A talent the likes of Davey Richards doesn’t come around very often. An athlete with such talent and skill, mixed with a desire to be the very best at what he does is rare in any line of work, and in the professional wrestling business, a mixture of those traits can take you straight to the top. Mix in a fear of no man or their feelings, and the ability to get everyone’s attention when you speak can make you a lightning rod, and that’s just what Davey Richards has become, albeit unwillingly in the last few years. Now with one big chapter of his career firmly placed in his rearview mirror, Davey Richards sat down with RF Video for the first time to speak his mind and share his views on everything that has transpired between him and Ring of Honor, Jim Cornette, Kevin Steen, Gabe Sapolsky, and the next step of his career which awaits down in Florida.
During our interview with Davey Richards, we cover it all, from his start in the Pacific Northwest and his rapid rise across the country to becoming a dominant Champion in Ring of Honor, all the controversy that comes with it, and his position as a heavily sought after “free agent” with an even brighter future. Right from start, evidence of Davey Richards passion pours out of him as we discuss every topic on the table, including those that you the RF Video fans wanted to hear about. Richards is a man with a big heart, lofty goals, and an attitude that has inspired him to be the very best. We discuss the entire fallout with Ring Honor, and his unusual arrangement with Triple H and the WWE, and what if any plans he has for a backup in case things don’t work out. We left no stone unturned and asked Davey not just about the good times, but also those that weren’t so great. His rise to prominence did not come without a few roadblocks along the way. There were failed relationships, both personal and business and feelings were hurt in the process, and we discuss it all.
In addition, RF Video is proud to offer a very special and EXCLUSIVE bonus feature on this DVD and it comes in the form of a face to face confrontation that many people, including those involved NEVER thought would happen. That confrontation is one between Davey Richards and Gabe Sapolsky, and we captured it all on the camera as the two sat down face-to-face and discussed the very public deteriotation of their relationship which surprised many, and left a friendship in ruins. What happens when two of the biggest personalities in wrestling discuss all the accusations, the arguments, disagreements and differences on camera for the first time in over 2 years? You will find out as RF Video brings you an exclusive 30 minute face to face between Davey Richards and Gabe Sapolsky as a bonus to you for ordering this interview. You won’t want to miss this one, or the interview that accompanies it as Davey Richards and RF Video team up for the first time!
It’s been said you weren’t a wrestling fan growing up. Talk about your love of amateur wrestling and finally discovering pro wrestling and what made you passionate for the business.
What made you decide to begin training?
Immediate impressions of what the business was like and how did they change as you began training?
You’ve remained close with your trainer, Tony Kozina – discuss learning under him and how your relationship has changed over the years?
Is it hard to remain close with someone in the wrestling business as compared to life outside the business?
What is it about Dynamite Kid that inspired you so much?
When you see how badly he is doing physically, does that worry you, given your hard-hitting style in the ring?
Talk about the independent scene in Washington State where you broke in? Any early memories of Pro Wrestling War?
How did you first get hooked up with PWG? Your first thoughts on the company and the talents that run it?
Were there any PWG guys you thought would go on to become bigger names that didn’t make it?
In 2006, you won the ECWA Super 8, defeating Scott Lost, Milano Collection AT and Charlie Haas. Memories of that night and thoughts on what Jim Kettner’s ECWA was like?
In 2006, you come to ROH for the first time, facing Jimmy Rave. How do you get booked for ROH and what are your first impressions of the company and the locker room?
How does the ROH locker room compare to PWG during that time period?
You were booked as the American protege of KENTA from NOAH during that initial run. Memories of working with KENTA and the early days of the ROH run.
You’ve worked a lot in Europe, especially the UK and Germany. What are your favorite promotions to work for there?
You’ve often praised the fans there for keeping you going as a talent,. What is it about the fans overseas that is so different about American wrestling fans.
What was your relationship like with booker Gabe Sapolsky at the time?
Memories of the No Remorse Corps with Ricky Romero and Roderick Strong?
Memories of wrestling the Briscoes while teaming with KENTA?
