How did this British Bulldog petition come about?
Michael Finney: It was just a small idea I had which I asked Davey's Daughter, Georgia, if it was ok with her to start this petition... I heard how the fans were saying Davey should of been in the Hall of Fame, and I agreed... So, I thought I'll try and help out the best I can. I didn't expect for the petition to make such a huge impact!
Darren Hackett: As for myself getting involved, I've known Georgia nearly 2 years now she told me about Michael's plan for the petition and asked if I would sign and share to pass the word on as I'm a huge fan myself, I signed shared and got talking to Michael and have been helping ever since.
What accomplishment or quality of the British Bulldog do you think most qualifies him for the WWE hall of fame?
Dave Boddy: I knew Davey since I was 5yrs old, he captivated me with his athleticism and passion of the squared circle, he was always approachable and well respected by all the boys in the back. He holds the quality within his matches and in ring work, the best way to observe his qualities is watching his matches. You can just see how smooth and fluid he was in the ring, and the quality shows also via his title reigns as WWE European Championship, and all his title reigns throughout his career. Look back onto his SummerSlam match in Wembley Stadium, the ovation, the love, and the psychology of the match was astounding. He was one half of arguably one half of the best tag teams ever, British Bulldogs, their matches with Hart Foundation started a trend in WWE at that time, they were having five star matches and obtaining standing ovations daily. Davey is forever known for his natural strength and agility, and for his ability of ribbing the boys in the back. He still is a major memory in fans around the world, and this petition shows that with the unification of all of us. My love and respect for Davey stemmed from how he treated me backstage at Stampede Wrestling shows. Also, when WWE purchased Stampede Davey was one of the deals made with that purchase, as Vince McMahon and the WWF saw the potential and talent in Davey. Davey was a professional wrestler at heart, his place is in the Hall of Fame.
Michael Finney: For me, the two amazing and accomplishment matches that stands out the most is SummerSlam 1992 in London, England against Bret Hart and the finals for the European Championship against Owen Hart in 1997. However, I feel all his matches was amazing.
Dave you said you spent time with Davey boy Smith during your Stampede Wrestling days? What is your fondest memory of your time with him?
Dave Boddy: Oh, this is always a sensitive question as the time with Davey was amazing. My fondest memory is when we were doing a Stampede Wrestling show and I was in the back visibly upset, I don't recall as to exactly why I was, however, anyway Davey saw this and with his famous accent called me over to sit on his lap, he then proceeded to tell me to relax and said he had a gift for me, it was a small pair of dark navy blue jeans with little hockey players all over them. He told me he wanted me to be happy, then I left to see my dad. Sadly, those pants are nowhere to be found.
Does anyone else have any fond memories of Davey Boy Smith in person or from watching him perform?
Michael Finney: Yes ! I remember when Davey came over here in the UK on October 2nd 1999 with the WWE. The WWE made Davey as a heel over here in the UK... and I remember I wasn't going to buy that story because over here Davey is more than just a icon, he's a wrestling god and still is to this day. I remember I had my England flag and I was going crazy for him while other fans round me was treating him as a heel, Davey broke out of that character to give me a smile, and just that smile mean a lot to me.
Darren Hackett: Mine personally has to be from March 92 in my home city of Sheffield, before Davey battled Bret for the IC title, he thought I.R.S in a one on one, to see his ring skills in person was amazing, I know it sounds corny but Davey was what I would call a master of the art, his knowledge of the ring, moves, his opponent was uncanny, and for his build was great. He wasn't the tallest wrestler in the world but he easily stood toe to toe with any who he faced.
Have you sent this petition to the WWE yet? Have they took notice of the
Michael Finny: I have sent the petition to the WWE Twice, I haven't heard nothing from them about this issue. I have contacted the WWE over the phone but sadly they haven't took much notice yet.
If a 2014 HOF induction doesn't happen. What is your next plan of action?
Darren Hackett: We keep going, in my personal opinion several people have gone in who have no place in there, it is supposed to be the WWE hall of Fame, wrestling, I don't agree with the celebrity wing, where someone shows there face for 2 weeks and gets inducted. I don't agree with this at all, Davey put his body on the line week in week out, sacrificed time away from his family to d the job he loves to help give his children the upbringing they deserve, and cemented his place in the HOF.
Have you spoken to anyone in the WWE community and gotten them on board?
Darren Hackett: Sean Waltman, Roddy Piper and Tatanka have been great, sharing the petition links numerous times via twitter, Sean Waltman in particular.
Michael Finney: We have asked number of WWE Hall of Famers to share the petition on their Twitter accounts and they have done. The petition is supported by Davey family Georgia and Harry Smith as well Diana Hart. Diana and Harry and Georgia has been amazing with me and with rest of the Team with the petition. The Hart's/Smith family have been more them amazing with the petition.
Tell me how you guys went about getting the Hart family involved . What members of the family did you speak to?
Michael Finney: Well, I would like to say I been a huge Hart fan for 20 years since 1993 when I was only a child. I always been loyal to the family and I always well, for 20 years I always wanted to meet a Hart or have some kind of contacts with them. I joint Twitter and I notice Diana Hart was on Twitter, so, I said Hi ect... then I got to know Georgia (Diana's and Davey's Daughter) and we just started to know one another. Then I seen how the fans was asking them when do they think Davey will be in the Hall of Fame and I wanted to help the family in respect, and I came up with this idea about starting a petition at the time I didn't know how big the petition would get until now. The first person in the world I told about the petition was Georgia Smith and she supported the petition and still do. Then when Diana and Harry found out what I was doing they 100 percent had my back.
What was it like talking to the Hart family?
Darren Hackett: when I first messaged Diana and Georgia I was I suppose star struck thinking oh god they are famous oh god what do I say, they're going to think I'm a nerd etc but straight away you get the idea of the type of people they are, They are some of the most down to earth people I have the pleasure of speaking to. they are always willing to speak to fans and talk pretty in depth which is very welcoming as sometimes people in the public eye can be totally the opposite to that.
Michael Finney: Agree with Darren. I often talk to the family. I met Georgia for the first time in Herefordshire and she made me welcome and she really is a lovely person. I am looking forward on meeting Diana and Harry one day.
Darren, earlier in the interview you spoke about some of the HOF inductees not deserving their spot over guys like Davey Boy Smith. Can you say which inductees you think specifically don't deserve a spot?
Darren Hackett: I believe that the inductees of the celeb wing are un-worthy of the right to a HOF spot, to me the HOF is about the accomplishments of individual stars or team up stars who had a legendary career in the business, look at Hogan, huge wrestling Icon, might not in my opinion been the greatest wrestler but what he did for the business world wide is today un-matched and deserved. But then people who come in for 2/3 week and then get straight in is wrong, yes alright Trump hosted 2 WrestleMania's but that isn't worthy of a HOF spot neither is working for DX for a month what Tyson did, again very undeserving.
Dave Boddy: Abdullah the Butcher, never worked for WWWF, WWF, or WWE and is known for his stiff, hardcore style, and has yet to ever win a WWE championship, yet he is in. Drew Carey, he appeared at a rumble event, paid off Kane, and was eliminated, and yet he is in. Just these two names alone send shivers down the spines of fans, Drew was even booed out of the building.
Michael Finney: I personally don't have nothing against the any celebs but this is a wrestling awards. The awards are meant for the wrestlers.
Dave Boddy: "Superstar" Billy Graham even requested to be removed from the WWE HOF after Abdullah was inducted.
With the current crop of WWE Superstars today who would you have liked to see Davey Boy Smith have a match with and why?
Michael Finney: personally, I would loved to seen Davey vs. John Cena... Their skills would be a great match but some fans might not agree with me.
Darren Hackett: I differ from Michael there too, current WWE I would have Punk, Punk has shown he can go toe to toe with numerous superstars and has great in ring matt skills. though i would love to have seen Davey face Kurt Angle if he was still in the WWE.
Dave Boddy: Bulldog vs. Tyson Kidd.
And what makes Bulldog versus Tyson Kidd so appealing to you?
Dave Boddy: Tyson Kidd was partly trained by Bulldog, and their chemistry would be somewhat comparable to Owen and Bulldog, and Tyson and I both know that would be a dream match of his.
Who was your favorite tag team partner of Davey boy Smith ?
Darren Hackett: No offence to dynamite at all but i loved his team up with Owen, the chemistry was there for all to see. though his team up with Sting in the old WCW wasn't too bad.
Michael Finney: Owen and Jim Neidhart vs. Davey and Bret Hart.
What was your favorite match of the duo and why?
Darren Hackett: Austin and HBK vs. Owen and Davey , simply for the legendary status of all competitors in the ring, Austin and HBK weren't too bad as a team but the chemistry of Davey and his brother in law was immense.
Michael Finney: Well, you have Owen with his amazing skill and speed and Jim Neidhart is a real powerhouse, then you got Bret who at the time was the best and in my heart he still is. Then, you have the powerful British Bulldog with his own skills and another powerhouse. it really was a treat to watch.
Do you think Davey boy Smith will be inducted first as a singles competitor ir as a tag team?
Michael Finney: That's a very good question, I'm not sure, but I know a lot of fans would love to see the Team of the British Bulldogs going into the Hall of Fame as a tag team.
Dave Boddy: I personally believe as tag or faction. His singles career isn't mentioned as much as his career in Hart Foundation and Bulldogs. He had great matches as single, however, he is more recognized as a tag partner. As whenever you speak of Davey, dynamite kid soon follows. And I only see Dynamite getting in with Bulldogs.
Darren Hackett: I think his legacy lives on as both a singles and tag competitor, It wouldn't surprise me if he went in first in the Hart foundation above singles and even the Bulldogs.
If you were granted five minutes with the WWE HOF board to state your case for why Davey Boy Smith should Be inducted into the HOF. What would you say?
Dave Boddy: The WWE Hall of Fame was stated to chronicle the legends of the WWE ring, to chronicle all the legendary champions, tag teams, managers, and celebrities, if this is the case not having Davey Boy or the Bulldogs in it is a slap to the face of the fans and superstars. The WWE Hall of Fame is meant to pay homage to the superstars of yesterday to help inspire and motivate the stars of today, tag team wrestling in WWE lifted in part due to the Bulldogs, the European championship was prestigious due to Davey Boy having great matches and holding the title with pride and passion. Davey belongs in the Hall of Fame more than Abdullah, please explain to me how Abdullah is in, but not the Bulldogs or Davey Boy?
Michael Finney: I would say Davey brought the British and rest of the European wrestling fans in to watch the WWE. In the UK Davey was their Hulk Hogan. Davey meant so much to the British and rest of the European fans all over. Summerslam 1992 speaks for itself. Davey main event many UK Pay per views even when he wasn't a champion and that speaks on its own. Davey as a singles wrestler carried all of the UK on his own and no disrespect to any British Wrestler, but Davey in my eyes was the only true British Wrestlers so far who has made a huge impact in the world of Pro Wrestling.
Darren Hackett: Davey helped to establish European wrestlers in the US, I feel that without his contributions today's stars such as Sheamus, Barrett, Regal and macintyre might not have been looked at, Davey was our ambassador, OUR British champion.
When smith died in 2002 at the age of 39. What exactly was the impact of this to you personally and the wrestling community?
Dave boddy: I was with my father as we were celebrating his birthday, I decided to go online to read some wrestling news. I was scrolling through the headlines and missed the one, which was the story on Davey passing. Immediately I was bombarded with memories of him and I growing up, naturally I cried and it ruined the night for me. Knowing all the struggles he had with his back injury, and all the pain he was going through it made it harder to accept he was gone. He was so tough and strong and to know he was in so much pain was hard to accept. A part of me after awhile felt this way he didn't have to live with so much pain, however, selfishly j wanted him back. I could not stop thinking about Harry and Georgia. He loved those two so much, and I saw him with Harry a lot, and he was so genuine and honest with them both. I miss him dearly now, and know that he will forever be remembered.
