Davey Boy Smith Jr. is one of MLW's crown jewels, and he's brought his catch-as-catch-can wrestling with him.
As we finally met in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Fightful spoke with the former DH Smith about his training as a catch wrestler. Those who studied the arts may have even seen a ScientificWrestling.com seminar that featured Smith, but not his face. It was blurred out as he'd just signed with WWE.
"I was in developmental, but we just didn’t want to take any chances," Smith told us. "I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. I told them after, I told Jake Shannon after to blur my face just in case anything happened. I’d hate to have any of my stuff taken off because of that. Nothing ever happened out of it, so I was playing it cool then. Didn’t take chances, so that’s good."
The art of catch-as-catch can wrestling is once again becoming more prevalent in mainstream professional wrestling. With events like Bloodsport, Natural Born Killers and the like, and various catch wrestling tournaments emerging, the style is reaching new heights in popularity. Smith is riding that wave and sharing the knowledge along the way.
"Yes, I absolutely love catch-as-catch-can wrestling," a rarely excited Smith said with a smile on his face. "Anytime that I can get a chance to, and speaking of which next year, I’ve been in touch with Jake Shannon and we have some seminars planned. I believe in March, and in April, and May for Cauliflower Alley where I’ll be demonstrating some catch wrestling seminars. I’ll be posting those on my Instagram, and you can find that all out on ScientificWrestling.com I was very fortunate and privileged to have gotten hands on, one-on-one training with the likes of Billy Robinson, Eric Paulson, Josh Barnett, Minoru Suzuki, Yoshiaki Fujiwara—and also trained a lot in the Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, mostly No Gi with Brian Bird, Roy Harris and a lot of great competitors from that as well. So, I’m always looking to better myself on the mats and spread the love of grappling. Mostly catch-as-catch-can wrestling, but I think that it’s a fun thing and I think that it can be for everybody. In certain divisions, whatever their goals are—maybe not everybody wants to be a competitor, but they want to get on the mats and train or police officers want to learn some new self-defense techniques. It’s great to get your kids into and get them busy and active. Effective is mostly key. Once you start on the ground with some people it’s like being in the ocean with a shark, or a swimming pool with a shark."
After years in New Japan Pro Wrestling and WWE, Smith is now a fixture in Major League Wrestling. Though it may seem like a new connection, Smith will remind you that the two sides go back 15 years. MLW actually gave Smith some of his first breaks in the business.
"I’ve had a long term relationship with Court Bauer dating back to 2004 from the original MLW. He had gotten in touch with me a couple of years ago when he re-emerging the new Major League Wrestling. He wanted myself and Teddy Hart to be a part of it, since we were part of the original MLW. Court’s been really great with me, he’s giving me a huge opportunity to be on national TV and show exactly what I can do, and also spread the love of catch wrestling," he said.
Decked out in an eccentric, golden suit reminiscent of that of his cousin Teddy, Smith was all too happy to put over the company he calls home.
"For anybody who wants to check out Major League Wrestling, if they do miss the episodes on TV they can go onto Youtube.com and go onto the MLW channel. I just had a great match with “Filthy” Tom Lawlor about two weeks ago. I would love for anybody that’s interested in catch wrestling or myself or Tom Lawlor to check it out. I think it was a lot of fun. Timothy Thatcher, Low-Ki, there’s all kinds of guys there now that are great grapplers, great catch wrestlers or martial artists. I’m looking forward to this next coming week. I have a match with Shinjiro Otani as well from the old New Japan Pro Wrestling and ZERO1. I don’t think anyone wants to miss that," Smith closed.
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