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Davey Richards screws over Gabe Sapolsky by leaving Dragon Gate USA and Evolve in favor of making ROH his priority, but Sapolsky exhibits questionable judgment in the promotional battle.

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A few days ago, Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer broke the news that Davey Richards had re-signed with ROH and consequently wasn’t going to work for Gabe Sapolsky’s Dragon Gate USA and Evolve anymore. The cynic in me at the time thought that Davey had pulled off a great con, playing off both sides against each other to up his ROH pay, which runs more dates than Dragon Gate USA and Evolve combined.  The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter gives all the details of how this went down. In brief, Davey Richards is painted as an unwilling victim, caught in the crossfire of a promotional feud between ROH and Gabe Sapolsky, despite ROH giving him a significant pay rise and promises of a big push to get him to re-sign with the company. 

However, I’m sceptical of that potrayal, given that it was obvious he would have to choose between the two of them at some point.  One wonders why Gabe Sapolsky thought that Davey only had a contract for ROH television dates.  The obvious conclusion is that either Davey lied to him or Gabe is lying now to save face.  You also have to highly question Gabe Sapolsky’s decision to book Davey Richards to beat Masaaki Mochizuki for the FIP title on Dragon Gate USA’s 1/23 PPV taping when he knew Davey had re-signed with ROH, just so he wouldn’t have to change his original booking plans.  Though the situations are different, didn’t he learn anything from the ECW debacle in April 2000 where Paul Heyman allowed his World title to be placed on a guy under WWF contract (Tazz), only to have his World champion lose on national TV to the WWF World champion at the time Triple H?  Hindsight’s 20/20, but Gabe should have known that if a promotional rival has an opportunity to screw you over, 99 times out of 100 they will, even if they gain no advantage from doing so.

The other thing that astonished me was how little Davey Richards was being paid before his pay rise.  Man, if I only got paid $350 after working a match with KENTA that many that attended both shows thought was as good or slightly better than Shawn vs. Taker at WrestleMania 25 and didn't get my ass kissed afterwards, I'd be pretty pissed off too!

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