Dave Finlay
Finlay Finlay
Finlay in 2012
Birth name David Edward Finlay Jr.
Born 31 January 1958 (1958-01-31) (age 62)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Resides Atlanta, Georgia
Spouse(s) Princess Paula (m. 1976; div. 1979)
Melanie Duffin (m. 1983)
Children 3
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Dave Finlay
Fit Finlay
Sir Finlay
The Belfast Bruiser
Young Apollo
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Weight 230 lb (100 kg)[1]
Billed from Belfast, Northern Ireland
Trained By David Finlay Sr. [2]
Debut 1974[3]
Retired 2012


David John "Dave" Finlay, Jr. (born 31 January[4] 1958)[5] is a Northern Irish trainer, producer and retired professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he works backstage under the ring name Fit Finlay.[6][3] He is perhaps best known for his time in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He has held over 20 championships around the world throughout his career, including the WCW World Television Championship and the WWE United States Championship.

Professional wrestling career Edit

Early career Edit

Finlay's first match was for his father's promotion in Glynn in 1974, when he filled in for a wrestler who no-showed.[7] He began wrestling on a full-time basis in Carrickfergus and throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for the next four years before moving to England in 1978.[3][7] In England, he wrestled for various companies under the Joint Promotions banner.[8] Finlay defeated Alan Kilby on 9 June 1982 to win his first title, the Joint Promotions British Heavy Middleweight Championship.[9] At this time, Finlay's then-wife, Princess Paula became his manager.[10]

He then won a tournament to crown a new British Light Heavyweight champion and fill the vacant position, defeating Ringo Rigby in the finals.[8] Finlay soon lost the championship, but later pinned Marty Jones to win the World Mid-Heavyweight Championship.[8] He traded it back and forth with Jones for over two years before losing it a final time to Jones via disqualification. He defeated Jones to win Joint Promotions' British Light Heavyweight Championship. In the second half of the 1980s, he defeated Frank 'Chic' Cullen on television for the British Heavy-Middleweight championship, but later lost it to Danny Collins.[11] In 1995 he became a champion at the top of the weight range when he won All-Star's British Heavyweight Championship. Finlay often competed on ITV's World of Sport programme as David "Fit" Finlay and had many matches against "The American Dream" Steve Adonis.

During this time, Finlay also began to wrestle in Japan, then in Germany and Austria for the European promotion Catch Wrestling Association.[3][7] While holding the All-Star championship, he teamed with Jones to win the CWA tag title from Tony St. Clair and Miles Zrno.[8] After losing the All-Star championship to Dave Taylor, Finlay began to focus more on the CWA, winning many of their championships.[8]

Finlay appeared at a WWF event, as they continued with their national expansion in late 1989 at a dark match, teaming with Mark Rocco, and Skull Murphy, to defeat the team of Al Perez, Dusty Wolfe, and Tim Horner. This appearance was far away from the time in which Finlay would sign a full-time contract with the promotion in 2005.[12]

Independent circuit (2011–2012) Edit

On 28 October 2011, Finlay's debut for Yoshihiro Tajiri's SMASH promotion was announced, when he was revealed as the mysterious "King of Terror", Michael Kovac had promised to bring to the promotion and named first ever SMASH Champion StarBuck's first challenger for the title.[13] On 24 November at Smash.23, Finlay defeated StarBuck to become the new Smash Champion.[14] On 19 February, Finlay made his first successful defense of the Smash Championship, defeating TAJIRI. Prior to the event, Smash had announced that it would cease its operations on 14 March, which led to Finlay vacating the Smash Championship after the title defense.[15]

On 24 May, Finlay made his debut for Wrestling New Classic (WNC), the follow-up promotion to Smash, defeating Akira in the main event.[16] Two days later, Finlay defeated Zeus in the main event of another WNC event.[17] Finlay's first tour of WNC concluded on 27 May, when he, Akira and Syuri defeated Kana, Mikey Whipwreck and Tajiri in a six-person main event.[18]

Finlay returned to WNC on 20 September, when he defeated Ray Mendoza, Jr. in the main event at Korakuen Hall.[19] Following the match, Finlay announced that he was done with WNC for the time being due to re-signing with WWE.[20] Despite no longer scheduled to make appearances for WNC, Finlay was named the head of the WNC Championship Committee.[21]

Personal life Edit

Both Finlay's father, David Finlay Sr. and his grandfathers were professional wrestlers, and his sister was a referee.[7] His brother, Albert, was a goalkeeper for Glentoran FC in the 1960s and 1970s.

