The WWE may continue to feed its insatiable hunger for top, independent wrestling talent when a pair of Ring of Honor's biggest stars report to the Performance Center for evaluation next month. PWInsider (h/t WrestleZone) reports that Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, a pair of undersized technicians, will receive a tryout soon.
Richards, 30, and Edwards, 29, have each successfully earned names as singles competitors on the U.S. independent scene while also making appearances around the world, most notably in Japan. Their greatest heights, though, may have occurred as the tag team The American Wolves.
Richards is the more accomplished and traveled of the duo. Debuting in West Coast-based, independent Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in 2005, he quickly moved onto Ring of Honor. He was the American protege of Japanese star KENTA of Pro Wrestling NOAH.
He teamed with Roderick Strong as the No Remorse Corps, battling the likes of Austin Aries, the Age of the Fall and the Briscoe Brothers before forming the American Wolves with Edwards. While holding down the tag team division in ROH, he was also competing in New Japan, earning a spot in the prestigious Best of the Super Juniors tournament and competing for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title.
Edwards is also recognizable in Japan, having competed periodically with the smaller Pro Wrestling NOAH promotion. In ROH, he sporadically appeared in singles matches before teaming with Richards.
As the American Wolves, Richards and Edwards were part of perhaps the finest tag team division in the United States from 2009-10. The team competed against Kevin Steen and El Generico (now Sami Zayn in NXT), the Briscoe Brothers, The Kings of Wrestling Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero (now Antonio Cesaro and Kassius Ohno, respectively).
Despite the budding star power in the division, the Wolves were perhaps the biggest stars in the tag ranks, regularly main eventing shows, despite the inclusion of heavyweight title matches.
The Wolves continued to work singles matches, too, with Edwards ultimately capturing the ROH World Heavyweight title from Strong in a shocking upset. This led to a 2011 encounter between the tag partners in the main event of Best in the World where Richards finally captured the ROH title himself.
The duo have continued to team up off and on, including a brief run as tag champs earlier this year.
Their contracts have expired with ROH and I don't believe it's a coincidence the WWE brought each of them in together. Rarely does the WWE hire tag teams as a unit, preferring to hire singles stars and pair them as they see fit. They hired Cesaro and Ohno separately despite their success as a tag team and it doesn't appear the Kings of Wrestling will reunite any time soon.
In the Wolves, though, we may see a different path. While Bryan and Punk are smaller than the WWE traditionally prefers their main event stars, Edwards and Richards are even smaller. Richards is listed at 5' 8", which is awfully generous. Edwards is listed at 6'0", which I also think is stretching the truth a bit.
Both men are phenomenally technical wrestlers, but their size and look is certainly lacking. I don't think the WWE would consider either of them for a significant singles run out of the gate, opting to instead promote them as a tag team.
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