Former Impact X-Division Champion and WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann is set to be the advertised headliner for a major Impact Pay Per View for the first time in his career at Bound For Glory on October 24th on FITE TV, and his road to get there has been anything but easy. Swann suffered a career threatening leg injury in a match prior to Impacts “Hard to Kill” in January. After months of rehab, uncertainty, the pandemic, and everything in between, he returned to Slammiversary as a surprise in the main event and earned himself a headline spot at Impacts biggest event of the year. Last night he spoke with the Wrestling Observers Dave Meltzer and our buddy Garrett Gonzales to promote the upcoming Pay Per View and his road to get there. Here are some of the highlights:
On His Injury: He crushed his Achilles and broke many bones in his leg including breaking his fibula in half. He compared it to the Sid Vicious injury from WCW Souled Out 2000. While rehabbing the injury he discovered that he also broke a bone in his back. His doctors told him he would be walking with a limp the rest of his life but he has been able to rehab himself into really great shape.
His Pain Level: He really feels it when its cold outside or when it rains but for the most part he is comfortable. He does feel the affects of arthritis but with using proper techniques it’s manageable.
On Almost Retiring After Leaving WWE: The social media backlash as a result of an incident with his wife ultimately leading getting fired from WWE, caused him to announce his retirement. But words of encouragement from D-Lo Brown, Scott D’Amore, Sami Callihan and others made him rethink his future and drove him to return.
Signing With Impact: After meeting Don Callis during an Impact vs Lucha Underground event the door to Impact was opened. He loves Impact and the memories he is making there and the opportunities they have provided.
On Impact Talent He Wants To Work With: Combat Republic favorite Rohit Raju, the current X-Division champ was top on his list due to his great character work. He also named Ace Austin whom he compared to AJ Styles.
On Wrestling Without A Crowd: He compared it to training in the gym with his friends but brings the same energy with or without people in the building because he knows theres people paying their hard earned money at home on TV. He does not know if there will be an audience for BFG and does not get involved with the production side.
His Slammiversary Return: It was a huge moment for him and compared it to wrestling at the Alamodome in front of a huge audience due to his long road to recovery.
His Famous “All Night Long” Entrance: The idea came from B-Boy who was trying to help Swann and Ricochet, who were teaming at the time, create some more energy for their act. B-Boy’s first idea was “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins. They ended up going with All Night Long by Lionel Ritchie and chose it as a gag. Little did they know it would blow up and it became a huge part of his act all over the world. Side Note: If anyone at Impact reads this, please bring the All Night Long entrance for BFG, it would be worth the cost.
Theres plenty more in the interview including his days with Dragon Gate and Evolve, his childhood, how he got in to the wrestling business, and the troubles people in the Black community face in the world today. The audio is free at Wrestling Observer so go out of your way to check it out!