Exclusive: Petey Williams discusses Rich Swann, the X-Division, breakout stars and more!
In case you missed the first bit of my conversation with the high-flying X Division legend Petey Williams, you can read about it right here. In this part, I delved into the division he helped make famous.
Williams spoke at length about the division and also the main problem it faces today. This is a must-read interview for long time TNA/Impact Wrestling fans. Here is a glimpse of how our conversation went...
Do you think the X-Division of today is at par with the X Division of the past?
Williams: That's a good question. I will say no. I think we're still rebuilding the X Division. You look at the X Division back then and it was new. You look at the X Division in 2018 and that's the style now. Athletically, it's still great. You look at Andrew Everett and he's doing stuff that a gymnast would be ashamed of. Rich Swann. The athleticism is still there.
It's just that the X Division, ten years ago, you thought of it and you're like- 'The X Division! That's special'. Now it feels like everybody's doing that style now so it's not as cool as everybody else who's doing it. But people have to remember, we started that style that you're seeing now.
I was just watching Brian Cage vs. Kongo Kong and both men were flying all around the ring like they were X Division superstars. Do you think there's any distinction between the heavyweights and the X Division?
Williams: No. I really don't. Because if you look at a guy like Brian Cage, even Kongo Kong, but especially Brian Cage, he has the athleticism of X Division superstars. Only he's much bigger. He's a powerlifter. He's a bodybuilder. And that's why he is where he is. People are like he's athletic, he's big, he's scary....he has all the makings of it.
So no I don't think there's a big distinction anymore. And going back to the last question, everyone's doing the X Division style now. It doesn't matter where you are in the world and what company you work for, including our heavyweight division. So yes, I don't think there's a distinction anymore.
So how does one make the X Division unique?
Williams: That's a great question that has been asked to me many times, for months and months, and I don't have an answer. If I did, we'd already been doing it and I'd be a brilliant mind. I really don't have an answer for that. It needs to be something different.
Maybe the X Division shouldn't be called the X Division anymore. Maybe it should be called something else! Because the X Division used to mean something special. I would like for it to get back there and I think we're working towards that.
Who are some current Impact Wrestling talents that you think would be the next breakout stars?
Williams: Trevor Lee. I'm a great fan of his. He's young, he's got a great look, he's just so good. As well as Dezmond Xavier. He's one guy I've always wanted to wrestle. I finally got to wrestle him. We had a great match. I really enjoyed that. Andrew Everett. He's super athletic and stuff but I'm really enjoying what he's doing in the tag team with DJZ.
All those stars can be breakout stars if they play their cards right. As for the Knockouts, I'm so glad that we signed Tessa Blanchard. I thought she's a star in the making and she's the cornerstone of the Knockouts Division.
Rich Swann recently joined Impact Wrestling. What do you think of him?
Petey Williams: Oh Rich Swann is great. All the stuff he can do in the ring if you talk of a pure athlete in terms of balance, timing and body control, he's got great skill and he can fit perfectly in the X Division. And as for backstage, I didn't know he plays guitar.
I've been playing guitar for 25 years. So, we hit it off. We were playing some songs and everything! So, I really respect him as a performer. Both of his matches that aired so far...the one against Trevor Lee and the one against Fenix were absolutely phenomenal. His future matches are going to be the same. He's a big star. He's got what it takes!
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