Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Davey Richards: Shrewd, cunning and not retiring

Independent champion's trust issues 
irk key industry players

Before 2012, Davey Richards was hailed by numerous 'insiders' and fan gossip writers infatuated with Richard's one spot moves, as the new star force of the wrestling business. A few years later, over the last two years, everyone's loveable smiley elven shrew surprised them all. Richards announced he would retire by 2014. he made previous statements in 2010 and 2012 of impending retirement only to resurface on the indy scene instead.  His aspiration to become a paramedic in America shocked the independent fantasy writers who adore Richards even spouting biased accounts to paint a glamourous picture on the blank canvas in the form of the 5 foot, 8 inch luchador. 

After being burntout on the independent scene and irking several managerial forces in the booking and business committees backstage, Richards was recently dropped from his final match in homestay company Ring of Honor in December 2013. After venting his upset on social media, including his Facebook account, Richards scurried quickly to old booking friend Gabe Sapolsky, now in the wrestling company Dragon Gate for its USA franchise. 
Aiming to be given favouritism on a recent EVOLVE card in January 2014, Sapolsky shocked onlookers by refusing to book the pintsized hunchback. Sapolsky, who has made some ludicrous choices that eat into the credibility of the promotions he operates under today within the last two years, refused Davey on a level of trust issues. Sapolsky said "I am a trusting person until I'm given a reason not to trust someone. 95% of the time that trust pays off as there are a lot of good, honorable people in independent wrestling. I like to think I have good instincts when dealing with people. I have worked on verbal agreements since 2002. When a man looks me in the eye and assures me of something repeatedly, I take his word on it. I don't advertise anyone or anything until I am 100% confident that they are committed. I take advertising something very seriously. I know when you buy a ticket to a show that you are spending your leisure time and money on us. You deserve to get what is promised to you. Now things happen. Planes don't take off. Wrestlers get injured. There are circumstances beyond our control when it is just not possible to deliver what was advertised. However, if it is humanly possible to make a show, I expect people to keep their word, especially when they have made countless promises and assurances to me spanning several months. Especially when they have expressed such a strong desire to move on from their old company and help build something new and have done this time and time again over months in many different ways.

Richards, certainly had scores of trust issues over the years, but the most recent debacle that took place involved a shocking revelation on an independent wrestling card in mid 2012. Richards had agreed to work a couple of matches on the circuit alongside working pals, Tony Kozina and Kyle O'Reilly. Wrestling company APW and wrestler/promoter Jaysin Strife also dubbed Richards and his partner at the time in mid 2012, Kyle O'Reilly, "thieves" among other strong language, available on our YouTube channel here Wrestling Wonders on YouTube . Such strong language means viewer discretion over 18 is advised. After being likened to scammers elsewhere Richards, who also appeared with a now notorious event in Iowa in which he was two hours late, demanded payment up front then stated they "forgot wrist tape" in their car, headed outside and left the venue.

Richards sent demands to have the card of the event changed to his liking with an 8 man tag instead of a 4 man tag, the following evening. Richards then bailed on the show, leaving the promoter to deliver the news on the evening's card to dismayed fans in attendance in 3XW. Being a world champion elsewhere, Richards felt the need too bargain the price tag further and demanded more income adding "Since I am champion, my price has to go up." After showing up at just before the main event Richards, with his teammates, aggressively requested their payment. 

After taking it outside, thug Richards and pals challenged the promoter stating they will "kick your ass" of a 140 pound promoter doing his job. After smoothing over details, Richards and friends then agreed to work the main event for a reduced fee. Whilst changing in the lockerroom, Richards then adds he forgot the tape in the car as an accomplice loads their bags into the vehicle. 

With his partners in tow, Richards then hurriedly ran outside the back door with Kozina driving the getaway vehicle, like something out of a real life action movie, taking $350 from the promoter, who paid out of his own finances and not the company's budget.  As Team Ambition the group were later branded #TeamBandit by wrestling fans for the sheer disbelief of obscene unprofessionalism involved. 

Kyle O'Reilly quietly blogged his response, more of an admission, to the modern day wrestling heist.

