.

Billing­ton got his start this side of the At­lantic in Stam­pede Wrestling, run by Hart fam­ily pa­tri­arch Stu Hart.

Team­ing with his real life cousin, Davey Boy Smith, Billing­ton went on to world­wide fame as one half of the Bri­tish Bull­dogs.

Smith died in 2002 of a heart at­tack.

Bruce ini­tially spot­ted Billing­ton while watch­ing a show in Eng­land and told Post­media that in his field, Dy­na­mite was in a class of his own.

“He’s com­pa­ra­ble to a Wayne Gret­zky, or a Michael Jor­dan, he was that good,” Hart said.

Hart added that Dy­na­mite was prob­a­bly the most copied wrestler of the last 30 to 40 years, in­clud­ing guys like Owen Hart, Daniel Bryan and Shawn Michaels.

Of­ten repli­cated, but never du­pli­cated.

This isn’t the first time a wrestler has reached out to fans to try to get their life back on track, but rarely has it been this dras­tic.

Scott Hall, who made a name for him­self as Ra­zor Ra­mon in the WWE in the mid-90s, raised more than $100,000 to help pay the tab for a hip re­place­ment surgery.

Fans who do­nated cer­tain amounts would re­ceive signed pho­to­graphs of Hall, Skype phone calls or per­son­al­ized mes­sages from the wrestler.

Af­ter a ca­reer tak­ing hard bumps in the squared cir­cle, for­mer ECW, WCW and WWE star Jerry Lynn also took to the In­ter­net to raise funds to fix de­gen­er­a­tive discs and fuse his ver­te­brae dam­aged by the wear and tear of pro­fes­sional wrestling.

GOFUNDME

The wife of for­mer Stam­pede Wrestling and WWE leg­end Dy­na­mite Kid is ask­ing his fans to help him re­turn to his Eng­land home af­ter he suf­fered a stroke. Dy­na­mite is also con­fined a wheel­chair.

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