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Rich Swann
W1internationalswann
Swann in 2013
Birth name Richard Swann
Born February 15 1991 (1991-02-15) (age 26)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Resides Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Spouse(s) Su Yung (m. 2017)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) El Negro Mysterio
Rich Ichikawa
Rich Money
Rich Swann
Swann Hansen
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 168 lb (76 kg)
Billed from Moneyville, Maryland
Lindenhood, New Jersey
Baltimore, Maryland
Trained By Adam Flash
Darren Wyse
DJ Hyde
Drew Gulak
Ray Alexander
Ruckus
Sabian
Debut 2008

 

Richard "Rich" Swann[1] (born February 15, 1991)[2][3] is an American professional wrestler. He is signed to WWE and assigned to the Raw brand as part of the cruiserweight division. He is a former one-time WWE Cruiserweight Champion. He is best known for his work on the American independent circuit for promotions such as Evolve, Full Impact Pro (FIP) and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG). He has also worked for promotions like Chikara, Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW), Dragon Gate, Dragon Gate USA and Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW). He is a former two-time FIP World Heavyweight Champion and one-time Open The United Gate, Open the Owarai Gate and Open The Triangle Gate Champion.

Early lifeEdit

Swann was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. When he was 14 years old, his father was murdered and his mother died a couple of years later, after which Swann "fell in with a rough crowd" and began using cocaine. However, after his supplier died of a heart attack, Swann, with help from his aunt, stopped using cocaine, got an apartment and finished high school.[4]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Swann originally started training professional wrestling at the age of 14 in 2005 under Adam Flash, Darren Wyse and Ray Alexander in York, Pennsylvania.[5] He made his debut in 2008,[3] working under the ring names Rich Money and El Negro Mysterio.[5] Swann's influences include Psicosis, Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lynn, Super Crazy and The Hardy Boyz.[6]

Dragon Gate and Dragon Gate USA (2010–2015)Edit

On July 24, 2010, Swann made his debut for Dragon Gate USA, defeating Scott Reed at the tapings of the Enter the Dragon 2010 pay-per-view.[7] On September 11, Swann made his debut for Dragon Gate USA's close affiliate, Evolve, taking part in a six-way match, which was won by Johnny Gargano.[8] Swann returned to Dragon Gate USA during the September 25–26 weekend, taking part in four-way and six-way matches won by Chuck Taylor and Brodie Lee, respectively.[9][10] On October 29 at Bushido: Code of the Warrior, Dragon Gate USA's first live internet pay-per-view, Swann was defeated in a singles match by Homicide.[11] Following the match, Swann was approached by Austin Aries, who offered to take him under his wing as his new protégé.[11] However, after Aries was defeated by Masato Yoshino, Swann seemingly turned down his offer.[11] Later that same event, Swann, Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano attacked CIMA and Ricochet, before announcing that they were not joining any of Dragon Gate USA's established stables, but were instead forming a new one named "Ronin".[11] The villainous Ronin stable wrestled their first match together at the following day's Freedom Fight 2010 pay-per-view, defeating Aries, Genki Horiguchi and Ricochet in a six-man tag team match.[12] On January 28, 2011, at United: NYC, Swann was defeated by Aries in a singles match.[13] During that same weekend, Ronin started a rivalry with the Blood Warriors, a new villainous stable led by CIMA, effectively ending Ronin's run as villains.[13][14] On March 1, Swann and the rest of the Ronin stable started their first tour of Japan with Dragon Gate USA's parent promotion, Dragon Gate.[15] During the tour, which lasted until March 15, Ronin worked mainly in matches against the Blood Warriors.[15][16][17] On April 3 at Open the Ultimate Gate 2011, Austin Aries, who had just lost a match, where he had put his Dragon Gate USA career on the line, feigned passing the torch to his former rivals in Ronin, but instead ended up turning on them and joining Blood Warriors.[18] On June 3 at Fearless 2011, Swann was defeated in a singles match by Blood Warriors leader CIMA, following interference from Aries.[19] Two days later at Enter the Dragon 2011, Swann and Gargano teamed with Masato Yoshino in a six-man elimination tag team match, where they defeated Blood Warriors representatives Austin Aries, Brodie Lee and CIMA.[20]