"So we agreed to work a tag, Davey and myself against 2 of his guys, who I wont mention because after all the shit talking they’ve done in the last 24 hours they don’t deserve any more publicity. We take a pay cut, yet still enough to cover our gas and all of our food for the day, put our gear on, got paid and walked out the back door.

Was what we did wrong and unethical? Perhaps. Was what we did completely justified and reasonable? Perhaps. The fact of the matter was we felt disrespected and so “give and you shall receive”. The point being that sometimes you have to be the bad guy and stand up for what you believe in. I’ll be completely honest in saying the entire thing made me feel really uncomfortable and I felt a sense of guilt. Am I going to apologize? Absolutely not, because you have to live and die by the sword. Regardless of regrets, one must stand by their decisions and at the end of the day a guy disrespected two of my close friends that I look up to and that’s simply, morally wrong.

The majority of you reading this is probably in complete disagreement with me on the matter and thinks what went down in Milo, Iowa yesterday was a crime. Most of you reading this probably have a strong dislike for me, being my wrestling style, my selling, my promos and character ability (or lack there of) or just you know me and personally dislike me for whatever reason. I’m okay with that. Hopefully this whole incident won’t affect anybody’s desire to book me or Team Ambition. However, if it does that’s okay because I’m a man of honour and regardless of what you say or think I’m going to continue being the best possible professional wrestler I can be. I’m standing by the decision that was made whether I regret it or not."

Fans were so upset with such conduct numerous felt O'Reilly as his counterparts, had lost perspective and could only continue by riding coattails of other name worthy stars.

Social network Facebook was also inundated with messages in which the wrestling 'professionals' began verbally attacking fans. Richards later blocked comments to his Facebook account and even claimed he was hacked on Twitter before shutting it down. He returned with a new handle, current today.

Richards then chose to adapt the situation in a work to gain bookings on the British wrestling scene.

Booker Adam Pearce also condemned the actions via Twitter with these statements. 

@JaysinStrife I think anyone robbing anyone is a piece of s***. In or out of wrestling.

After seeing the footage, & regardless of why, what Tony Kozina did is reprehensible; totally classless. And I really respected Tony. #sad

@BJ_Whitmer As a vet, Tony has to be better than choking out a 16 yo kid, regardless of whether the kid belonged in the ring. Irresponsible.

Rewinding back to 2012, Richards was booked for the Best Of The Super Juniors card for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Richards, who claimed an injury permitting him unable to travel, he and then tag team partner Rocky Romero were instantly stripped of the NJPW Tag championships. Then the BOTSJ card followed. Richards appeared on the independent circuit some few days after the scheduled event took place in Japan. Feeling cheated and conned New Japan sent a clear message. Richards was soon barred from New Japan for the foreseeable future. Compulsive liar Richards, who then travelled the European markets making ignorant choices, whilst trying to fox promoters and bookers made them all finally realise they were being played. 

In 2007, Richards was also accused by fans of spitting on them in the front row on several occasions. 

Richards, who now has no options left but to try and be signed to a developmental contract with pal and tag partner Eddie Edwards with WWE onto its NXT brand is the only option available. He also implied in December 2013 after their first tryout they had pretty much sealed the deal adidng his time on the Indy circuit was coming to an end. 

WWE are not interested in the small boys with Triple H focusing on strong tag team values, trust, commitment and overall star appeal. Richards offers no real standout qualities to the WWE system. Can such an amazing superstar who tells gigantic fibs be the main event headliner at Wrestlemania in five to ten years? WWE are correct on this decision but some are cautious as TNA are attempting to offer the pair a deal only to snub WWE. WWE should let TNA pick up the scraps. The company will run out of options for them as will the duo after their five minutes of fame are up. 

Upsetting bookers, industry executives, owners and writers that can make careers is not a valid decision to conduct. After having done it all on the independent circuit, with nothing else to offer, Richards should focus on swapping the black curtain for a green one instead. As one of America's most caring professions, the medical board should consider its background checks more healthily with such negligence. When all else fails, who knows, Richards could appear in a guest spot as an EMT. 

©  Max Waltham 07th January 2014

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