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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Davey Richards: Much more than meets the eye

Saturday, March 29, 2014

(Photo)
TNA wrestler Davey Richards, at 5-8, is a little man in a big man's game.
(Photo submitted)
When it comes to rings -- Davey Richards was scheduled to place one on his fiancee's finger. Plans changed. Now he will be competing for Spencer-area wrestling fans.

He was supposed to be getting married Sunday. Instead, he will be exchanging punches, kicks and high flying maneuvers with a couple of Jersey boys.

"She's so understanding," Richards said, acknowledging it takes a special woman to be his wife. "But when the company schedules you, she knows I need to be there."

Davey Richards and his partner, Eddie Edwards, known in TNA wrestling circles as The Wolves will be in action at the Clay County Regional Events Center attempting to regain the tag team title belts from the current world champions.

There's much more than meets the eye to this wrestler who emerged on the TNA scene a couple of months ago with Edwards.

In addition to his wrestling responsibilities, Richards is also an active paramedic and is pursuing a medical degree.

The Othello, Wash., native is a paramedic in St. Louis, Mo., during the week; flies to Universal Studios Orlando to tape the "TNA Impact" program for Spike TV; and travels on tour for house shows as scheduled.

"I've been really really lucky because the place I work knew I wrestled when they hired me. They've been really cool to me," he said.

But the busy schedule doesn't allow for a great deal of sleep.

"It's a needed commodity, but I'm not getting much at this point."

Growing up in a small farm community as Wesley David Richards, he credited his grandfather for his ring name.

"I had one of those hats like Davey Crockett growing up. Grandpa always called me 'Davey Boy.' He was a big influence on my life and passed away early in my pro wrestling career. I use the name because it helps keep me grounded regardless of how big this wrestling thing gets."

Richards wrestled in high school and at the college level. While considering his options and while weighing his pursuit of a medical degree, he reconnected with pro wrestling, a sport he had enjoyed when he was younger.

"I was looking for something to do and after watching some wrestling, I thought, 'I could do that.'"

With that as his motivation, he packed his bags, left his familiar surroundings and headed to a wrestling school in Atlanta, Ga.

What Richards soon learned is that the word "choreographed" is not synonymous with "pain free."

"I found that out the hard way ... The attitude many amateur wrestlers have is, 'Hey we're the real stuff, this fake stuff is going to be easy,'" Richards said. "I had a bit of that attitude, but I'll tell you, I've been far more torn up in professional wrestling."

Learning the ropes of wrestling from pro legend Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff while working full-time at a Duracell plant took its toll.

"It was brutal. I actually lived in Cleveland, Tenn., near the Georgia border. I worked in the factory all day then I would drive an hour-and-a-half to train. I would drive back home and dragged myself into my little apartment. There was a few times during the day I'd find a place to take a quick nap."

A good portion of his work, until joining TNA, was done in Japan and England.

He and Edwards worked for the same company in Japan but hadn't worked together.

"Finally we were on the same tour and we started talking about it (partnering). We randomly got booked on same show in England," Richards explained, and as the saying goes, "It's been a wild history, but the rest is history."

He said the two had done everything there was to do on the independent circuit and began looking for a bigger, more permanent contract. They took an opportunity presented by TNA.

"We've never looked back. Couldn't be happier with TNA," he said. "It's been great."

Richards said he doesn't mind the hectic lifestyle he has maintained.

"I've slept in my car, slept on the floor, not slept at all. I've chased this thing all over the world," he said.

The wrestler continued, "I love wrestling and I love doing it. When I'm conscious, I'm doing things I generally like to do. I like to wrestle and I like medical school and I like my life as a paramedic. Helping people or wrestling. Working with Special Olympics. My life is filled with positivity."



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