Heavyweight professional wrestler Big Daddy made a triumphant return...

LONDON -- Heavyweight professional wrestler Big Daddy made a triumphant return to the ring less than 24 hours after he dived atop an opponent in his famous 'Splashdown' move and killed his competitor.

The 336-pound Big Daddy, Britain's most popular wrestler, used the same 'Splashdown' -- a flying dive -- to defeat a 616-pound rival in a comeback match Monday night and received rousing applause from hundreds of fans. His defeated opponent, Giant Haystacks, was not injured.


'I had pondered and pondered about whether to go on,' said Big Daddy, whose real name is Shirley Crabtree, after Monday's victory. 'The fact that they (fans) still wanted me, that was really something special.'

In Great Yarmouth Sunday, wrestler King Kong Kirk died during a match before 2,000 fans after Crabtree, 50, dived atop him in his famous 'Big Daddy Splashdown.'

A police spokesman said some spectators at first thought the dead 350-pound wrestler was faking, but when doctors rushed into the ring 'they realized it wasn't a fix.'

Police said no charges would be filed in the death that stunned the crowd at the Hippodrome arena in Great Yarmouth, 120 miles northwest of London.


But an inquest has been scheduled into the death of King Kong Kirk, 51, whose real name is Malcolm Kirk. A member of the British Medical Association also urged a review of safety in professional wrestling.

After the match, Crabtree was reported 'dazed' by the death, said Inspector Mike Goffin.

'Wrestling is a big fix, they usually fake it,' said Kenneth Hurrell, who was at the match, 'but I could see Kirk wasn't mucking about.'

Hippodrome manager Les Rose said the two wrestlers have met in the ring many times before and 'what happened was terribly unexpected.'

'These gentlemen know each other extremely well and tour the country fighting each other all the time,' he said. 'I'm sure that they know exactly how to cope with all the falls and throws and the spills which go on inside the ring.'

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