In late 2017 Rich Swann ran into some personal issues which paved the way for his WWE release a short time later. A couple of months later Swann made his Impact Wrestling debut and he is currently the X-Division Champion.
He had many options in front of him after leaving and Swann spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast today to explain why he chose Impact.
"Impact has some of the most exciting wrestlers and performers and some of the greatest people in our industry," said Swann. "It's run by Don Callis and Scott D'Amore and those are two great minds in this business. The roster is stacked, and why not put myself a part of something like that? Something that's growing and can benefit myself and Impact Wrestling."
Swann's departure from WWE was a unique given his legal situation, and Dean Ambrose's exit was also unique for other reasons. Swann was asked what he thinks of the now-Jon Moxley's transition from WWE.
"I think he's always been a great talent," stated Swann. "How he handled his thing is how he handled his deal, you know what I'm saying?
"What a great time for pro wrestling for him to just be on WWE TV about a month ago and then come to a new brand of pro wrestling and make history. I thought it was awesome. I watched [Double or Nothing] and thought it was cool. It's definitely gonna be good for all of pro wrestling because when one place rises up, we all rise up."
Moxley's WWE departure was due more to creative differences than anything else, and Swann was asked if he had those same issues while he was in WWE.
"For myself, I didn't really have any problems but that's me in general. Being in WWE at the time, there wasn't really another place to go to. I'd probably say I was content and anything that was given to me, I'd work with and I didn't have a problem," revealed Swann.
"But at the time I was just getting my feet wet. An opportunity like that for me – being an African American male, 25 years old, 5'6" at 165 pounds – those opportunities don't come every single day. So, I was working my ass off.
"The comments that Mox said, I would not disagree. But everybody has their own way and own path. So, I'm not a man that's gonna get into anybody's business."
Swann said he had a good time in WWE, but he's happy to be with Impact now where he says they focus more on match quality. He also says he gets to showcase more of his personality in promos and would have never had the opportunity to interview with Wrestling Inc. if he was still in WWE.
But Swann also said both WWE and Impact are similar in the way they are open to talent pitching ideas.
"Anything that I would ask in WWE or if I had an idea, they would be all ears. They would listen and it's been the same experience with Impact Wrestling," said Swann.
Rich Swann is the current Impact Wrestling X-Division Champion and can be seen every Friday night on Pursuit and Twitch as part of Impact Wrestling. He will also be a part of Impact's upcoming TV tapings at the Melrose Ballroom on June 6th and 7th.
Swann's full interview with Wrestling Inc was included in today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. The full audio can be heard via the embedded player at the bottom of this post. In it Swann discusses why he chose to sign with Impact Wrestling after WWE, Jon Moxley's criticisms of WWE's creative structure, why Michael Elgin is good for pro wrestling, wanting to lead the X-Division, Sami Callihan's controversial promos about him, Willie Mack signing with Impact and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.