Bret Hart has posted a touching tribute on social media following the passing of his brother-in-law, The Dynamite Kid.
2018 may have been a terrific year so far for the business between the ropes, but we have lost far too many names outside of it. Jim Neidhart, Vader, Brian Christopher. The number of people the industry has lost this year is a bitter pill to swallow. This week, we sadly had to add Tommy Billington to that list, better known to wrestling fans as The Dynamite Kid.
Without The Dynamite Kid, there's no telling how many wrestlers wouldn't have made it as far as they did. Due to his stature compared to others in the business at the time, Kid inspired a generation of smaller competitors to get into the business. Exactly how many people he inspired has become clear over the past 24 hours as a litany of former and current stars have been paying tribute.
One man who perhaps knew him better than anyone in the business was Bret Hart. Not only did the two of them work together throughout both of their careers, but Kid was also The Hitman's brother-in-law. Shortly after learning of his passing, the WWE Hall Of Famer took to Instagram and posted a touching tribute to his friend, rival, and brother.
View this post on Instagram
There are people in life that have a ripple effect both professionally and personally. Tom “Dynamite Kid” Billington was one of those people. The second professional wrestling match of my career was against Dynamite. I benefited from his greatness and through our matches in Stampede, WWE, and everywhere in-between, I became a better wrestler because of him. Dynamite truly was the best wrestler ever, pound-for-pound. Tom was family, my brother-in-law, and we were very close. In many ways I felt like one of the few people who truly knew him, both the good and the bad. I saw Tom one final time this past June in England and I can only hope he is finally at peace. My thoughts are with his children Browyne, Marek, and Amaris, and the entire Billington family.
"Tom was family, my brother-in-law, and we were very close. In many ways I felt like one of the few people who truly knew him, both the good and the bad," wrote Hart. The Hitman also labeled Billington as the best pound for pound wrestler in the history of the business. You can see just how far back the two of them go by the photo Hart shared along with his tribute. A photo of the pair of them from very early on in The Hitman's career.
While many of us will have been affected by the wrestlers we have lost so far this year, it's hard to imagine how tough a time Hart is having. During the summer, The Hitman lost his best friend in Neidhart. Now he has lost yet another person he was extremely close to. Hart explains in his tribute that he got to see Kid one last time this past June, but that won't have made losing him any easier.