This Sunday at Slammiversary, Davey Richards and partner Eddie Edwards will continue their quest towards becoming four-time TNA Tag Team Champions. Ahead of that, we spoke to Davey Richards about his style, Ring of Honor, MMA, and his work life outside of wrestling. You can also see part one of our interview at this link.
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Do you still work as a paramedic outside of wrestling?
"Yeah, I work as a full-time firefighter-paramedic while I'm with TNA. I just fell asleep. That's pretty much the way to sum it all up, I'm in school full time as well. I drink a lot of coffee, that's pretty much the way I handle that. I enjoy wrestling, I enjoy medicine and I enjoy helping people. But I drink a lot of coffee."
TNA's schedule is a little different, I know you're used to going on the road more. Is that something you see as a positive?
"It's the same, man. I wrestled four times last week, drove 2600 miles. I'm wrestling three times next weekend. I wrestle full-time all over the world, I get it in, man. I go straight from airplanes to the firehouse and vice-versa. You're either going to do it or not, right? Might as well do it."
Have you ever been recognized?
"Yeah , that's happened quite a few times actually. It's never stopped me from doing my job. I'm really respectful, and people I work with are really respectful. Between my patience and my co-workers I've never had much of a problem with it."
What kind of terms are you on with ROH?
"We didn't part on the best of terms, but since then everything's been okay. Joe Koff helped me when I broke my leg, and that was kind of him. I've always tried to help them and promote them on social media. I've talked to them and apologized for how things went down. At least on my side I hold no grudges and wish them nothing but the best."
What were your feelings when ROH got picked up by Destination America?
"I welcomed it. Everyone in TNA welcomed it because we want competition. We want someone who will inspire us to be our very best. I know Ring of Honor very well, they want competition too. These wrestling companies want to be the best in the world, and you can only be the best in the world with great competition. It's been really good, I'm really happy with it, it's great for wrestling fans obviously. It's been a win-win for us."
You have an MMA based offense, is that something you've ever considered?
"Yeah I've actually had two fights. It was fun. The worst part of it was being in school, working, wrestling, was cutting weight. I train out of Crestwood at Finney's MMA. It was 2010, it was a lot of fun, it was a good time. I love competition. Whenever I can, which hasn't been lately I do jiu-jitsu competitions. I really love it, it's very enjoyable besides the weight cutting. When you don't have to cut weight it's nice."
What weight class did you fight at?
"I was lucky enough to do a catchweight of 175. It was brutal.
Something a lot of guys don't realize is how huge even the smaller wrestlers are. I remember Rampage Jackson in his pro wrestling appearances, he looked small and he's a 230 pound man. One of the cool nuances that you add is that you don't pin yourself while using MMA-style offense. A lot of guys pull guard and end up with their shoulders on the mat and it doesn't make sense.
"It's not too hard to differentiate the who has the training and who's just doing it for their matches. Sometimes it goes past the untrained eye."
Have their ever been guys that are fearful of some of the stiff kicks or anything like that?
"I've had people concerned. I have quite the reputation for being the snug worker, but I'd never take advantage of someone in the ring. That's not professional at all, that's the most cowardly thing you can do is someone gives you their body and you take advantage of them. Unless it's absolutely warranted for my own safety that would never happen. Guys are usually pleased about how light I am. It's an illusion, that's the art of it and the professionalism of it. I have that competitive spirit where I want to choke people out, but professional wrestling isn't the place to do that. That's why I train to fulfill that."
There wasn't a lot of that style in TNA in the years before you. Low Ki, to an extent. Were there things you had to change when you came to TNA?
"I'm so used to doing 15-30 minute matches in Ring of Honor and Japan, that TV time is much more condensed, which sounds like it's much easier. For example, if you train MMA and you grapple for ten minutes and go at your own pace, it's nothing like going full on for two minutes. In TNA you have to have much better cardio. It blew my mind how great of shape these guys are in. There's also the presentation that we're still learning about. I don't want to say it overshadows work rate, because work rate always comes first, but it's important."
Where can fans follow you on social media?
"You can follow me on Twitter @RichardsWesley, Facebook is just Wesley Richards. I may have the greatest Twitter pic in the history of mankind, it's an edited version of me and Angelina holding a cat. She has a damn cat that I hate."