So Long To The Dynamite Kid

John Pollock of has done a very good story about the life of the Dynamite Kid. It’s hard to write about a life and career like his since Tom Billington was equal parts one of the most influential wrestlers of all time and complete fucking prick, but I think this is about as good a summary as a person could do without straying too far in one direction and downplaying the other.

The life of Tom Billington has ended. With 60 years to unpack, his story was one that was as punishing and brutal as the style he performed that left audiences in amazement while simultaneously accelerating his deterioration.
When the crowd disappeared, the money dried up, and the bill arrived for the price he put his body through, Billington was a broken down man, confined to a wheelchair before his 40th birthday. He found his passion and calling in professional wrestling, carving out a legacy that is both complex and disputed depending on the person you speak with.
Bret Hart once compared Billington to baseball legend Ty Cobb, a miserable and reprehensible human being who was also one of the great baseball players of all-time.
In his 1999 “Pure Dynamite” biography that he worked on with journalist Alison Coleman, Billington presented a dark and disturbing tale of his life with no stone left unturned and a refusal to sanitize the path he left behind. It was brutally honest. What set the book apart was its ability to force its readers into a state of discomfort, forcing them to sort out Billington’s legacy and complicated story.

For every classic match and death-defying maneuver Billington put forward, there were equal stories of torturous ribbing, bullying, maniacal pranks designed to cause harm over laughter, and constant tales of drug abuse and domestic violence.

There are also quite a few match and highlight videos throughout, in case you’ve never seen his work or would still like to relive it. The Life and Death of Tom “Dynamite Kid” Billington, dead at age 60

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