Interview: TNA’s Davey Richards on the serious ambition that is keeping him from sleep

davey-richards-tna Scott Fishman

Credit: Impact Wrestling

Impact Wrestling fans watching Wednesday nights on Destination America know Davey Richards as one-half of The Wolves tag team.

But outside of the six-sided ring. the St. Louis resident also works as a critical-care paramedic and firefighter. Plus, this real-life Clark Kent continues to go to school and is currently enrolled in a nurse practitioner program.

Richards wants to be TNA champion and a doctor.

“I don’t sleep,”Richards admits. “There are times I will work my 24 or 48 at the firehouse and then have a couple of tests to do for school and then head off on a flight to go wrestle somewhere, get some homework done and head back to the firehouse. It’s all I know, really. If I want to be successful and do all the things I want to do, you have to make sacrifices. My sacrifice is usually sleep. It will all pay off.”

When you look at Richards’ credentials with his partner Eddie Edwards and on his own, one could argue his efforts have already paid off. Richards is thankful to those who have supported him as he juggles all of his interests. There were even instances when his medical experience came in handy during his TNA time. He was there for B.J. Whitmer, who suffered a serious injury in the ring, and he saved an elderly woman experiencing heart problems while on a flight.

“Everyone has been really encouraging and respectful,” he said. “We will be doing shows and before the guys go to drink at a bar or to eat and hang out with their friends, they always drop me off at the hotel first so I can do my studying. Usually, before the matches you’ll see me studying. Everyone has been really respectful and cool. Everyone at the firehouse thinks it’s really cool that I wrestle. As long as I get my job done, they are extremely supportive. I’m lucky.”

The road has become less of a lonely place thanks to his new wife Lauren, who just happens to be TNA knockout Angelina Love. The two got married a few weeks ago.

“It’s hard for people who don’t live our lifestyle to understand it,” he said. “It’s been great to have someone who understands the schedule and to have someone you can travel with. We have a lot of working vacations.”

Will this couple ever do something together onscreen? “We think it would be a lot of fun,” he agrees. “She is so good at everything she does that I could sit back and take notes. I could let her do all the work and relax. It would be great. I would love to do something with her one day.”

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The 32-year-old is happy in TNA, calling it the best locker room he has ever been in. The Wolves have been on a roll ever since they came into the company last year. Formed in 2008, they have grown even more from their days in Ring of Honor. The duo’s matches against the Hardy Boys and Team 3D made a statement for tag-team wrestling.

“Eddie and I just naturally jelled right from our first match,” he said. “The minute we started touring together, we had chemistry big time. Before we came to TNA, our matches were just wrestling matches. We had that down pat. Being in TNA, we’ve had table matches, ladder matches, Full Metal Mayhem. We’ve had all these different kinds of matches. We’ve been constantly challenged and taken out of our element.”

Richards gives credit to those who have helped him evolve as a persona on television.

“Tommy Dreamer has helped out a lot,” he said. “Tommy has really taken a liking to us. I also learn from watching my wife. She is so good at talking and with her character. I can wrestle and that’s all well and fine, but she ends up getting twice the reaction I get just by talking. I learn a lot from her. Gregory Helms has come in and helped us out. I have to also hand it to Matt and Jeff Hardy, as well as Bully Ray and Devon. They really took us under their wing and taught us a lot. We’ve learned a lot from everyone.”

The Wolves are currently in the hunt for the vacated tag team gold against Bobby Roode and Austin Aries. Their best-of-five series have been an exciting focal point on Impact Wrestling.

“We have this competitive desire where everyone wants to be the best,” Richards said. “We just bounce ideas off of each other. Everyone takes what they do very seriously. The fans win and we win because we are coming out with something that we are very proud of. It’s really great to know the other three guys in the match are going to push you to the limit. I enjoy that.”

Richards is proud of everything he has accomplished, but is determined to accomplish more of his goals.

“I really think I have something special inside of me that many people don’t have,” he said.

“I believe I have greatness in me. So my inspiration isn’t so much that a person or a thing or money or fame. I’m driven to do something special and put good into the world. Whether it’s saving someone’s life as a paramedic or inspiring people through wrestling. I just want to put good in the world. There have been a lot of tragedies in wrestling, so I feel it’s important to live a good life and set an example.”

Among those who set an example for Richards was the late Dusty Rhodes. The “American Dream” recently passed sending the industry into mourning.

“That was the highlight of our time at the WWE Performance Center was getting to work on our promos with Dusty Rhodes,” Richards said.

“He had such a blatant passion for wrestling. Even more, I’d say he had a blatant passion for helping people and wanting them to succeed. He broke down a lot of barriers. A lot of people say Kevin Owens wouldn’t have the success he is having without Dusty Rhodes. He wasn’t a bodybuilder athlete, but could still rock-and-roll. He has inspired and touched so many people. My goal is to put good into the world. I’d say he has done that ten-fold. He will be greatly missed.”

  • Impact Wrestling airs Wednesday nights at 9/8/CT on Destination America. Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.
  • Impact Wrestling presents Slammiversary 8/8 CT Sunday, June 28 on pay-per-view.