RADICAN'S TAKE 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
Jul 24, 2014 - 9:10:14 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S REVIEW SERIES
THE KEVIN STEEN SHOW WITH RICH SWAN
RELEASED IN 2014 BY HIGHSPOTS
BY SEAN RADICAN, TORCH COLUMNIST
I’ve enjoyed The Kevin Steen show since it debuted in 2013. The shows are usually informative and entertaining given Steen’s relationship with his various guests. This particular edition of The Kevin Steen Show with guest Rich Swann is my favorite episode to date.
Swann is an engaging personality and he tells a number of entertaining stories throughout the shoot. The fact that Swann has overcome so much in his life to carve a spot out for himself as one of the top names on the independent scene is amazing given his background.
Swann grew up and lived in various parts of Baltimore. All of the neighborhoods he lived in were rough, but Swann says he simply learned to adapt. Swann’s parents both died when he was a teenager. He was just 14 when his dad was murdered and a couple of years later after his mother passed away, Swann was on his own.
Swann’s ability to compartmentalize the tragedy in his life and have the outlook he has now at such a young age is amazing. Steen comments that he’s amazed with Swann’s circumstances growing up. It’s hard not to admire Swann after watching this interview.
Swann fell in with a rough crowd after his mother passed and began using cocaine, but when he saw the same person that had given him cocaine die of a heart attack, he was able to stop. Eventually Swann’s aunt helped him out and he was able to get an apartment on his own and finish high school.
Swann started training when he was a teenager and says wrestling helped to keep him focused. Swann tells some funny stories about attending CZW when he was growing up and he remembers seeing Steen wrestle Chris Sabin at Cage of Death 7, which makes Steen feel old.
Swann talks about training and he eventually ended up at the CZW Wrestling Academy. He trained there for about a year before making his debut in CZW at age 18. The CZW training sounds absolutely brutal and Steen mentions that he didn’t take a beating while he trained to wrestle. Swann talks about the training being roughed, but it prepared him to get through tough matches and mentions that his PWG matches are particular rough to get through physically, but his training prepared him for matches like that.
One of the amazing things Swann talks about is that despite being known as a high-flyer, he is afraid of heights. Swann tells a great story about how he came up with the standing 450 because he didn’t want to do it from the top rope. Swann says high-flying quickly became his signature style, so he had no choice but to go with it once it stuck with him.
At one point, former CZW owner John Zandig told Swann he wanted him to jump off a Ryder truck at the Cage of Death, which was held outdoors. They show footage of Swann jumping off a huge truck onto a pile of bodies and Swann talks about how scared he was, but Zandig intimidated him into doing the spot. Swann claims that only two wrestlers and a couple of students caught him coming off the top of the truck, but the footage clearly shows many officials, students, and the two wrestlers waiting for him on the ground.
Swann quickly ascended up the ladder in wrestling. He wrestled in CZW for two years on a regular basis before getting a shot in DGUSA/EVOLVE. The Japanese quickly took a liking to Swann and two months after making his debut for DGUSA/EVOLVE, he was touring in Japan. Both Swann and Steen have wrestled for Dragon Gate and they shared some similar experiences.
Swann and Steen have both wrestled in CZW and Dragon Gate in Japan. Although they weren’t wrestling in either company at the same time, they both have common memories and tell some great stories about both promotions. Steen and Swann both say that CZW brings joy to them and share some funny stories about D.J. Hyde. Steen says he hopes Hyde doesn’t take offense, but all of the Hyde stories on recent edition of The Kevin Steen Show makes me wonder if he wasn’t setting the stage for his mini-feud with Hyde in CZW earlier this year.
Steen and Swann talk about how the Japanese wrestlers like to walk around naked and it’s very uncomfortable when they surprise the American talent by being right next to them with no clothes on. Steen tells a story about Mochizuki coming up right behind him while he was on the computer in Japan and right away Swann replies with a story about how he was tying his shoes and he looked up to see a naked wrestler right in front of him.
Swann also talks about his time in PWG during the interview and he is very engaging while talking to Steen about his experiences there. Swann talks about teaming with Ricochet in a Three-Way Ladder match against PWG Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks and Eddie Edwards & Roderick Strong. At one point Swann is powerbombed off a ladder through a table on the outside and Swann talks about his girlfriend freaking out and crying because she was at the show and saw the spot. The spot is shown while Swann talks about it, which is a nice touch.
Steen talks about Swann’s musical abilities, especially his ability to sing and play guitar. Sadly, Swann doesn’t have his guitar with him for the interview, but when Steen takes fan questions, one person asks Swann to play a song, so Swann does a really good rendition of “Rooster” by Alice In Chains by singing and beating the table on the set that just blew me away. They actually close the interview by showing Swann with Steen at a PWX show a couple of nights later with his guitar. This time Swann sings the CZW theme and “Rooster” while playing the guitar.
Overall thoughts: (9.0) – This is my favorite edition of The Kevin Steen Show. Swann has an engaging personality and he is open about his upbringing and how he got through all of the tragedies to climb the independent ladder and regularly tour in Japan with Dragon Gate. It’s amazing that Swann is only 22 years old, as I feel like I’ve been watching him wrestle for a long time.
The Kevin Steen Show is produced with funny comments and helpful tidbits at the bottom of the screen that enhance the interview. It is also great that Highspots is able to use footage from CZW and PWG to enhance several of the topics that are discussed during this interview.
This edition of The Kevin Steen Show is well-worth going out of your way to check out. There’s a great Larry Dallas story, several funny stories from Japan, and more topics from CZW, DGUSA/EVOLVE, and PWG. After watching this interview, it’s clear to see that Swann is an engaging and talented individual and his life story to date is nothing short of inspirational.
You can purchase “The Kevin Steen Show with Rich Swann” on DVD by clicking HERE or by visiting Highspots.com, which also offers this interview in MP4 format.
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