Since 2014, Davey Richards has been with TNA, which you could say has been having some trouble as of late. On Monday, former Knockouts Champion Maria Kanellis stated that she would be leaving pro wrestling soon to take on other pursuits. Now you can add another name to the “wrestling has been fun, but I’m out” list: former ROH World Champion and TNA Tag Team Champion Davey Richards, one half of the American Wolves.
From that second tweet:
At the end you always have to ask yourself why:
I guess I just had to prove it to myself that I could do something. That I wasn’t destined to be like all I saw around me. I was worth something even though my dad walked out or my mom chose drugs over me. Or maybe there had to be more than what this small town’s limits held.
It wasn’t about fame, it wasn’t about money. It was about escape. Escape from this small dead end town, escape from a toxic family name, escape from a grim fate that everyone around me just readily accepted. The TV, the belts, the money and all that goes along with it was always secondary. It was the beliefs that I am good enough. I am worth it. I can escape this fate, I can change my family name that drove me. I believe I have done that.
I just wanted to be the best. Maybe it was revenge on my parents for abandoning me. Maybe it was to fill the void my grandparents left when they died. Maybe it was a self worth issue. Whatever it was I can honestly say I left every single thing I had in the ring every single night. You all gave me a reason to be, and I gave you every ounce of my heart and soul in that ring. It’s a very special place, a sacred ground for our dysfunctional and all the while beautiful family. A place where everyone belongs. I’m forever glad you accepted me into your family. I’m always there in spirit.
This is hardly the most shocking wrestler to announce he is leaving the business, as he has been talking about retiring on and off since at least 2010. He is a trained and licensed paramedic, and did that as a full-time job before signing with TNA. But if he holds true to his claim and hangs up the boots after 2017, he’ll certainly have racked up a whole hell of a lot of accomplishments during his time in the ring.
Richards has been wrestling since 2004, first coming to prominence on the independent scene in PWG and quickly becoming a big deal in Ring of Honor. He was a three-time PWG champ and one-time PWG world champ, as well as a two-time IWGP Junior Tag Team Champion in New Japan with Rocky Romero. He was a three-time ROH Tag Team Champion, once with Romero as part of the No Remorse Corps stable, and twice with his American Wolves teammate Eddie Edwards. He actually won his ROH world title from Edwards in 2011.
In 2014, Edwards and Richards debated signing with WWE and appeared on some NXT events, but ultimately chose to sign with TNA instead. Since then, they have been five-time TNA Tag Team Champions. In early 2016, Richards suffered an ACL injury while on a tour of the UK with TNA, and has been out of action ever since. Since Richards has been on the shelf, Edwards has become a two-time X Division Champion and is the current reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion.