Ever since TJ Perkins defeated Gran Metalik to win the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Classic and capture the Cruiserweight Championship, the high-flying excitement of WWE’s smaller performers has seen a revival.
Since the title returned, it has been held by Perkins, The Brian Kendrick, Rich Swann, and currently by Neville. The current plan is for Neville to defend the title against Austin Aries at Wrestlemania 33. However, in the mind of Swann, the man who has been a staple of the division since its rebirth, wants the division to be treated as part of the show, not a special attraction.
In a recent Q&A with the Auburn Pub, Swann spoke about several topics, including cruiserweights’ portrayal on the main roster.
“I don’t think it makes it hard at all. I don’t think there’s a challenge at all. Why even separate? We’re all professional wrestlers doing the same thing, you know? We’re all entertainers, coming out and killing it night in and night out,” Swann said. “No matter what. If Conor McGregor with the UFC — he could probably fight a heavyweight, why not? But he’s in the lightweight division, you know what I’m saying? He’s doing the same thing as a heavyweight.”
Swann, who is still just 26 years old, bring a unique style to the ring; he’s loud, he’s athletic, and he’s not afraid to utilize any part of his body as a weapon. That’s all the mentality of the cruiserweight division: creating a style that is both unique and entertains the fans.
When asked who his dream opponent would be, Swann did not hesitate to name the man who was one of the pioneers for the cruiserweights decades earlier.
“That’s a tough one, because there are so many guys. I’d love to one day have a match with Shinsuke Nakamura,” he said. “Man, you know what, I take that back. As much as I love Shinsuke, the biggest dream match of mine is Chris Jericho.”
However, after coming up short in a five-way number one contender’s bout on 205Live, Swann is now a man without a plan for Wrestlemania 33. It’s always possible that Swann is inserted into the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
In his rookie year with the WWE, it’s also not impossible Swann attends Wrestlemania as an extra and gets to soaks in the atmosphere from inside the arena.
But that can all quickly change.
“I don’t have any direction right now, but you know, things change. And if anything happens for WrestleMania, if I get an opportunity, it’s just like I’ve taken anything before: I’ll take that opportunity to the fullest and watch that thing explode like TNT. But you know, if not, then that’s OK. This is my first year and I’m very happy learning about every single thing that goes on, and how WrestleMania is going to change lives.”
Aries may be next in line for the championship, but he will have plenty of hungry challengers on his tail if he secures the win — Swann included.
He’s still the last man before Neville to hold the title and he believes he will be right in the title picture coming out of WWE’s biggest show of the year.
— Austin Healy Aries (@AustinAries) March 15, 2017
“If Austin Aries does end up challenging Neville at WrestleMania that’s one thing that I’m definitely going to keep my eye on. You got a guy like Austin Aries, his stature — look at his accomplishments in the industry and what he’s done. The guy is definitely a very great opponent for someone like Neville,” he said.
“And you got a guy like Neville, whose attitude has switched, a full 180-turn, and he has not really cared about what the people have to say about him. And he’s really taking the role as the king of the cruiserweights. You can say what you want about the guy, his tactics, and his attitude, but he is one of the best, if not the best performer in the WWE today. One of the best athletes I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve spent the better part of six years of my life with that man, all over the world, and I know him like the back of my hand. He’s at the top of his game right now and I feel like this is his WrestleMania.”
[Featured Image by WWE]