Impact Wrestling Star Rich Swann was interviewed by Sporting News, discussing his WWE release and how former WWE Superstar D-Lo Brown helped his wrestling career.
Rich Swann on his WWE release: “You can think one thing about what your dream could be and it could end up being a disaster or a masterpiece. In my case, I never really thought about what it would be like in the WWE. I never thought I could make it to the WWE — especially being a Black man who is 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds. Once it became a reality, you can’t really imagine what it would be like. When I was there, I had no problems with anybody and nobody ever told me to do anything I didn’t want to do. I’m just being real. No wacky promos or anything. It was good. It was a job that I didn’t feel was a job. I feel like that at IMPACT as well.”
What led to his WWE release: “People saw a clip online and turned me into a monster. I’m not saying I was right in my actions but I’m not a domestic abuser. Everyone gets into arguments and this was something that was misconstrued. People ran with the worst possible outcome. You can have your opinion but if you know me, my wife and our marriage, there’s nothing to worry yourself about. It was a dark time in my life. We live, learn, make mistakes and grow from them. My wife and I have grown exponentially from that incident and there’s nothing anybody can say and no social media could ever destroy what we have built.”
Did race play a role: “You know, I never like to bring race into it because it’s a very strong subject in this country, especially with athletes. With this situation, I’m not going to say it was different from most racial profiling incidents because we were in a very, very Southern area of Florida which was certainly Confederate-like. And then there is what my wife was wearing at the time, which was her bloody makeup and gear. It occurred to me that we were clearly in the wrong part of town. There are so many scandals in professional wrestling. People have lost their job in this business. I can’t say that I was screwed (by the WWE). I have to take responsibility for my own negligence, being where I was and what happened that night. I can’t put that on anybody else. My life is great now and I can’t be mad at anybody.”
How D-Lo Brown helped his wrestling career: “After I was released, I was at New York Comic Con. Maybe three weeks prior with all the social media backlash I thought it would be best if I stepped away from the business for good. Appearing at New York Comic Con to do a signing was going to be my last event. I didn’t know who was going to be there but I remember people were supporting me and asked me not to quit wrestling. I left my table for a bathroom break. When I returned, D’Lo was near my table. He told me that I was a good person, too young to retire and to think about what I was doing because the business needed more people of color in it. I didn’t even know he knew about me. All those words he told me was the final straw. I wasn’t going to quit. I decided to go to an Impact taping a month after that to see if they wanted to use me and, lo and behold, here we are today.”