Finlay was previously married to his former manager, Princess Paula.[6] He is currently married to a German woman named Mel and has three children, the eldest of which, David Finlay Jr. was born in Hanover, Germany.[3][7] His children are all amateur wrestlers; David is now wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and made his professional debut on 22 December 2012.[22] and his daughter has won the Georgia State championship.[23] The family resides in Atlanta, Georgia.[7]

In wrestling Edit

  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves
  • Nicknames
    • "The Belfast Brawler"
    • "The Belfast Bruiser"[24]
    • "The King of Terror"[36]
    • "The Man Who Loves To Fight"
    • "The Shillelagh Swingin' Bruiser"
  • Entrance themes
    • "Byakuen" by Osamu Totsuka (NJPW; 1991–1994)
    • "Pride (In The Name of Love)" by U2 (NJPW; 1998)

Championships and accomplishments Edit

  • Fighting Spirit Magazine
    • LL Cool J Award (2006)[37]
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #278 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003[38]
    • PWI ranked him #33 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2007[39]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dave Finlay . Wrestling Data. Retrieved on 2015-09-02.
  2. "By the time my son was 10 or 12 years old, he was already doing amateur and professional wrestling," Finlay Sr. told SLAM! Wrestling. "From an early age, he wanted to be a wrestler, so I thought to myself 'I'm going to teach him the proper way.' I taught him proper, freestyle amateur wrestling, and he was very successful in doing that, before he got the taste of professional wrestling. By the time he was 18, he was already working in England."
    - Finlay's dad reflects back on his own career Brian Elliot SLAM Sports Accessed 2017-01-18
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Wine, Cheese and Fit Finlay . The Miami Herald (2008-05-08). Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  5. Fit Finlay. (6 September 2009). Retrieved on 26 May 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Fit Finlay profile . Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved on 2008-01-27. “Fit Finlay signed with the WWF as a Road Agent after WCW was purchased.”
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 O'Shea, Fergus 2008-08-26. I've lived the American dream . The Sun. Retrieved on 2008-08-27.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Milner, John M.. Finlay . Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved on 2008-10-14.
  9. Nagasaki, Kendo (2005). The Grapple Manual: Heroes and Villains from the Golden Age of World Wrestling. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 33. ISBN 0-297-84419-9. 
  10. Finlay. Retrieved on 26 May 2012.
  11. British Heavy Middleweight Title. Retrieved on 26 May 2012.
  13. ja:初代王者スターバックがフィンレーに宣戦布告! (in Japanese). Smash (2011-10-28). Retrieved on 2011-10-28.[dead link]
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 『SMASH.23』試合レポート(メインイベント) (in Japanese). Smash (2011-11-25). Retrieved on 2011-12-14.
  15. 2・19『Smash.25』全試合結果 (in Japanese). Smash (2012-02-19). Retrieved on 2012-02-19.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Wrestling New Classic「旗揚げ戦」 (in Japanese). Sports Navi. Yahoo! (2012-05-24). Retrieved on 2012-05-24.
  17. ja:5・26大阪大会 試合結果 (in Japanese). Wrestling New Classic (2012-05-27). Retrieved on 2012-05-26.
  18. ja:5・27広島大会 試合結果 (in Japanese). Wrestling New Classic (2012-05-27). Retrieved on 2012-05-27.
  19. ja:皇帝対決の行方は!? 9・20後楽園ホール大会 全試合結果 (in Japanese). Wrestling New Classic (2012-09-20). Retrieved on 2012-09-20.[dead link]
  20. メンドーサJrとの重厚かつクラシカルな一戦を制したフィンレーが、内戦真っ只中のWNCにメッセージ! (in Japanese). Battle News (2012-09-20). Retrieved on 2012-09-20.
  21. ついに到着!WNC王座、WNC女子王座のベルト初公開! (in Japanese). Wrestling New Classic (2012-10-20). Retrieved on 2012-10-25.
  22. 『Super Jr.』メンバー&全カード決定! 外道が3年ぶり出場! フィッシュ、オライリー、小松、カベルナリオ、フィンレーらが初出場! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling (2015-05-07). Retrieved on 2015-05-07.
  23. Allely, Phil (7 December 2011). "Fit Finlay: I still like to fight". The Sun. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 WCW bio . World Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2000-08-17. Retrieved on 2008-06-21.
  25. Saturday Night report on November 29, 1997 .
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Saturday Night report on March 7, 1998 .
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 March 16, 1998 .
  28. Nitro report on March 25, 1996 .
  29. Saturday Night report on March 30, 1996 .
  30. Saturday Night report on February 10, 1996 .
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Saturday Night report on March 21, 1998 .
  32. Keller, Wade 2009-05-14. Keller's ECW Report 5/12: Dreamer vs. Henry and Finlay vs. Kidd bore viewers into channel switching . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2009-10-01.
  33. Uncensored report on March 24, 1996 .
  34. Saturday Night report on April 13, 1996 .
  35. Grimaldi, Michael C. 2008-08-12. Early Smackdown TV report for August 22 . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2008-09-07.
  36. ja:TAJIRI初代王者ならず、"恐怖の大王"降臨に戦々恐々=SMASH (in Japanese). Sports Navi. Yahoo! (2011-10-28). Archived from the original on 2011-10-31. Retrieved on 2011-10-28.
  37. Pulse Wrestling's Top 100 Wrestlers of the Modern Age: #77 – Dave Finlay .
  38. Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years . Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved on 2008-05-05.
  39. Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 – 2007 . Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved on 2009-03-10.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.