Boxing legend Hatton has become the latest star to back Daily Star Online’s bid to win the prestigious gong for WWE wrestling sensation Davey Boy Smith.
Bulldog tragically died aged just 39 back in 2002 – but 17 years on WWE have still yet to give him a place in the Hall of Fame.
Hatton hailed Bulldog as helping to build the foundations for the modern wrestling scene, which is booming in Britain along with WWE’s new show NXT UK.
The 40-year-old Welterweight told Daily Star Online it would be “great for his family, fans and for the country” if Bulldog was given in a spot in the Hall of Fame.
He added he would also “love” to get back involved with WWE after he was the guest host of Raw back in 2009.
Davey Boy’s family, a dozen WWE wrestlers including Drew McIntyre, Christian, Natalaya and Charlotte Flair, and 95% of all Daily Star Online readers have already backed the Bulldog.
And a petition endorsed by more than 22,000 fans which you can sign HERE is also showing the passion for getting Davey Boy in the Hall of Fame.
“It is because of people like the British Bulldog that wrestling has global appeal”
Hatton told Daily Star Online: “I would definitely back the Daily Star Online campaign to get the British Bulldog recognised in the Hall of Fame.
“Back in the day he was massive name up there alongside the likes of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Undertaker.
“I think he was one of the only Brits in the then WWF at the time, and he came from Goldborne near Wigan, just down the road from me.
“I remember him in his Union Jack leggings and his hair in plaits, he was a real character but sadly lost his life when he was still a relatively young man.
“It is a shame, so it would be great for his family and his fans and for the country as a whole if he was to be recognised in the Hall of Fame, and we had a Brit in there with some of the other big names.”
Hatton is one of the most beloved British boxers of all time, and won 45 out of his 48 fights before retiring full-time from the sport in 2011.
WWE fans will also fondly remember him from his brief splash with the wrestling firm in 2009 when he guest hosted an episode of Raw.
The Hitman – a 15 time boxing champ – appeared with DX and managed to scare off the 7ft 2in, 500lb, monster Big Show with the threat of getting one of his crushing punches to the jaw.
He would then go on to embarrass WWE star Chavo Guerrero in a wrestler vs boxer match.
The Manchester Mexican quickly dispatched the six-time Cruiserweight Champion with a big punch to the temple, with Raw commentator exclaiming “lightening fast, what a right hand from Ricky Hatton”.
Hatton told Daily Star Online: “ I think modern wrestling has come on a long way and its doing good.
“And It is because of people like the British Bulldog that wrestling has global appeal.
“I enjoyed my experience in Sheffield with John Cena and Big Show.
“I had my son Campbell with me and we had a great time, It’s something that I will always remember
“It is fun and family orientated and I’d love to be involved in the WWE again one day.”
Bulldog was a mainstay of WWE throughout the 80s and 90s, first as a tag team sensation and then as singles hero – always flying the flag for wrestling in Britain.
He made his wrestling debut aged just 15 grappling for the ITV classic World of Sport, before being scouted by the legendary Hart Family to wrestle for Stampede Wrestling and train in the Hart Dungeon.
Davey Boy and his cousin Dynamite Kid were then signed up by WWE as the British Bulldog, where they forged a reputation as one of the most influential tag teams ever.
Eventually going solo, he would adopt the British Bulldog moniker as his own and become a top star in WWE.
His crowning moment came during his match with Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart – his brother-in-law – at SummerSlam ’92 where he won the won the WWE Intercontinental Championship in front of 80,000 fans Wembley Stadium.
Buzz is already growing within the WWE ranks for the Bulldog, with even WWE Champion Daniel Bryan saying the “time is right” for the legend to be put in the Hall of Fame.
2019’s inductees have started being announced, with the this year’s first being the faction DX – with Triple H, Shawn Michaels, X-Pac, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and the highly anticipated induction of Chyna.
NXT UK grapplers including UK champ Pete Dunne, tag team champs Grizzled Young Veterans, and leader of the Gallus faction Joe Coffey have all endorsed Daily Star Online’s campaign for the Bulldog.
MMA fighter Aaron Chalmers, a former TV star, also hailed the legend as the “greatest British wrestler” and urged WWE to induct him into the Hall of Fame.
Daily Star Online believes the time is right for the British Bulldog thanks to the booming wrestling scene in Britain.
His induction is long overdue, but with the establishment of NXT UK and the Performance Centre training school in London the time has never been more right.
Wrestling has enjoyed a revival in Britain, with shows now being packed out across the country and a new generation of talent from the UK making waves in the US and Japan.
WWE are expected to announce the rest of the Hall of Fame inductees over the coming weeks leading up to WrestleMania 35.
And we hope that Bulldog will finally secure the honour and be welcomed into the Hall of Fame.