As reported by the Inquisitr, professional wrestling legend Tom “Dynamite Kid” Billington passed away on December 5, 2018. It was the wrestler’s 60th birthday. He’d been suffering from a slew of health problems in recent years.
After his passing, the entire wrestling industry took to social media to offer their thoughts and condolences. Some even shared stories — and memories — of working with Dynamite Kid throughout their own careers.
We initially learned of his passing from his friend Marty Jones, who posted on Twitter informing everyone that Dynamite Kid was no longer with us.
“It’s with great sadness I have to inform you all that The ‘Dynamite Kid’ Tommy Billington on his birthday has passed away.”
“Kid” was known as one of the godfathers of the high-flying wrestling style that’s used by cruiserweights — and other wrestlers — today. As one might expect, many wrestlers who are known for their high-impact style owe the “Dynamite Kid” a debt of gratitude.
Current WWE Cruiserweight TJP posted on Instagram, writing about how Billington was actually one of the wrestlers who made him interested in going to New Japan Pro Wrestling as a child.
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Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask made me want to be in New Japan when I was younger. Even more so than the WWF. My first ever real job in wrestling happened to be New Japan, as soon as i graduated high school and turned 18. To say it was an honor to step into the ring in the company where these two guys built what we know today as “Cruiserweights” is an understatement. I’m very sad to hear that we lost Dynamite ???? ????
Will Ospreay is another wrestler known for taking risks with his style. Not only was he inspired by the “Kid” in his own fashion, but he was also influenced as a British wrestler.
I heard news that Tommy Billington also know as the Dynamite Kid has passed away.— ウィル・オスプレイ (@WillOspreay) December 5, 2018
Thank you for all the work you’ve done for our country and inspiring so many wrestlers to take a chance on themselves.
RIP Dynamite Kid. pic.twitter.com/yzQ74Swhhz
Davey Boy Smith Jr., son of the great Davey Boy Smith — who was the long-time tag team partner of the “Dynamite Kid” — shared his thoughts as well, even recounting the last time that he saw the man.
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 many others and really revolutionized pic.twitter.com/req7CWTdxm— Davey Boy Smith Jr. (@DBSmithjr) December 5, 2018
Plenty of other English performers, both inside and outside of WWE, took to social media to offer their reactions to the passing of the “Dynamite Kid.” Even SmackDown Live General Manager Paige shared her thoughts.
Gutted to hear about the passing of one of my hero’s and biggest inspirations. RIP Dynamite Kid, Tommy Billington. pic.twitter.com/knQuwNOZKQ— Tyler Bate (@Tyler_Bate) December 5, 2018
Gutted to hear about the passing of ‘The Dynamite Kid’ .— Johnny Moss (@Johnny_Moss) December 5, 2018
I like many others, would try to emulate him...I failed obviously as there could only be one!
I’m proud to own one of the last pairs of boots worn by Tommy!
My thoughts go to Mark Billington and the family. #RIPDynamite pic.twitter.com/VOjoEztenl
Of course, it’s not just individual performers offering their thoughts and condolences for the passing of one of wrestling’s all-time greats. Entire wrestling promotions are taking to social media to share their praise of the “Dynamite Kid.” While he was only in the WWE for a brief time, the company was quick to offer its thoughts on the professional wrestler.
WWE is saddened to learn that The Dynamite Kid has passed away. https://t.co/r41WiVPrOb— WWE (@WWE) December 5, 2018
Members of the wrestling media also took to social media to offer thoughts as well. Names like Bruce Prichard, Dave Meltzer, and others posted about “Kid.”
Dynamite Kid was a real game-changer in this business. For his time, he was a revolutionary worker. He had an intensity and working ability at the level of very few in history.— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) December 5, 2018
One of the most athletic, intense & spectacular wrestlers ever. Game-changer wrestler, LEGEND. #DynamiteKid RIP ????— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) December 5, 2018
Further showing the tremendous impact Tommy Billington had on the wrestling world were social media posts made from a wide range of wrestlers who seemingly had no relation to the “Dynamite Kid” at all.
Dynamite Kid, R.I.P.— 小島 聡【SATOSHI KOJIMA】 (@cozy_lariat) December 5, 2018
I wanted to meet him once.
All the Japanese wrestlers are also sad.
He was a really strong man.
Thoughts and prayers to all the family and friends of Tom “Dynamite Kid” Billington ... a true in-ring pioneer in the professional wrestling industry... RIP...— Jeff Jarrett (@RealJeffJarrett) December 5, 2018
His influence runs back years, with lots of old-school wrestlers offering their opinions and memories of the “Dynamite Kid.” Even The Iron Sheik and Brutus Beefcake posted about him.
EXCELLENT WORKER INSIDE THE RING. TOUGH MAN OUTSIDE. GOD BLESS THE DYNAMITE KID pic.twitter.com/WWObV2gKE0— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) December 5, 2018
Sad to hear that Dynamite Kid has passed away! RIP Brother!— Brutus Beefcake (@brutusbeefcake_) December 5, 2018
It’s clear that the influence of Dynamite Kid can be felt all across the wrestling world — and while he may have passed, we’ll continue to see his influence for years to come, through the wrestlers who are following in his high-flying, risk-taking footsteps.