On June 8, 2011, Swann, without Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano, started his second tour of Dragon Gate.[21] During the tour, Swann aligned himself with Blood Warriors' rival stable, Junction Three.[22] On July 24, Swann unsuccessfully challenged Naoki Tanizaki for the Blood Warriors Authorized Open The Brave Gate Championship.[23] On August 6, Swann and Junction Three stablemate Gamma entered the 2011 Summer Adventure Tag League, but were eliminated in their first round match by Blood Warriors representatives Naruki Doi and Yasushi Kanda.[24] During the tour, Swann also got to show his comedic side, first working under the ring name "Rich Ichikawa",[25] and then as "Swann Hansen" in a match on November 5, where he defeated Stalker Ichikawa for the Open The Owarai Gate Championship, Dragon Gate's comedy wrestling title.[26] In mid-November, Swann returned to the United States for a week to take part in Dragon Gate USA events. During the events, Swann, Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano began having problems with each other.[27] On November 13 at Freedom Fight 2011, Swann earned a big win, when he pinned Blood Warriors member Akira Tozawa in a tag team match, where he and Chuck Taylor faced Tozawa and BxB Hulk.[28] Six days later, Swann returned to Japan and Dragon Gate.[29] The tour lasted until Dragon Gate's final event of 2011 on December 25, during which Swann and Junction Three stablemates Dragon Kid and Gamma unsuccessfully challenged Kzy, Naruki Doi and Naoki Tanizaki for the Open The Triangle Gate Championship.[30] After the match, Tanizaki attacked Swann and stole his Open the Owarai Gate Championship belt, which was later vacated as a result.[31] Swann returned to Dragon Gate in February 2012 and on February 9, took part in a fourteen-man tag team match, where Blood Warriors defeated Junction Three, which, as a result, was forced to disband.[32] The following month, Swann aligned himself with the new WORLD-1 INTERNATIONAL stable to oppose Mad Blankey, the former Blood Warriors taken over and renamed by Akira Tozawa.[33] On March 29, Swann made another short return to the United States, taking part in a Dragon Gate USA and CZW co-promoted event, which saw Ronin being defeated by Mad Blankey representatives Akira Tozawa, BxB Hulk and Uhaa Nation in a three-way trios match, which also included the D.U.F. trio of Arik Cannon, Pinkie Sanchez and Sami Callihan.[34] During the following day's Open the Ultimate Gate 2012 pay-per-view, Chuck Taylor turned on Johnny Gargano, effectively ending Ronin.[35]

On March 31 at Mercury Rising 2012, Swann took part in a six-way "Chuck Taylor Invitational" match, which was won by El Generico.[36] Later that same event, Swann saved Johnny Gargano from Chuck Taylor, chasing his former stablemate out of the arena.[36] In April, Swann returned to Dragon Gate for another tour, during which he again made appearances as "Swann Hansen".[37] On July 28, Swann defeated Chuck Taylor via disqualification in a Dragon Gate USA grudge match.[38] The following day at Enter the Dragon 2012, Swann and WORLD-1 INTERNATIONAL stablemate Ricochet were defeated by AR Fox and CIMA in a match for the vacant Open The United Gate Championship.[39] On November 2 at Fearless 2012, Swann pinned Chuck Taylor for the win in a six-man captain's fall tag team match, where he teamed with ACH and CIMA and Taylor with his new Gentleman's Club stablemates Drew Gulak and Orange Cassidy.[40] Two days later at Freedom Fight 2012, Swann defeated Taylor in a No Disqualification match.[41] On February 14, 2013, Swann returned to Dragon Gate, teaming with Masato Yoshino in a tag team match, where they defeated Jimmy Kagetora and Jimmy Kanda.[42] On March 3, Swann teamed with World-1 International stablemates Naruki Doi and Shachihoko Boy to defeat the Jimmyz (Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Mr. Kyu Kyu Naoki Tanizaki Toyonaka Dolphin and Ryo "Jimmy" Saito) for the Open The Triangle Gate Championship.[43] On May 10, Swann entered his first King of Gate tournament, but was eliminated in his first round match by Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!.[44] On June 1, Swann received a shot at the Open The Brave Gate Championship, but was defeated by the defending champion, Masato Yoshino.[45] On June 5, Swann, Doi and Shachihoko lost the Open The Triangle Gate Championship to M2K (Jimmy Susumu, K-ness and Masaaki Mochizuki) in their second title defense.[46][47] On July 28 at Enter the Dragon 2013, Dragon Gate USA's fourth anniversary event, Swann teamed up with his World-1 International stablemate Ricochet to unsuccessfully challenge The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) for the Open The United Gate Championship.[48] On September 22 at Evolve 24, Swann unsuccessfully challenged former Ronin stablemate Johnny Gargano for the Open The Freedom Gate Championship.[49] The rivalry between Swann and Gargano culminated in an "Evolution's End" match on August 10, 2014, where Swann was victorious. Post-match, Swann was attacked by the Premier Athlete Brand of Anthony Nese, Caleb Konley and Su Yung, leading to Gargano returning to the ring and chasing the three away.[50]

