Davey Boy Smith Jr., who is one-half of the MLW Tag Team Champions with teammate, Teddy Hart, recently spoke with Wrestling Inc. on the WINCLY Podcast. During the discussion, Davey talked to Wrestling Inc.'s Nick Hausman about his previous run in the WWE alongside Tyson Kidd and Natalya, who's seen more recent success as a singles star. He also delved in to why Major League Wrestling stands out among other wrestling promotions.
After some previous run-ins with the law, Davey is glad to see his relative and fellow tag team partner, Teddy Hart, overcome past experiences and, now, win multiple championships as a part of MLW. Davey believes that the difficult times ultimately helped Hart mature in to the performer he is today. He also thinks that with the proper opponent, Hart always proves that he is one of the most naturally talented athletes in wrestling.
"I think that [Teddy] had a couple of rough experiences the past couple of years," Davey said. "And I think it wasn't a good thing that happened, but I think that it smartened him up a bit. I think he's tamed down a little bit, matured a bit with his behavior and stuff like that. I've never had any issues with Teddy myself, being my cousin. But I can see how promoters or other wrestlers when things can happen - and a lot of the times it probably wasn't exactly Ted's fault either - but, that being said anyway, I think he had some bad experiences but it was kind of a good thing. And I think he's grown up and matured and, like I said, he's on a good path now.
"I don't think that MLW would have had the faith in Ted to put the title on him if they still thought he was maybe unstable," Davey continued. "That's a good thing that they showed faith in him as well. And I think when Teddy is in there with the right opponent he's the world's most naturally gifted as far as raw, natural talent. You just can't even get [that talent] from training in the ring, training with the weights. He just has a special way that he does things in the ring."
Brian Pillman Jr. became a member of the newly established Hart Foundation when he turned on his mentor, Kevin Sullivan, and joined forces with both Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Teddy Hart. Davey has since been giving Pillman some pointers on his in-ring work, including the tip that he shouldn't be slapping his leg while competing in a match. This, along with some other habits that wrestlers pick up from watching one another, are overly complicating the product, according to Davey.
"I told him to just focus on your opponent when you're in the ring," Davey explained. "I've seen a lot of these guys where they play off to the crowd way, way too much. Like, if you ever turn your back on me in the ring like that, I'm gonna make sure that you're gonna pay for it. So, I told him that. I told him, 'Make sure that your wrestling is snug, and stiff, and solid. Stay away from the slapping the leg crap because everybody's doing it, and it's just a cheap way because your technique isn't that good and you want to make a noise. And it's all monkey see, monkey do and nobody really knows what they're doing. So, I told him to stay away from that.
"The basic thing is, as long as you keep everything basic, you can build off of that," Davey said. "But once you start making things too complicated, not only are you confused but the audience is confused. And you've got to give fans just enough for them to digest. Not too much where there too sick from eating too much of the filet mignon and lobster, ya know what I mean? Just enough to suppress their appetite for the time being."
In 2009, Davey teamed with Tyson Kidd and Natalya to form "The Hart Dynasty" group in the WWE. Although they held the tag team championship on two separate occasions, Davey harbors some negative feelings from the experience and reflects on their push as being lackluster. Nevertheless, he's happy to see his cousin, Natalya, finding her niche and getting some main event bouts after more than a decade with WWE.
"I'm glad that WWE's - I guess not to say, 'Got their head out of their ass,' but - they've finally given Nattie the right push, and the right opportunity, and the right opponent," Davey stated. "Although [Rousey's] pro wrestling experience is a little bit limited, she's a world class martial artist and it really, really helps her. And a real natural when it comes to pro wrestling so far. So I think that it's great to see that and Nattie really deserves it, and they should have been doing that with her a long time ago.
"Even myself and Tyson Kidd, had [WWE] given us the right opponents and actually given us some push, and some faith, but they decided to do it now for whatever reason," Davey continued. "That's great to see that Natalya has been doing awesome with it, and like I said, I haven't seen one time where she's been out with injuries and stuff like that. She's been fighting and been on the road for, oh gosh, like over ten years. I don't think she even barely took any time off when her father, Jim, passed away. That says a lot right there, and yeah, very proud of her and happy that she's having success there."
Davey is now a proud member of the MLW roster, and he looks forward to what the future has in store for the promotion. Davey is under the impression that MLW is starting to drift more toward an MMA based style with Tom Lawlor as their heavyweight champion. There are also numerous legends that have been contributing to the overall product of MLW, including Konnan, Bruce Prichard, and ECW's The Sandman.
"The production [of MLW] is very good and that's very important," Davey explained. "I think they're giving the Low Ki/Tom Lawlor match, like, I think they're going back to a more MMA-based style there. And I think that Tom Lawlor is a very good champion for them. What I think that they've done is, they've signed a bunch of talent like myself, Teddy Hart, Brian Pillman Jr., I believe Low Ki, Tom Lawlor. I'm not sure who else they've signed, but the guys that they've signed they're using on a regular basis and focusing them and publicizing them to the audience. Where, as you know, a lot of companies, because they don't sign guys to contracts, there's not really any direction. Like, you see a guy one week and then, all of a sudden, he's gone the next week. It's hard to follow up on storylines, so, being a fan, you want to watch the good athleticism in the ring but you also want to see storylines continue on.
"And they're doing some cool stuff, like, they're going back to the old ECW arena, they had the Sandman on there which was really cool," Davey said. "I mean his entrance there - my gosh, the fans are still as loud as ever for that guy. And it's very cool to see. So, it brings back some of the old school and, like I said, just kinda keep being basic. They have a lot of good guys backstage. Konnan, of course, Court Bauers had a lot of other experience, Samu from the Wild Samoans, so, he's popped in and out a few times. Bruce Prichard was there. I don't know what happened there, but he's obviously a great mind for the business as well. So, these guys all have their expereince and they all know what they're talking about."
MLW Fusion airs every Saturday at 9 pm EST on beIN Sports. MLW will return to Chicago on March 2nd for Intimidation Games at Cicero Stadium. MLW's last Chicago show sold out and fans had to be turned away at the door.
You can listen to Davey's full WINCLY interview in the embedded audio player below.