Dynamite Kid’s Last Match Was A Depressing End To A Legendary Career


Hamish Woodward

There are few wrestlers in history as influential, yet controversial, as Thomas “Dynamite Kid” Billington.

From his incredible matches and blisteringly-paced moves, to his domestic abuse allegations and kneecapping of a small girl for insurance money, the tale of the Dynamite Kid is never a dull one.

As many top stars of his day, the brightest star shines half as long. Dynamite Kid retired at the age of just 38, mounting injuries proving too much for his abused body could handle.

In this article, we’ll look at the final match in the legendary career of the British icon that is The Dynamite Kid.

Dynamite Kid’s Last Match

Dynamite Kid’s last match was for Michinoku Pro Wrestling in 1996, ending a legendary career with a whimper.

This match took place at “Michinoku Pro Takewaki -These Days”, and was three years after he last wrestled in Japan – or at all.

His back injuries had left Dynamite Kid in immense pain, confined to a wheelchair for the bulk of his life following an injury in 1986.

In his final ever match, Dynamite Kid teamed with Dos Caras (the father of Alberto Del Rio) and Kuniaki Kobayash to take on the all-star trio of the original Tiger Mask, Mil Mascaras & The Great Sasuke.

The fans were excited to see Dynamite Kid back in the ring. They reminisced about his incredible matches with Tiger Mask in the 1980s. The pair revolutionised wrestling in New Japan back in the day, forging the modern style of wrestling decades ahead of their time.

However, Dynamite Kid’s final out was just sad.

When he got into the ring, the Englishman was a shadow of his former self. He looked pale, gaunt and quite ill. The legendary wrestler no longer had the size and muscles he once did, and looked out of place amongst other legends of the ring.

He was slow and stilted in the ring, messing up simple moves and failing to execute the impressive combinations that wowed fans all those years ago.

For a man who had prided himself in hard-hitting, lightning-fast action, watching his body fail him was a depressing sight. It was clear he had very little in his life after is wife left him and sent him back to England. Wrestling was all the Dynamite Kid ever had, and now that had faield him too.

It was just sad. He barely spent any time in the ring, and whenever he did, he did very little. Every time Dynamite Kid tagged out of the match, he sat down on the apron clutching his head – clearly in pain.

He wasn’t involved in the finish, but Dos Caras pinned Great Sasuke to win the match for his team.

However, Dynamite Kid’s injuries were so bad that he was forced to retire for good, at the age of just 38.

The wrestling legend would soon be bound to a wheelchair, as his back injury became too much to bear.

The Death Of The Dynamite Kid

Dynamite Kid died on 5th December 2018, with his cause of death likely related to the litany of health issues he suffered with for his entire life.

The Lancashire-born wrestling legend died on his 60th birthday, years after wrestling the final match of his illustrious career.

His death was announced on Twitter by Davey Boy Smith Jr. – the son of Billington’s former tag team partner and WWE Legend, The British Bulldog.

Smith tweeted out “It deeply saddens me to announce the passing of Tom Billington the “Dynamite Kid”. I was really happy and glad I got to see Dynamite one last time last June in the UK. Dynamite was certainly an inspiration to myself and any others and really revolutionized [wrestling].”

Sadly, due to the violence and abuse Dynamite Kid subject others too in his career, he has not been honoured in the way a man of his talent should be. He is still without a WWE Hall of Fame induction, even though his former partner The British Bulldog got the nod in 2023.


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