Dave "Fit" Finlay is one of the toughest, most respected wrestlers to ever set inside the wrestling ring. It is a shame that most of his wrestling years were spent overseas before he made his way to the States.
Born in Ireland in 1958, Finlay became a professional wrestler in 1978. He made a name for himself in Europe under the nickname "The Belfast Bruiser". He did not make his way over to the US until 1996 when he joined the ranks of WCW. The first two years were hard on Finlay as he saw no plans of any longterm storyline on the books for him. He took some time off and then returned to WCW in 1998 with the promise of a TV title run. He won that title from Booker T on May 4 in a huge upset. Finlay successfully defended his title against Chris Benoit at WCW`s May pay per view Slamboree after Booker T Distracted Benoit. This set up the infamous best of seven series between Booker T and Chris Benoit that set WCW rings afire. The winner of the series would be the number 1 contender to Finlay`s title. Finlay finally lost his title to Booker T at the Great American Bash. After that, Finlay spent the rest of the year lost in WCW`s vast mid-card. He did appear at WCW`s last 3 pay-per-views of the year, losing to Alex Wright at Halloween Havoc, being involved in the 60 man World War 3 battle royal, and teaming with Jerry Flynn in a losing match against Bryan Adams and Scott Norton at Starrcade. 1999 was no better than the end of 1998. Finlay still saw the light of the occasional Nitro and Thunder, but was never involved in any storylines or pay per views. The only pay per view he was involved in was Bash at the Beach `99. He won an open invitational hardcore junkyard battle royal(one of the dumbest matches ever) to win a giant hardcore trophy and be named the hardcore champion. Later that month, however, Finlay was severely hurt in a hardcore match at a WCW house show when he was thrown through a table. The jagged edge of the table severely lacerated his leg near his knee, leaving doctors to speculate that he may never be able to walk again. Finlay proved he was just as tough in real life as he was in the wrestling ring, returning to WCW in 2000 to compete. Little was done with the returning Finlay, however, and WCW was bought by the WWE in 2001.
Finlay found a new career as a road agent for the WWE when WCW was bought. He fared well for several years before the wrestling bug seemed to bite him again. Vignettes for the returning Finlay began to air in early 2006. Finlay, at 47 years old, made his triumphant return to the wrestling ring on an edition of Smackdown!, defeating Matt Hardy in a brutal bout. He competed in the second annual Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 22. He made a huge impression, but came up short. He did, however, win the US championship later in the Summer, proving that he could hang with the much younger roster of wrestlers.