WWE has officially released former 205 Live cruiserweight Rich Swann.
WWE.com released the following statement:
Rich Swann and WWE part ways
Rich Swann and WWE have mutually agreed to part ways as of today, February 15, 2018. WWE wishes Swann the best in all of his future endeavors.
After debuting for the NXT brand in late 2015, Rich appeared in the Cruiserweight Classic Tournament in the summer of 2016, making it to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by eventual winner TJ Perkins.
On the debut episode of 205 Live, he defeated The Brian Kendrick for his only reign as WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
Swann’s last appearance on WWE TV was a win over Tony Nese on the 12/5/17 edition of 205 Live.
Tommy’s Thoughts: For all the “will they or won’t they?” drama: at least he got the “best wishes” line. A release was something that many had expected from day one, even though there was a thought that he would have a chance to return if the charges weren’t pursued. Though unlike the Enzo situation, even if they had made their minds up, it’s not like they could have fired him while it was ongoing. It would’ve looked bad on the WWE’s part to rush to judgment on one of their employees, especially before all the facts were in.
Considering WWE’s stance on domestic incidents for their PG image and the headlines that were made at the time of the incident, plus their track record of distancing themselves from talent who’ve made waves only to bring them back when the heat dies down: it’s an unfortunate situation, as much as the outcome is not surprising.
With the rebranding effort going on for 205 Live and the cruiserweight division, it’s a shame that Swann won’t be apart of it considering how prominently he had been featured in the past. But sometimes, going away is the only thing that can clear the air around you. For Rich’s sake, let’s hope it’s a growing experience that he’s learned from for next time.