WWE should help ill wrestling legend 'Dynamite Kid' with medical bills: Bruce Hart
‘I'd certainly like to throw the gauntlet down to Vince McMahon,’ says Stampede Wrestling alumnus
Bruce Hart is trying to raise awareness about the failing health of a longtime friend and fellow Stampede Wrestling alumnus who can't afford home care following a stroke.
Dynamite Kid, or Tom Billington, has been in a U.K. care home for the last 13 months due to health issues.
Billington's wife, Dot, recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to cover "full-time care and the facilities to assist with his mobility" so that Billington can return to his home in England.
"The wrestling businesses has got no real safety nets after you leave it. You know, there's no pension fund — nothing. It's kind of feast or famine," Hart told the Calgary Eyeopener.
"I'd certainly like to throw the gauntlet down to Vince McMahon at the WWE. It would seem to me a fitting gesture for them to do a fundraiser or cut him a cheque."
Hart scouted the British wrestler in the 70s at a match in England.
"I remember trying to sell my dad on this skinny English kid, and he was pretty skeptical," said Hart.
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"He was about 150 pounds then and over in Calgary then with Stampede wrestling most of the guys were these big, 250 pound-plus Abdullah the Butcher and Mike Shaw-types."
Stu Hart took a chance and brought Billington across the pond to Calgary. He competed across the world on his own and tag teamed with his cousin Davey Boy Smith as the British Bulldogs.
Billington has been in wheelchair for nearly two decades due to a career of back and leg injuries.
"His body took a pretty good pounding," said Hart.
"He's kind of like that fictional character in The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke, where after the roar of the crowd — there's not too much left."
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener