Tom Billington, better known to wrestling fans as Dynamite Kid, passed away today on his 60th birthday.
Kid made his wrestling debut in 1975. He worked for Stampede Wrestling, International Pro Wrestling and New Japan throughout the late '70s and early '80s. His New Japan feud with Tiger Mask is cited as the gold standard when it comes to Junior Heavyweight wrestling. Kid captured the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship in 1984, winning a tournament in New Japan.
Kid signed with WWF/WWE in 1984, debuting on television as the tag team partner of Bret Hart. Kid would eventually move on to team with Davey Boy Smith as the the British Bulldogs. The duo would win the WWF Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania II.
After suffering a serious back injury in 1986, he was never quite the same. He last wrestled for WWF at Survivor Series 1988. After his WWF run, Kid returned to Stampede Wrestling and Japan to finish out his career. He wrestling his last match in 1996 at the Michinoku Pro 3rd Anniversary show. The next day, he suffered a seizure at the airport . He lost the use of his left leg in 1997 and was confined to a wheelchair as a result. In addition to his paralysis, he had heart issues and suffered a stroke in 2013.
No cause of death has been confirmed.
On behalf of Fightful, we'd like to extend our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Mr. Billington.