On the latest episode of Talk Is Jericho, Chris Jericho spoke with former Rich Swann about his WWE and Impact Wrestling career, which was recorded before Swann lost the Impact World Championship to Kenny Omega last Sunday. Swann signed a WWE developmental deal and started out on NXT, and he discussed working with WWE on his theme song.
“That’s the one thing that I was always taught from the very beginning is your very first impression to the people is your entrance,” Swann said. “At least people will remember that entrance, and at least people will remember that energy and carry that with me, and I just wanted to make the best of that opportunity because you never know when you’re going to get that opportunity again.
“So I went out there and I still just go out there and do that the same entrance, same time, rev the car up. I got a call from NXT, and William Regal, he had knew that I used ‘All Night Long’ in the independents. Lionel Richie baby and I used that, and so he called me said, ‘Hey, would you like us to make something that sounds similar?’ Oh, of course, but I don’t care what they would have made.
“I would have tried to make it work, but I appreciated that they made ‘Can You Handle This’. Oh, okay, I can work with this, and I just take that song and I just go bananas with it. And Triple H, as I came out to it in a rehearsal for the first time, and I used the energy in the entrance that I had used in Dragon Gate and my whole career. He just said, ‘Alright, keep doing that, keep doing that, keep doing that,’ and I do it over and over. It just stuck.”
Swann later was part of the 205 Live brand, and he talked about some of the standout, underrated stars of the brand. Jericho also revealed who he pitched to join the brand.
“Noam Dar, I thought he was really good, and I had a lot of great matches, I felt, with him,” Swann stated. “Lince Dorado for sure. Gran Metalik. Ariya Daivari I think is very good, always in great shape and just a great wrestler all around. Those guys in general, especially Lince Dorado, who I feel that, at that time, didn’t get the opportunity just because there were just so many people.
“You had Enzo who had just came in. They added Kalisto from the main roster and put him on 205 Live. He had a great physique, and the man that can do anything, Neville, who goes by PAC now. It was just so many people and the guys that were waiting in the wings, waiting for that opportunity.
“I forgot that PAC was there, and actually, Enzo was my idea to have him go there because I was like, he’s not doing anything on the main roster,” Jericho added. “He’s a smaller guy. Have him go to 205 Live with his personality and he was super over. It’ll take more eyeballs on to this show and give some people a hook to watch it.
“100% and it definitely did,” Swann agreed. “Once Enzo came on to 205 Live, it gave it a very huge spike in numbers because Enzo, whether people like him or not, he’s very entertaining, and he can grab the attention of people.”
Jericho asked Swann who he felt he had the best matches with on 205 Live. Swann named a current AEW star and someone he had experience with on Dragon Gate.
“Definitely PAC. He’s the greatest,” Swann expressed. “We spent time together in Dragon Gate, and when they put us together, he had broke his ankle and when I got signed, he was just starting to be able to be cleared. So they had asked me to go in and work with him, and I think that was seen and from there, we got together and we worked. And we had that program, and we would do the house shows and got to go on tour in Germany and in Scotland. It was just amazing. It was just like waking up and getting out of bed and drinking a cup of coffee.”
Swann mutually parted ways with WWE in 2018. Swann talked about his mindset during that time and eventually signing with Impact Wrestling.
“Ever since I first stepped foot into Impact, I wasn’t a part of the company yet. Everybody knows my story,” Swann stated. “Everybody knows I had a dark road, a dark time as we all do, and I decided I was going to step away from professional wrestling for a while and then Don Callis. I go to a show with my wife (Su Yung) one time. She still does. She was wrestling for Impact Wrestling, and I showed up.
“And Don Callis, he told me, ‘You know what, kid, we could really use your talents. We like you. I like you. I think you’re good kid,’ and I was like, you know what, man, get this little nonsense out my head. Let me come here to Impact. Let me do what I love, and they opened their arms for me.
“And that was in 2018 and just to go through the road and just meet everybody that was on Impact to reconnect with old faces that I didn’t see for a while, that’s what led me to being the face of Impact. Just everybody, just seeing them and them raising me up and lifting me up and myself doing the same and going out, and we perform to the best of our abilities, busting our ass. Showing why we love wrestling.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.