Last Updated: 06/12/18 7:34pm
Former WWF world tag team champion Dynamite Kid – real name Tom Billington – has died at the age of 60.
He was half of the extremely popular British Bulldogs tag team alongside Davey Boy Smith, with who he captured the then-WWF’s top tag-team honour at WrestleMania II by defeating Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake.
The son of Smith – whose father died in 2002 – led the tributes to Dynamite, whose innovative style in the early 1980s in New Japan, and his series of matches with Tiger Mask, marks him out as one of the most influential wrestlers in the history of the sport.
He said: “I was really happy and glad I got to see ‘Dynamite’ one last time last June in the UK.
“Dynamite was certainly an inspiration to myself and many others and really revolutionized professional wrestling as we now it today.
“He flew high, and gave it his all every match.”
Billington was born in Golborne, Lancashire in in December 1958 and made his in-ring debut in 1975 for Max Crabtree’s British promotion after also training in boxing and gymnastics.
Prior to arriving in the WWF and achieving great fame, he also competed in Stampede Wrestling in Canada, the promotion owned by Bret Hart’s father Stu Hart, as well as making a name for himself in Japan.
He left WWF in 1988 and competed in Japan and Canada until his retirement in 1996. The cause of his death is not known but he had been in ill health for several years and used a wheelchair after losing the use of his left leg.