Michael Finney: I was only 18 years old and I was at college and I remember I was on my dinner/lunch break and I went into the computer room to check up news on WWE website, and I remember Davey picture came up on the screen saying Davey passed away and I'm not just saying this to get people to read or acting but I was really upset and I was shocked and I remember saying to my father, if there any event just for Davey over here in the UK then I want to go to pay my respect to him. I think Wrestling haven't been the same without Davey, it feels like there is a huge hole in the middle where Davey use to fill it, and from my heart no one won't able to take Davey place. When I watch Hart and Soul DVD and they talk about Davey, my heart bleeds for Diana and Georgia and Harry all the time.
Darren Hackett: He still is a huge loss to this day, he died a master of the mat, listening to other superstars and legends speak of Davey as they do you notice that not one wrestler has anything bad to say about him. As for myself I miss seeing the superstar that I adored as a child growing up, watching the red white and blue heading towards the ring.
When the WWE their schedules tour dates in Europe. Do you feel the new generation of British fans are being cheated out of seeing a true superstar, since smiths passing?
Michael Finney: Yes ! even although it wasn't WWE fault over Davey's death. I been to a lot of WWE Events since Davey passed away... The shows there something big missing even although the WWE is doing amazing job but as a person who grew up watching Davey I can feel there is something missing. It's pretty upsetting and it's shame that the new fans couldn't get to see Davey wrestler because when he did Wrestler it was more than a treat to the Fans. Davey was OUR King of the Ring.
Darren Hackett: In a sense yes, the current crop of stars are good yes, I'm a huge fan of Punk and his dynamic but aside from the Undertaker theirs know one really who has the 'WOW' factor, Davey was the 1st to slam the Undertaker, that will never be taken from him but it's just little things like that that people remember, nowadays 'wow' moments are so few in-between.
Which WWE superstar today do you think most resembles Smith's in ring abilities and charisma with fans?
Michael Finney: That's a good question !, to me no one in the world as the magic as Davey and Owen had but to pick a superstar close by, I would say CM Punk who seems to have amazing in ring ability, if Daniel Bryon team up with Davey, it reminded me of the old British Bulldogs as a Tag Team.
Darren Hackett: If you watch Harry in the ring you can see Davey in him, he WILL be huge, the way he wrestles is similar, a type of brawler but very technical, so for resembling him I'd say Harry Smith, charisma id say punk, most would say cena, but cena is too baby face, id say Punk cause he can get people eating from palm of his hand, whether he's a face or heel.
How does it feel today to go to a WWE event knowing your favorite superstar that you watched growing up , isn't in attendance Does it diminish the value of the event?
Darren Hackett: It shouldn't, but when you watch at times you look back and think hmmm Davey would have done that different.
Michael Finney: Very sad and upsetting. I think it does diminish the value in the events in some way, I think it does hurt a lot of older fans, mainly Davey fans... I know the WWE tried to push others British Wrestlers after Davey but, the Magic isn't just there, it seems like since Davey gone the magic as gone. I will always believe Harry Smith will carry on fighting in memory of his father.
Ok, The One Night Only PPV in 1997 marked the first time Smith ever lost on a WWF card in the United Kingdom. Do you think the move to do that tainted in a way one if his greatest career accomplishments?
Michael Finny: I believe in one way it was Smart of the WWE to let Shawn win The European championship, because fan's didn't expect it, but in another way, I thought it was totally wrong and it was very hurtful to The British fans. I didn't agree with how Shawn won the belt. At the end of the show you could see Diana had real tears in her eyes and that was upsetting to see. I personally feel it would of hurt Davey a lot, because he was so proud of being the hero to his fans not just in England but all over the world. I remember when Davey lost the match I got so mad at the TV when I was only 13 years old. It did upset a lot of the WWE Fans I believe.
What are thoughts and feelings on Smiths final televised match against a up and coming Eddie Guerrerio on Sunday night heat for The European title?
Dave Boddy: The thing with Eddie is he was a natural and can work with ANYONE on any night, Davey was the same, they both obtained the ability to adjust their move set to accommodate who they were working with, nonetheless they had a good match. I might even have to YouTube it and watch it again.
How did you feel when Smith retired from wrestling? Was there anything you would have liked to see him do before he retired from wrestling?
