Jimmy Hart once wrote, “The British Bulldogs had a reign of terror backstage. They’d put itching powder in your street clothes. In the middle of winter, they might take a pair of scissors to your pants. They’d padlock your suitcase, cancel your plane reservations, anything.”
Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid were well-known for their hijinks in and out of the ring. However, when some of their “practical jokes” backstage went too far, Jacques Rougeau put his job on the line, deciding it was time to end the Bulldogs’ reign of terror by using an old trick taught to him by his father.
Why Jacques Rougeau Attacked Dynamite Kid
Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau were members of two of WWE’s top-tier tag teams in the ’80s, The British Bulldogs and Fabulous Rougeaus. A set of behind-the-scenes run-ins between the two sides, allegedly sparked by a practical joke, led to some bad blood.
Details of the incident that followed are conflicting, but one fact that holds amongst all accounts is that Rougeau returned to the locker room after wrestling to find his clothing tampered with. He concluded that the Bulldogs, infamous “ribbers,” were to blame, but Dynamite maintained that he wasn’t involved.
In the autobiography written by Jimmy Hart entitled, The Mouth of the South: The Jimmy Hart Story, he goes into his first-hand account of the incident that ensued:
“Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid were two of the greatest tricksters in the history of wrestling. When you came back into the locker room after a match, you could never be sure they hadn’t put itching powder into your street clothes. In the middle of winter, they might take a pair of scissors to your pants — you’d come back, and they’d be laying there like everything was fine, but when you picked them up, the legs would fall to the floor. When Jimmy Jack Funk was working the cowboy angle for us, he’d always have to hunt for his hat up in the rafters. They’d do anything for a laugh — padlock your suitcase, cancel your plane reservations, anything.
“They double-locked Jacques Rougeau’s suitcase one day, and [Rougeau] decided it was time to put an end to their reign of terror. He warned them: ‘Dynamite,’ he’d say, ‘you keep on messing with me, and I promise you something bad’s gonna happen.’ Well, sure enough, before a show in Miami Beach, Jacques was minding his business playing cards in the back. Next thing you know, Dynamite storms in, turns Jacques around, and goes off on him. He really beat him up, busting Jacques’ nose wide open.
“Dynamite’s story was that Jacques had gone to Pat Patterson, who was a WWF booker, former superstar, and Vince’s second-in-command, and that Pat had gone to Vince. Ultimately, Vince laid down the law, telling the Bulldogs they had to stop playing their pranks. In Dynamite’s eyes, Jacques was a stoolie. I honestly don’t know if that’s the way it happened or not — Dynamite might have just decided he hated Jacques, and the attack may have been unprovoked.
“After that, Jacques, being very proud, said, ‘You know what, Jimmy? I swear I won’t get mad, not now, but somewhere down the line, I will get even.’”
“For the next month, each and every day, Jacques planned his revenge. In his hotel room, he’d take a mattress off the bed and practice. He’d seem relaxed, and then all of a sudden, he would hit the thing — like he was sucker-punching somebody. He knew he’d only get the one punch with the Dynamite Kid. Tom Billington (Dynamite’s real name) was that tough.
“Oh, my God, you won’t believe it! Jacques Rougeau just beat up Dynamite Kid!”
“In the meantime, the Bulldogs ignored whatever dressing-down they may have received and kept ribbing everyone, playing pranks. Their reign of terror intensified. And locker room morale plummeted, with all the boys living in fear. Finally, Vince called for a serious meeting. He intended to address the problem and was going to tell the boys that fun was fun, but that things had gotten out of hand. That the last thing we needed was our guys really fighting. Before Vince’s meeting, Jacques and Raymond were sitting beside the podium where Mean Gene Okerlund did his announcing and interviews. I said, ‘Hey, Jacques, hey Ray, Vince wants everyone to get together now.’”
“Jacques said, ‘Jimmy, we’re not going to go to the meeting. But we just want to tell you — thanks for everything you’ve done for us. You’ve been so wonderful to us, and we love you very much, but if you don’t see us anymore, well, we just wanted to make sure you knew that. You’re one of the few people who’s always been there for us.’”
“Of course, I didn’t know what to make of what he’d just told me. But it wasn’t long before I understood his cryptic words of thanks. Rougeau didn’t want me to be involved and didn’t want me to know anything about what he was about to do.
“Later, while I was with the Honky Tonk Man, doing an interview at the other end of the building, people started running by, yelling as they passed: ‘Oh, my God, you won’t believe it! Jacques Rougeau just beat up Dynamite Kid!’”
“It happened like this: Jacques had waited for his moment, patiently, by the dining-room door. And when Dynamite finally emerged from lunch, he nailed him with a brutal, well-rehearsed sucker punch. And then he kept on hitting him. Eventually, Raymond pulled Jacques back, saying, ‘That’s enough. That’s enough.’”
“Both of them had their bags packed. They just got in their car and left.
“Three weeks later, Vince had a private meeting with Jacques, Raymond, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy about working everything out for the good of the company. He told them they’d have to work together, or not work at all. And with that, things did work out okay. Not long after that, most of the boys were involved in a big battle royale; the match was booked in a way that would leave the Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau to face one another in the end. They were forced to work together. And they both acted professionally. There were no more confrontations.”
Was Mr. Perfect to Blame?
After Jacques Rougeau sucker-punched Dynamite Kid in the mouth with a roll of quarters — a trick he had learned from his father, wrestler Jacques Rougeau Sr. — Dynamite lost four teeth. The irony of it all? Dynamite’s hands were clean in this one as Mr. Perfect was the one who tampered with the Rougeau’s clothing in the first place.
In his autobiography, Pure Dynamite: The Price You Pay for Wrestling Stardom, Dynamite remembers Rougeau wearing brass knuckles. Either way, both parties were impressed by his fortitude.
“I heard the crunch as four teeth went there and that,” Dynamite wrote. “That first shot knocked me dizzy, but I still managed to think.”
“Any other guy would’ve been knocked out,” Rougeau later recounted.
As is the case with most locker room brawls, the two fighters were separated by their peers, including Dynamite ally Bad News Brown, before things could get any further out of hand.
Despite the private meeting with Vince a few weeks after the attack, Dynamite harbored a grudge against the Rougeaus and planned to get revenge of his own after their 10-team, 20-man elimination match at the Survivor Series 1988 pay-per-view (which turned out to be his final match in the WWF). The match had the Rougeaus, Demolition, Brain Busters, The Bolsheviks, and Los Conquistadores vs. The British Bulldogs, The Rockers, The Hart Foundation, The Young Stallions, and The Powers of Pain. To prevent Dynamite Kid from taking his revenge on Jacque Rougeau, the match was scripted so that the Rougeaus would be the first team eliminated, with Bret Hart pinning Raymond in the bout’s opening minutes with a small package. The Bulldogs were kept in the match until they were one of the final four teams remaining. By the time the Bulldogs had been eliminated and made their way back to the locker room, the Rougeaus had already been rushed out of the building.
It seems The Rougeaus got the last laugh!
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