Back in mid-June, Davey Boy Smith Jr. (Harry Smith) announced that he was leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling. Smith’s career with the company began as early as 2005, and resurfaced in 2012, where he would be with NJPW on and off for seven years.
Smith spoke with The Hannibal TV and said that there were many factors that led to his decision to leave. Smith cited the workload decrease, not much that could be done for him and his tag partner Lance Archer (who worked together for a long time as the Killer Elite Squad), and the lack of communication between him and management as factors for his departure.
“I was in a situation where I couldn’t win,” Smith said regarding receiving fewer dates. “New Japan towards the end were only giving me four tours a year. What they had told me or expressed to me was that there was no way they could increase the workload of KES, Lance Archer and myself as a tag team.”
Smith also said that there was a lot he wanted to cover, but he felt that the most important thing he wanted his fans and others to know was that for awhile now he felt that his back was up against the wall. Smith said that this was the smartest thing he could do for his career.
“It was a business decision that I had to make for my future,” Smith stated. ” I felt that the tag team with Lance Archer and myself had expired, and we did all that we could in Japan and in the USA, because we are just not that very well known over here or Canada as a tag team.”
Smith also discussed the disputes he had with NJPW booker Gedo had and how that played a vital part in his decision to leave.
“I guess this will all date back to when Lance Archer injured his back on a New Japan tour. I believe it was March of 2017. When Archer and myself returned to New Japan after a two year stint in (Pro Wrestling) NOAH, I myself was very fired up, pumped up, ready to come back and take New Japan by storm. I had done a really crazy diet during that time? and unfortunately as luck has it, Lance Archer got injured and that finally was the straw that broke the camels back. He had to get emergency back surgery over in New Japan.
“I was told that I was going to be on the rest of the remainder of that tour, and I was told by the new person in the office named Saito that I was going to be on the next tour. That was a little over four weeks. He gave me a schedule and I wasn’t on the Super Juniors tour. I think I was on something in June. So, when I went home, they had owed me merchandise money from that tour, and they said ‘okay you’re coming back next month?’ I said yeah I’ll be back there. I went home and was waiting for my flight and no one gave me any flight information. I sent the office lady and email and said where’s my flight, and she said well did you talk to Kedo? You’re not on the tour. I said well, that’s news to me.”
What surfaced next was a lot of name blaming among those in the New Japan office. Smith stated what led to that was when he sent a Facebook message to Gedo and how he “never read or responded to his message.” Nor did anyone know if he was or wasn’t suppose to be on the current tour.
“I just would’ve appreciated them being honest with me, and when I was going home they said listen Lance is going to be out for however long. We don’t have anything for you because you guys are a tag team. We’re sorry, please get booked by yourself, I would’ve said OK. But when there is that lack of communication, what am I to do?”
You can listen to the rest of Smith’s interview with The Hannibal TV up clicking the video up above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Hannibal TV with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.