Dave Boddy: I feel it was necessary for his health and his family, I wished before he left they had a farewell tour for him. Of course, naturally I'd also loved to have seen a Heavyweight title run.
Michael Finney: I didn't know Davey had retired until after he sadly passed on. I also wasn't aware of his health issues until the recent years. I personal wished in his last run in the WWE they pushed him more, just like they did in 1992 and 1997. I also wished they put the world title on him. However, I believe Davey didn't need the world title to show the world how great he was because his in ring action speaks on their own without any championship belt. He was true a god giving talent.
Dave Boddy: I would have loved to have seen Bret vs. Davey for The Heavyweight Title.
Darren Hackett: 100% agree with Michael, him winning the title before
retirement would have been a little obvious, him not winning it however is
something different, Davey never needed the belt to be the best, he just simply
was, and proved on more than one occasion.
How do you think smith stacks up career wise with other superstars who have graduated from The Hart Dungeon?
Michael Finney: Whoever was trained by Stu Hart was superb, indeed. Stu
made the wrestlers worked hard. I think if anyone who could stood up to Davey in Skills wise was Owen. In the power wise, it's pretty hard to pick from but I'll
say either Harry Smith or Jim Neidhart.
Darren Hackett: myself Chevy I believe Davey was on par with Owen that's one of the things that I thought helped them to become a memorable team. I would have loved to have seen the dungeon in its heyday, wrestlers dreamt of being trained by Stu. Or just to see Stu.
Ok what do you believe is the main detriment that has prevented Smith's induction into the Hall of Fame?
Michael Finney: personal I don't know, some fans told me because Vince and Davey never got along. However, again, it's just what people read from the internet or the papers. No one really doesn't know the truth. A lot of fans feel it's because Davey was British exedra.
Does not winning the WWF or WHC champion hurt his chances of getting inducted into The HOF?
Michael Finney: Indeed not, Ko Ko Beware is in The Hall of Fame he never won the big one, Jerry Lawler and the list goes on of the wrestlers who are in the Hall of Fame but never won the big one. You don't need to win the big one to show how great your talent truly is and to be in the Hall of Fame. I understand the wrestlers get into the business to win the big one but you don't need the one championships to be a Hall of Famer.
With WrestleMania season just around the corner , do you have any more plans to promote this petition, and send it to people?
Michael Finney: For 24/7 I eat, sleep and drink the petition as the old saying goes. I'm working on sending paper petitions to wrestling events. Speaking of Wrestling events Ironfist wrestling as been amazing supporting the petition and so as The British Wrestling Radio. We have a group of over 400 fans in one Facebook group who comes up with amazing ideas on helping the petition, We call the group TeamDBS (Team Daveyboy Smith) and every member as been amazing!
If Smith is inducted into the 2014 HOF how will team DBS celebrate? Will you guys try to see it live in New Orleans or watch it on PPV?
Michael Finney: A lot of people as asked me this question. personal I feel it should be just the family who should be there but If I do get a invite to be at the Hall of Fame by Diana, Georgia and Harry to see Davey being inducted, I would
love to go and see it with my own eyes, but I would be happy to watch the Hall
of Fame on television.
Ok last question . One day you go online or are watching Monday Night Raw and you suddenly see a video package for Davey boy Smith as a inductee into the hall of fame. In 2014 . What is going through yours and the rest of team DBS. Minds? What do you think the emotion would be like?
Michael Finney: personally, I'm a man who kind of believe full grew men shouldn't cry in anyway, even although I'm thinking wrong, I think I would just jump up with joy and have tears rolling down my face. As you know, me and TeamDBS been working on the petition along time and working hard on a daily base. It will feel like a dream come true not just for us but for England and rest of the Europeans. I also like to state I know how much this mean to the Hart Family and I just want to say me and rest of TeamDBS won't give up fighting.
Where can people go to sign the petition, follow you on twitter and
like team DBS on Facebook?
Michael Finney: You can join
the TeamDBS Facebook team at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamDBS/ and you can follow me @MichaelFinney2
on Twitter and you can vote/sign the petition at www.Change.org.