As we previously reported, Davey Boy Smith Jr. is no longer with New Japan Pro Wrestling. The former DH Smith in WWE has been unhappy with the company for a long time now, partially due to the way he has been booked for in the past. Smith Jr. hasn’t been worked since March, but there has been a lot of miscommunication between the two side. Smith wanted to go to Impact Wrestling and NJPW told him he couldn’t and there was miscommunication there, partially because NJPW still has a grudge with Impact over how Kazuchika Okada was booked when he appeared for them.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has more details on Smith’s exit and possible future plans, as well as another instance where he and NJPW butted heads. One issue was said to be because of the night before Wrestlemania. Smith wanted to go to the WWE Hall of Fame because Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart were both getting inducted. Since NJPW was running Madison Square Garden with ROH, he kept asking whether or not he was booked so he could make plans if he was going or not. As late as two weeks before the show, he still didn’t have an answer. He said that he would rather go to the Hall of Fame for his family than be an “afterthought” or be used “in a meaningless way.” He ended up working several shows in the New York area, but not the G1 Supercard.
NJPW did let him work a Dynamite Kid tribute show that Satoru Sayama and Hisashi Shinma promoted, although there is said to be heat between Sayama and Massao Hattori. This comes after Smith pitched the idea of he and Lance Archer doing a tribute to Dynamite on an NJPW show by having Smith get the pin after a diving head-butt. Gedo told him no, because he was too big. Instead, he wanted to have the match end by DQ with Chuckie T going crazy and using a chair. The idea at the time was for Chuckie T to be a wrestler who would just snap at times, based on Ken Shamrock’s former WWF character. That ended when the Best Friends left NJPW and signed with AEW.
When Smith asked to work for Impact, he was turned down. When he asked why, they said, “fucking Jeff Jarrett and TNA,” and Okada’s booking was brought up. Even though Smith told them that Jarrett was gone, he was in line for a big push and the people at Impact were high on him, he was still turned down. This led to more miscommunication when Lance Archer asked about when the team would get more dates this year or more focus, and the office said they thought Smith was going to Impact. Smith said he was told he couldn’t go, and the office said they were told by Gedo that he was.
Instead, Smith ended up going to MLW and is believed to be set for a title feud with Tom Lawlor. There were reports he might go to ROH, but this didn’t happen. Now that he’s done with NJPW, he could go to Impact, but there have been no recent talks. Impact originally had big plans for him when he was supposed to come in.
It should also be noted that Jim Ross, who now works for AEW, wanted to build the entire World of Sport/ITV franchise around Smith when he worked for them. While Ross isn’t on the AEW booking team, it’s possible that Ross’ ideas would be considered. AEW has already signed several MLW wrestlers, including MJF and Jimmy Havoc. MLW doesn’t have a problem with their wrestlers working for AEW, as it helps their star power, but it does mean that they’re more likely to lose the talent when its time for contract renewals.
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)