With the echoes of his father’s glories from Wembley Stadium in 1992 in his ears, Davey Boy Smith Jr heads to London this weekend looking for Progress wrestling gold.
It’s over three decades since more than 80,000 fans watched on as wrestling icon The British Bulldog clinched WWE’s Intercontinental title under the old Twin Towers at SummerSlam in 1992.
The memories and emotions from that incredible occasion have stirred in the hearts and minds of fans ever since, and AEW will break ground further this weekend with a first wrestling show to be staged at the new Wembley Stadium since its opening.
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A record crowd is expected for their All In London event and, just nine miles away on the same weekend, the Bulldog’s son, Harry Smith, is eyeing up his own piece of history.
Wrestling under the Davey Boy Smith Jr moniker, the 38-year-old meets Ricky Knight Jr for the Progress Wrestling Atlas Championship.
The bout features as part of the It’s Clobberin’ Time show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, which runs in conjunction with Defy’s offering, The Splendid & The Vile.
Daily Star recently sat down with Diana Hart Smith, Harry’s mother, wife to the late British Bulldog and with a life of her own immersed in professional wrestling, who couldn’t hide her pride at seeing her son wrestle during such a huge weekend.
It’s a huge stage for Smith and for Progress, with Diana full of praise for the company’s evolution and development under new ownership.
“Harry has been training hard all summer,” she explained “Progress wrestling is one of the biggest independent wrestling promotions internationally, if not the biggest now.
“They have the new ownership with Lee McAteer and they’ve had a big transition. They’re adapting really well and just seem to be growing and growing.
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“There is some pressure there, knowing you’re doing a big show for one of the biggest independents in the world, because it is so important to keep these territories thriving for as long as they’re putting out a good product.
“They’re going to be influencing the Davey Boy Smiths and the Harry Smiths of today and tomorrow, so it is so important that they’re successful.
“This open challenge with Ricky Knight Jr, it’s a big match and I know Harry has been training hard.”
Sadly Diana, who was at centre stage with The Bulldog at Wembley as he fought her brother, Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, won’t be in London to see her son’s big match.
Getting to take in such action is all too rare for the youngest daughter of Stu and Helen Hart, whose siblings also include the late Owen Hart as part of the legendary Hart family. Harry's cousin, Natalya, is one of WWE's top performers as a multi-time former world champion.
“I would love to see Harry wrestle live more,” Hart went on to say. “I never get a chance to because he’s never wrestling the same city I’m living!
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“I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing it, since 2011, a handful of times.
“I am with him a lot when he’s training and, in the gym, – I am very proud of what he can do and wish I could see it more with my own eyes.
“I get to see it online and it is exciting, but I sure wish I could see it in person and feel it.”
This weekend’s open challenge, set by Knight and answered by Davey Boy Jr, is a match steeped in history.
Even without the parallels with SummerSlam 1992, AEW’s All In and everything in between, it’s an encounter where family pride will matter as much as championship gold as Knight Jr, of the incomparable Knight wrestling family from the UK, looks to turn back the challenge of the son of arguably England’s finest ever export.
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Diana’s gratitude and pride ahead of this weekend of all weekends – almost 31 years to the day since Wembley – was evident when he said: “I’m really grateful that Progress has included Harry in this show.
“I would love to see the company continue to grow in this upward trajectory.
“In their own way, they’re honouring Davey but having Harry there as a contender for the title, and that means a lot to me.”
PROGRESS Wrestling presents It's Clobberin' Time at London's Electric Ballroom on Sunday, 27th August with tickets still available. Visit progresswrestling.com for more.
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