According to a report from Joe Lanza on Voices of Wrestling‘s Patreon site, while searching for news on Gedo reportedly stepping down as booker of New Japan (which has since been debunked), he uncovered some other news from the NJPW locker room.
According to the news Joe has compiled, Davey Boy Smith Jr. is no longer with New Japan Pro Wrestling. According to Joe, VOW had received early reports a while back that Smith had been fired from NJPW. While it seemed like a rumor at the time, during his investigation into the Gedo news, another source confirmed that Smith was no longer a part of NJPW. While sources weren’t sure the exact nature of the departure – one indicated that “Gedo fired him”, while the other said that “NJPW wanted him full time but Davey Boy Smith Jr. decided to pursue other options.” Regardless of the circumstances, all sources have indeed confirmed to VOW that Smith is no longer working for NJPW.
It comes as no surprise to those who follow Davey Boy Smith Jr.’s Social Media, as the third generation Hart Family wrestler has been unhappy with his diminishing role with New Japan. His stock in North America has never been higher since departing WWE in 2011. He’s currently part of arguably the top stable in Major League Wrestling (MLW) in the Hart Foundation, alongside his cousin Teddy Hart and Brian Pillman Jr., where he holds the MLW World Tag Team Championship with Hart.
At this year’s edition of Game Changer Wrestling (GCW)‘s Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport event over WrestleMania week, Smith had one of the best matches on the card in a slugfest with IMPACT Wrestling‘s Killer Kross. When another fellow New Japan departee, Michael Elgin, debuted with IMPACT not too long ago, many reports indicated that IMPACT was also interested in Smith’s services but had been denied access due to his New Japan contract. His fellow Hart Foundation member Teddy Hart has appeared for multiple IMPACT specials the past year, including two last year, and two last week in partnership with House of Hardcore, which saw Hart challenge Rich Swann for his IMPACT X-Division Championship. With the success of the Hart Foundation outside of MLW as well, at WrestleCon and Limitless Wrestling, perhaps IMPACT would have interest in the Hart Foundation working with them as well. IMPACT and MLW have shared several major talents over the past year in an alliance, such as Sami Callihan, Lucha Brothers, Ace Austin, and others.
Davey Boy Smith Jr.’s last match with NJPW was on March 24 of this year, in a multi-man tag match that saw Suzuki-gun (Minorus Suzuki, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) emerge victorious over Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) & Toru Yano during this year’s New Japan Cup. With the announcement that GCW was holding Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 2 later this year, we could also see Smith return for another shoot wrestling matchup, or work with GCW more regularly.
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