You did your first tour with Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2007. Memories of the initial tour.
You later worked a lot for New Japan Pro Wrestling. What were the differences in how talents were treated by the two companies and the style in the ring?
How did the American Wolves come to be?
First memories of Eddie Edwards?
You often say you believe Edwards is better than you in the ring – what makes you say that?
What was your reaction when ROH fired Gabe Sapolsky and replaced him with Adam Pearce?
Was Pearce a good fit for the company?
How did ROH change with Adam booking?
Did you ever question Gabe being let go to owner Cary Silkin?
What was Gabe like after being let go? Some people say he couldn’t accept it.
As 2008 ended, the Wolves worked a lot with The Briscoes – memories of those matches?
Duing this time period, you worked for the first time in ROH with Tyler Black and Kevin Steen. Memories of working them for the first time?
ROH signed a TV deal with HDNet about the same time. Did you feel it was going to bring the company to the next level?
Were you upset when it didn’t pan out that way?
Memories of defeating El Generico and Kevin Steen for the ROH Tag titles on TV.
Wolves vs. American Dragon and Tyler Black in a 45 minute draw is remembered as one of the better matches from that ROH era. What are your memories of it.
When you see guys like Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins on WWE TV, does it give you hope that perhaps the business can change on a national level so talents that are more steeped in athletic ability can make big money and not be mid-card attractions?
Memories of Ladder War II and Eddie working the match against Steen and Generico with a broken arm. Should he have been allowed to work it?
Thoughts on over the top gimmick matches in general since you are more of a ground and pound traditional pro wrestler in style?
In 2009, you worked for Dragon Gate USA – since it was Gabe’s company, was ROH upset about this? Thoughts on the early DGUSA shows.
When Gabe announced the formation of EVOLVE, the releases noted you were going to be a partner in the company and take a big role in it. Obviously, that never happened so go over your side of why that never happened?
Since you were signed to ROH all that time anyway, how could you have worked for EVOLVE anway?
Gabe Sapolsky announced that you had pulled out of EVOLVE and was obviously upset about it, referring to you as “Wesley” online. Were you surprised he acted that way?
ROH announced at the same time that you had signed a new deal with the company – what were those discussions like?
Why did ROH care so much about what Gabe was doing? Do you think Gabe was obsessed with the fact he had been fired by ROH and wasn’t able to let go at the time?
Would you work for Gabe today in 2013?
During ROH’s Wrestlemania weekend in Texas, you had a match with KENTA that was considered one of the best ROH matches of the year. After the match, you took the mic and sent a message to everyone in the back that the style of match you and KENTA has was what was supposed to be what ROH was about – talk about what led up to that match, why you and KENTA decided to steal the show and what the reaction from ROH management was like?
What was your relationship with Adam Pearce as ROH booker like?
There were stories at the time that he was hard to work with and was rude and threatening to some in the company – did that happen to the wrestlers?
Were you surprised when Silkin let Adam go?
What were your thoughts on Delirious getting the book?
Discuss your relationship with Hunter Johnson aka Delirious. Has getting the book changed him at all?
Memories of your ROH title matches with Tyler Black.
You’ve worked a lot with Roderick Strong over the years and became one of the longest tenured talents in the company with him – thoughts on Strong in the ring and as a person.
Were you surprised when Jim Cornette came into the company?
Your immediate thoughts on Cornette and how did they change over time?
How did ROH change when Cary sold the company to Sinclair?
Were you aware there was even going to be a sale?
What were your first impressions of Joe Koff and the Sinclair team?
Is it true Sinclair promised that the company would have a lot more dates, catering, trainers and other things for the boys when Koff first announced the purchase?
When that didn’t happen, what did that do to the company morale?
Do you think Sinclair should have gotten rid of the old staff?
What was your reaction when Cornette replaced Hunter as the booker?
You became the ROH champion during the change-over in one of the most emotional matches of ROH champion during all this – what are your memories of defeating Eddie for the title and of the post-match speech you made?
What do you think are the biggest mistakes Sinclair made after purchasing ROH?
Should Cary still have a role in the day to day of the company?
Let’s talk about New Japan a bit. You debut there in 2010 as part of the Best of Super Junior tournament. Do you feel like you are walking in Dynamite Kid’s footsteps working for such a major promotion?
Favorite matches and memories from the tournament?
Memories of working with Prince Devitt?
There’s talk WWE is interested in him – how do you think he would translate to an American audience?
Thoughts on your team with Rocky Romero? Favorite matches as a team?
You pull out of NJPW citing a car accident and never return? Why?
There were rumors at the time you were upset with pay, specifically because Romero was making more – anything to those rumors?
Back to ROH, thoughts on your ROH title run and how it was booked.
There were a lot of criticism online of Cornette’s booking being too old school Southern Wrestling for 2013 – o you think that criticism is valid?
There was also criticism that the title picture with you and Edwards was too much MMA and not enough wrestling at time – what do you say to that criticism?
What were your thoughts on ROH bringing in Dan Severn as Eddie’s trainer for the Final Battle match between you too?
Kevin Steen rises to prominence as a ROH main eventer during this time. Thoughts on how Steen has changed and evolved over the years?
At one point, you had massive heat with Kevin Steen. Is it true you were upset you were booked to lose the ROH title to him in Canada because he’s not an athlete like you? What caused the issues between the two sides.
What are your thoughts on him today?
What led to the two sides making up?
Kyle O’Reily has become your top protege – your first memories of him and how he has grown as a talent and a wrestler in the ring?
Michael Elgin comes to prominence after your Showdown in the Sun bout. Thoughts on him as a worker?
During 2011, ROH begins to have a ton of problems with iPPVs. As a wrestler, do you get concerned about any of this or is it something out of your control? Do you think the issues hurt the momentum of the company? Do you ever voice your concerns?
In 2012, you end up back with Eddie Edwards as the American Wolves again. Why does ROH put you back into a team when you are already in a position to be one of the top names there? Is it true you request it and if so, why?
Memories of facing the Forever Hooligans and RedDragon for ROH?
Are you surprised when Cornette leaves ROH? Should Hunter have been booker all along?
How did things change once Cornette was done?
You did an interview with Total Wrestling Magazine talking about ROH, which is what led to the beginning of the end of your relationship there. What did you say in the interview that upset the company and who did you specifically hear from regarding the comments?
It’s been said you were misquoted – so what did you say vs. what was actually printed?
ROH pulled you from dates in Michigan and Ohio because of the comments and then you were put back on – talk about what happened and how you ended up back on the dates.
Did you have any idea these would be your final appearances for the company?
Do you feel the company owed it to you to have a final appearance in NYC?
What was your reaction when ROH emailed you telling you you were off the Final Battle event?
You decided to announce you had left the company before their official announcement – why?
What was your last conversation with the company?
They were using a neck injury as their reasoning for not using you. You pulled off some NOAH dates due to the neck. Whats the story with the injury and how bad is it?
Do you see their side of why they removed you?
If you could book your final ROH appearance, what would you have booked?
Do you feel like ROH has failed under Sinclair?
If you do, who takes the blame?
You said that you hoped ROH would find its heart again – explain why you feel that heart has been lost.
Did you worry any of the ROH fallout could hurt your standing with WWE?
Do you ever worry that any of this can wash over and hurt Eddie Edwards with WWE?
You worked a week long tryout for WWE – what do you think of the Performance Center and the trainers there?
Who from WWE developmental impressed you?
What have your conversations with HHH been like?
Has TNA been on your radar at all?
If you had to pick one place where you will be working a year from now, where is it?
You’ve openly talked about retiring a number of times publicly. What is it that changes your mind and prevents you from getting out of the business?
Compare the four ROH bookers you worked with – Gabe, Cornette, Delirious, Adam Pearce. Who was the best for the company and the easiest and hardest to work with?
What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding that people have of Davey Richards?
What is your message to the fans that have supported you all this time?
What do you still love the most about pro wrestling?