On September 13, Swann received his first shot at the Evolve Championship, but was defeated by the defending champion, Drew Galloway.[51] On January 10, 2015, Swann, Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano reformed Ronin and defeated the Bravado Brothers (Harlem and Lancelot) and Moose in a match, where the losing team had to split up.[52] On April 18, Swann and Gargano defeated Anthony Nese and Caleb Konley to win the Open The United Gate Championship.[53] On May 30, Ronin successfully defended the title against Drew Gulak and Tracey Williams. After the match, Gargano announced they were retiring the Open The United Gate Championship since Dragon Gate was the past and demanded the creation of the Evolve Tag Team Championship.[54] On August 15, Swann turned on Gargano, costing him his match against Ethan Page.[55] Swann would defeat Gargano the next night after interference from Page.[56]

In wrestlingEdit

Rich Swann 450 splash

Swann performing a 450° splash onto JT Dunn

Rich Swann over the rope

Swann diving over the top rope onto Alex Vega

Rich Swann piledriver

Swann performing a piledriver on Jake Manning

  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves
    • Backflip Nika Kick (Backflip kick)[57]
    • Handspring cutter[35][62][63][64]
    • Leap from Swann Pond (Rolling thunder into a standing frog splash)[2][57][65]
    • Standing Shooting-Swann Press (Standing shooting star press)[57]
    • Standing top rope hurricanrana[35][66][67][68]
    • Swannaca-rana (Hurricanrana)[57]
    • Tornado Spin Kick[3] (540 kick)[58]
  • Nicknames
    • "Mr. Standing 450"[57]
  • Entrance themes
    • "Fight Like This" by Decyfer Down[60] (CZW)
    • "I'm on a Boat" by The Lonely Island[57] (CZW)
    • "Ronin Baby!" by Rich Swann[69] (DG / DGUSA)
    • "Junction, Baby!" by Rich Swann[2] (DG / DGUSA)
    • "World-1 Baby!" by Rich Swann[70] (DG / DGUSA)
    • "All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie[71] (DG / DGUSA / PWG)
  • "Around the World" by CFO$[72] (WWE; January 20, 2016–present)

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Tough Enough competitors join new class of recruits at the WWE Performance Center". WWE. October 28, 2015. http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/tough-enough-finalists-join-new-recruits-performance-center-27992953. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 (in Japanese) Dragon Gate. Gaora. http://www.gaora.co.jp/dragongate/data/prfl/swann.html. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
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  4. Radican, Sean (July 24, 2014). "Radican's Review Series: "The Kevin Steen Show with Rich Swann" – growing up with difficult circumstances, musical talent, stories from Japan, DGUSA/Evolve, CZW, PWG". Pro Wrestling Torch. http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/radicanstake/article_79785.shtml. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dobson, Jamie (May 25, 2012). "My Interview with Rich Swann". 911 Wrestling. http://www.911wrestling.com/viewtopic.php?p=43046. Retrieved November 30, 2012.[dead link]
  6. Clapp, John (November 11, 2015). "Exclusive interview: New signee Richard Swann on how wrestling changed his life". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/richard-swann-interview-28192819/page-2. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
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