On the cusp of another Money in the Bank (MITB) pay-per-view (PPV), this week’s Flashback Friday involves a wrestler who participated in the second ever MITB ladder match.

An established wrestler, Dave “Fit” Finlay is one of the greatest Irish-born WWE superstars of all-time.

Finlay’s career in America started late. It wasn’t until his mid-30’s until he started wrestling in mainstream promotions, with his first gig coming with World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

However, before he came to America, his career had been substantial. Initially wrestling in his homeland of Ireland, he moved to England to pursue wrestling glory there. For the better part of a decade, Finlay was winning every British championship in professional wrestling and was one of the best wrestlers in the country by the end of his tenure.

After honing his craft for so many years in Europe, he kickstarted his fame in North America with the establishment of WCW Monday Nitro in 1995. Debuting as the Belfast Bruiser, it wasn’t until 1998 that Finlay was given a major push by the promotion: This time, as Fit Finlay.

Finlay’s push came when he defeated Booker T for the WCW World Television Championship. Although Although it’s not the most prestigious belt ever created, it was the most glorified accomplishment that Finlay had in WCW.


One year after becoming a champion, tragedy almost struck Finlay. Transitioning into a hardcore wrestler by the end of the decade, Finlay lacerated a nerve in his leg after he was cut by shards of glass while being thrown through a table. It was unsure whether he would be able to regain usage of his leg after the injury ensued, but fortunately within a year he was healthy again and wrestling.

That injury stopped any momentum he had in WCW and although his professional wrestling career in-ring was in jeopardy after the promotion’s extinction, Finlay found a new role as a trainer in the WWE. It’s known that Finlay is monumental in the careers of many great divas such as Lita and Trish Stratus, as he talked about here:

“When I first went to WWE, we were doing all these silly matches: mud-baths, lingerie matches and all this stuff. So I had to tell these girls how to do these matches, and it was so embarrassing. I got all the girls together one time, and said, ‘Girls, I’m embarrassed doing this stuff, but what I would like to do is teach you how to wrestle, and bring you higher up the totem pole wrestling-wise.’ “So we started working on that, and began having a good little thing going on with wrestling.”

After training many divas, and other wrestlers such as Randy Orton and John Cena, he made a comeback at age 46 and competed in the WWE. He participated in three different Money in the Bank ladder matches at: WrestleMania 22, WrestleMania 23 and WrestleMania 25.


One of Finlay’s biggest storyline’s was his alliance with Little Bastard (aka. Hornswaggle). With him by his side, Finlay went on to win the U.S. Championship title. Finlay’s wrestling career would last until 2010 in WWE, wrestling mostly as a mid-carder, with that U.S Championship being his only title won.

After retirement from in-ring wrestling, Finlay moved behind the scenes. This is where one of his most newsworthy moments in professional wrestling ensued. Finlay’s was fired by the WWE because he was the voice behind The Miz interrupting the U.S national anthem during a house show.

The WWE is always involved with cheap heat and loves this kind of behaviour, but the National Guard (whom the WWE is in a very good relationship with) hated what happened and thought it was one of the most disrespectful things they’ve ever seen. Though the firing was somewhat justifiable, he was able to return to the WWE one year later and still remains apart of the WWE.

He wasn’t the flashiest or most popular wrestler to ever live, but he may have been an influence for someone like Sheamus growing up. Regardless, his dedication to the art of professional wrestling and hardcore style is something that should be recognized and appreciated.

What’s your favourite Dave “Fit” Finlay memory?

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