IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann has opened up, in harrowing detail, about the one move that almost ended his career just one year ago, and the journey he embarked on from hospital bed to Hard To Kill main event and sharing the ring with AEW World Champion Kenny Omega.
Inside The Ropes‘ Fin Martin recently caught up with former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann, in an exclusive interview for Inside The Ropes, to chat about his career thus far, working with Eric Young, and much more.
When asked about the injuries sustained at IMPACT’s Bash At The Brewery 2, Swann addressed the very real situation he faced about potentially not being able to wrestle ever again.
“That is totally, 100-percent true. I essentially broke almost everything on my right side from my hip down. My hip was dislocated. I broke my fibula. I fractured the L5 and L6 in my back. My ankle was lodged into the starting point of my calf and shin. My foot was completely mangled, and it was turned to the other side. I almost got a compound fracture, basically like the ‘Sycho’ Sid [injury at WCW Sin on January 14, 2001]. But it was just poking at the skin; it didn’t go through.”
Swann spoke of how he was told by a doctor he would probably be walking with a limp the rest of his life, and that he was told – due to suffering a broken back – that wrestling again wouldn’t just jeopardise his career, but could completely alter his life.
“Being told that my back was also broken . . . It was something that I had to really, really keep a close eye on, if I was to get back into professional wrestling, because let me tell you: one bad bump and that could be the rest of my career [over] and change the way I lived life.”
The IMPACT World Champion revealed how he managed to do extra physical therapy, despite his doctor’s office being closed due to the Covid-19, and “rejuvenated” his body and to the point of stepping back in the ring being a consideration.
“They said, ‘You’ve worked very hard. It looks like you actually may be able to step back into the ring,’ just due to the countless hours I had been up, trying to rehab my right leg and my back.”
Swann would go on to elaborate on the move which almost cost him his career, detailing the fine margins between the move going perfectly and him looking at a very different life outside of the ring.
“I was in a front chancery, standing up, but I was bent over. I was held by Sami Callihan, and his partner at the time, Dave Crist, was on the rope. And he was wobbling a little bit and he jumped a little bit too soon, so he got straight up in the air and straight down — no distance — and every single pound [of his bodyweight] came down on my lower back. And with me being bent over and all of his weight coming down, that basically . . . It destroyed my back. It blew out everything on my right side. It was like an egg, almost, when you drop it: it just breaks down.”
The 29-year-old went on to say he’s taken that move from Dave Crist many, many times, but the one time it isn’t “100 percent”, it almost cost him everything.
“You could take it a thousand times. I’ve had that move done to me from that exact person so many times, since 2012. He’s been doing that move to me forever. Just this one time, you know . . . Sometimes, I think when you’re doing moves like that, you just need to really, really know, 100 percent, that you got it. I feel that night, certain people weren’t 100-percent at feeling the way they should have when they did that move.”
Rich Swann went on to speak about how his preparation to return to wrestling involved making sure he had the exact same heart, determination and passion as before, because – if you can’t give 100% – you should retire. The IMPACT World Champion would even detail how his confidence was completely rocked, but that he thankfully managed to work through that crisis of confidence and claim his place at the top of the IMPACT mountain, capping off an incredible journey, and one which, for anyone who didn’t have that same 100 percent heart, passion and determination, they may not have reached the pinnacle.
You can read the full interview here.