Thomas Billington, better known as Dynamite Kid, is one of the most controversial figures in wrestling. He is considered one of the most influential pro wrestlers of all time and revolutionised the way multiple generations performed inside the ring.
The Dynamite Kid revolutionised the junior heavyweight style of wrestling and is considered one of the best technical wrestlers of all time. He brought an intensity and athleticism that was rarely seen before. He suffered from insecurities his entire career over his size, and overcompensated by worker harder than everyone else and generally being horrible to everyone else too.
He inspired a number of wrestlers over his career, most notably the former World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit, who was clearly heavily influenced by him. His in-ring style inspired many generations of wrestlers, with the legendary Dynamite Kid vs Tiger Mask match holding up as one of the best matches of all time.
One of his most despicable controversies was before he was signed to the WWF in 1984, where he would become one half of the legendary British Bulldogs tag team, alongside Davey Boy Smith. During his time in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling, where he would meet the likes of Bret and Owen Hart, Dynamite Kid was managed by a former wrestler named J.R Foley. Also known as John Foley, he was a former wrestler from England who had retired and become a manager (John Foley bears no relation to former WWE Champion Mick Foley, although the latter did wrestle Dynamite Kid numerous times in their careers).
The pair worked together in Stampede Wrestling, being booked regularly by Stu Hart in their regular tours of Canada. Dynamite Kid was considered one of the top workers in the promotion, with Bret Hart calling him “pound-for-pound, the greatest wrestler who ever lived”. However, he had a dark side to him which came out numerous times, most notably when it involved Foley and his young daughter trying to swindle as much money as they could out of an insurance company.
During their time in Stampede, John Foley’s daughter got into a terrible car accident. Details of the accident were scarce but Foley looked to claim a decent amount of money back for her injuries and damages from the insurance company. However, he wanted even more money and tried to milk it for as much as it was worth.
This is where he involved Dynamite Kid. Billington and Foley decided that the damages faced by the injured daughter were not enough, and hatched a scheme to get as much as they could. Allegedly, John Foley approached Billington, offering him a share of the money if he could make the damaged more substantial. He agreed to the plan and carried on one of the most heinous acts one could think of.
Dynamite Kid broke both of the John Foley’s daughters legs, allegedly from the kneecaps down. He apparently had zero qualms of injuring the daughter of his friend and put money above her safety and wellbeing.
Their plan worked and Foley walked away with a substantial sum, scamming the insurance company with very little regard for the safety of his own child. She allegedly never fully recovered from the breakage inflicted by Dynamite Kid, with some claiming that she permanently walked with a limp from that moment on.
Some have claimed that she agreed to have her legs broken to help increase the fee from the insurance company, but there is little evidence to suggest any involvement in her part. It appears to have been an awful scheme concocted and carried out from the minds of Thomas Billington and John Foley.
This is just one of the many despicable things that The Dynamite Kid did throughout his career. Keep an eye of Atletifo to read more upcoming tales about the former WWE Superstar, or check out his episode of Dark Side Of The Ring.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.