Davey Richards On Why He Turned Down WWE Offer

Recent MLW signing Davey Richards sat down with the All Real Wrestling Podcast to talk about his comeback to pro wrestling. Richards was asked about any lessons he learned on the road to getting back to the ring, and he stated it was cherishing the opportunity to wrestle again, something he felt he couldn't do the first time due to several circumstances.

"Thankfulness, definitely thankfulness," Richards said. "I didn't cherish the gift that I had in pro wrestling, one because it happened so fast. Two, I can see now that wrestling was a drug for me because my childhood was pretty messed up. My mom was in prison for drugs and my dad wasn't around and then both my grandparents died. The night I won my first title for TRW wrestling in Abbotsford British Columbia, I was so excited to come and show my grandfather that I'd won a title. It's a little plastic title but I won a title and he died on the way home and then when I was in Japan. When I was living in Japan for Pro Wrestling NOAH my grandmother died.I didn't fall into drinking or driving or any of that stuff but to numb the pain of Wes's I lived in Davey's (world).

"I lived his days because when people are chanting your name and you're the best wrestler in the world you don't have to feel that. There's plenty of times I would have matches that people remember, like my five star matches, and I'd go home or just go back to the hotel and just cry myself to sleep because I was hurting inside. So I had to step away to actually deal with that and face that. And now I want to return to wrestling for not because I need to but because I want to. So that's why I say wrestling is emotional for me. It's very, very deep. It's not a job first, it's not a career first, it's family first because that's my last connection to my family."

Prior to stepping away from wrestling, Richards had a successful run with Impact Wrestling (then TNA and Global Force Wrestling) as part of the tag team The American Wolves with longtime partner Eddie Edwards. Richards revealed why the duo chose Impact over WWE and returning to Ring of Honor, where the team had initially found success.

"We had an offer from both WWE and TNA/Impact," Richards recalled. "We went down to the WWE training facility in Orlando and they were very kind to us, they were very nice. I mean I didn't have anything and Eddie's very Boston and you just have to understand his family's all from there. He was not digging moving to Florida to and I'm from Washington State; I can barely take St. Louis.

"So Florida's like... 'oh god I'm gonna die' and just living down there, that would have been a little rough for us to commit to that at that point. I was also finishing up my paramedic school so I really wanted to work as a paramedic in addition to wrestling. And then TNA / Impact, they came along and they offered us a good deal. Their schedule was more conducive to both our desires at that time so that's how the whole thing started."

Richards and Edwards would wrestle one match for WWE, a tryout in NXT against The Ascension. Dubbed Derrick Billington and John Cahill and called The American Pitbulls, the experience was overall mixed for Richards, who wasn't exactly dying to work for WWE anyway.

"Yeah the match didn't go smoothly," Richards said. "There was a miscue, a missed timing which thankfully I walked away from. Our opponents felt horrible and you know it's one of those things where it's no one's fault. But the crowd was awesome, (it was) a really, really fun, really great atmosphere. You know backstage and out there in the ring. But I just don't think it was meant to be.

"And I've always said, and it was never meant with any disrespect WWE, it just wasn't a big goal of mine. I didn't grow up watching it. I didn't watch Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart unfortunately. Bret has subsequently become one of my favorite wrestlers but I just didn't see that growing up. So absolutely no disrespect but that was just never a prime target of mine. That's why it was just better for both parties that we didn't work together in the future."

Richards was announced as a signee for MLW as part of their recent 2021 MLW Open Draft. Richards talked about what brought him back to wrestling and to MLW over other promotions.

"You know it's funny because I never wanted to be the guy that was on the tail end of his career, broken down, who couldn't go anymore," Richards said. "And then finally I get the hint that maybe I should leave. To me, match quality is the most important and if I ever got to that level (where I couldn't perform) I would have been really embarrassed. So I'm glad that I left when I was on top, but I just got to a point where it was just one of those things.

"When I came back, I can't name names but I had a few different companies reach out and MLW was just amazing. I watched their product and the way we spoke and corresponded was just like 'man this is awesome, this is great.' This is what I personally think wrestling should be. That's not a knocked to other companies, it's just everyone has their own taste. And I just think I really made the right decision signing with MLW. I can't tell you how good I've been treated and how excited I am for joining them."

Finally Richards discussed wrestling in front of fans again and the support he had received. He revealed that he didn't expect fans to actually remember him, and is overwhelmed that they have.

"I was truly convinced that when I stepped away, I stepped away completely" Richards said. "And I was pretty certain that people weren't gonna remember me at all or just be like 'oh yeah that guy.' I gotta hand it to Global Syndicate Wrestling because they're the ones that really told me I should come back and we'd like to book you. And I'm like 'to wrestle?' They're like 'yeah. Are you physically able to?' And I'm like 'yeah. I'm in the best shape of my life and I'm like yeah why not?'

"It's bigger to me than just returning to wrestling. I can't do anything half-assed, especially when it comes to wrestling because it's such an emotional connection for me. So it was like 'all right if we're gonna do this and someone's gonna pay to see me, they're gonna get their money's worth.' I don't believe in half-assing things. I just went back and then it was like, I mean I'm, not gonna lie, it blew me away. Just the love and support showing everyday. I'm getting more booking offers and I was very wrong about people thinking that I was gonna be forgotten. Because wow. I got a little emotional to be honest with you, so I very much appreciate every single bit of it and I don't plan on letting anyone down."

You can watch the full interview below.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit All Real Wrestling Podcast and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription