There simply isn’t a wrestling program out there quite like Dark Side of the Ring. For the uninitiated, DSOTR touches on the controversial, peculiar, and most relevant to this article, the heart-wrenching throughout the world of professional wrestling. In the series third season, Dark Side looked at the life and career of Tommy Billington, more famously known as the Dynamite Kid. Though not without his controversies and issues, Dynamite has influenced generations of professional wrestlers through his incredible athleticism and hard-hitting style.
I recently had the good fortune to chat with the Dynamite Kid’s eldest daughter, Bronwyne Billington. When we chatted, I was curious to get her thoughts on the episode, which she of course was interviewed for.
“Obviously, the episode was very emotional, and it was very well done in a lot of opinions,” I began. “What was maybe your overall thought? Then, just to dig a little deeper with it, what was the process of filming like? Was it come in for a day of interviews or a couple of different things, or how did that process work for you?”
“It was, of course, during the pandemic too,” Billington commented on the difficulties of filming. “It was really strict at the time. The first day, I think it was a Thursday, my sister and I filmed together. They had to rent all different houses for everyone to film at different houses so they weren’t in all in one house. Well, I guess different scenes, too. Usually, they would use our houses, but because of COVID, they had to rent houses.
“They did my sister and I first and then the Friday was my mom. My mom filmed for like four straight hours, they actually ran out a tape, because she can talk, and she’s got a lot of amazing stories. So, they had to wrap it up real quick.”
“But yeah, it was really great experience filming,” she continued. The crew was wonderful, really professional. [It was] kind of overwhelming, of course, because the camera is so close in your face, and the dim lighting. I was nervous, of course. I wasn’t sure if I got my message across, or if I said everything I needed to say, so I was a little bit nervous.”
“We didn’t get to see the finished product for six months or so, and when I finally saw it, I was like, ‘Okay, I need to think about it for a while.'” Billington admitted. “I wasn’t really too sure how I felt. It’s so surreal seeing your life and your family’s life and your father’s life portrayed on television. I had to think about it for 24 hours, and then we watched it again and I was like, ‘Okay, this, this is a really well-done piece,’ and we were really happy with it overall.”
“That’s awesome to hear,” I replied.
She agreed. “My mom was initially right away extremely happy with it. She really ended it at the end of the episode [with] the message she wanted to get across. They ended it really solid, and it couldn’t really ask for any more than that.”
The Softer Side of Dynamite
As Bronwyne had alluded to, a major part of her nervousness was simply the hope that her love for her Dad shone through in the episode.
“Do you feel you got your message across?” I asked. “Again, it was very obvious the love you had for your dad and all of that, but do you feel you got that across in the way you wanted to?”
“I think I did,” she affirmed. “I still, even to this day, have people reaching out to me that they watched the episode. Maybe they had a parent that they lost connection with, and they could relate and they said, ‘thank you for telling your story. You’re so brave.’ I think I did get the message across that I was wanting to. I wanted to show a softer side of my dad, and that’s always my goal because I know him in such a different way than most people might remember him. The way they acted out the reenactment of my father and I was beautiful. I love that I have that piece forever now.”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any of the above quotes. Tune in to our full interview with Bronwyne Billington here!