Rich Swann returns to his hometown of Baltimore for an intergender tag team match at Extreme Rules today. Swann famously lost both his parents as during his formative years, and has said that "Wrestling saved his life." He spoke with City Paper about this milestone in his life and all the tragedies that got him to this moment.
His mother and father almost constantly when he was a child. “I witnessed a lot of abuse between the two. My father was … a real bad alcoholic and there was a lot of domestic violence.” Swann moved around a lot, and when Rich was 12, his mother kicked his father out. Then his father was stabbed to death by a girlfriend. As if that weren't enough, Swann's mother’s health failed, and he was sent to live with family friends in Arizona for a year. Swann's mother died when he was 16.
“Those are the things that happen in life. All that matters is how you handle certain situations and how you can pick yourself up from it, you know?”
It was childhood horseplay, turned into a passion for professional wrestling, that got him through those incredibly tough times. “I grew up with my friends, wrestling around, imitating guys like Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko. I always saw myself in that role if I ever made it.”
You can read the entire interview at this link. Fightful will have wall-to-wall coverage of Extreme Rules tonight, with a Live Results Blog and a post-show podcast.