Johnny Swinger (WWE’s Parisi) On DSW, WWE, TNA, ECW Etc.

Bill Behrens

Former WWE and ECW star Johnny Swinger was interviewed by www.mondaynightmayhem.com.
 
The Mayhem Crew welcomed Johnny Swinger back to the show, and Johnny thanked them right away for having him on the air, stating that he has not fallen off the earth, but has "just been a little delayed." Being a native of the Buffalo area, Mosh asked Johnny for his thoughts on how well the Western New York community has come together after the tragic Continental Airlines Flight 3407 crash earlier this month. Although Swinger is now in Georgia, he said that the community is like a "tight knit family," so the crash hit close to home for everybody. He mentioned how he has been gone from the area for several years, but both he & his wife miss the area. He also added that members of his wife’s family live about a block away from the crash site, and sends his thoughts & prayers out to the families of those lost.

Many fans remember Johnny’s run in World Wrestling Entertainment in 2005 as Johnny Parisi. His time in the WWE seemed to consist of a lot of Sunday Night Heat matches before he was released. Blade & Mosh asked Swinger if there was any credible reason given for his release. Johnny mentioned a quote from an interview that Triple H did at a Mr. Olympia event, where he claimed that he had "no idea who Johnny Parisi was."

 
Johnny went on to say that he thinks the reason he "didn’t get over" was because he was not given the opportunity to….simply put. He added that he spent time in DSW (Deep South Wrestling), but was lost because the developmental territories are more for guys that do not have a lot of experience, so in the end he was rushed up to TV without anything planned, "which didn’t work out for (him)." Blade added that it sounded like Johnny "got Braden Walkered," to which Swinger said, "Actually, I think he did better than I did…and made more money."

Mosh asked Johnny to give the fans a brief rundown of his career — starting with World Championship Wrestling to finally making it to the WWE. Johnny said that after working nearly 12 years & being in every other major promotion available, he fulfilled a dream by "making it to The Promised Land.." While living in Atlanta, he said he wanted to be in the ring & working, so he was put in Deep South Wrestling for a few months before being called up to the main roster, being told "the writers know who (he is), so they will have something available."

 
He went on to say how he was called up to work somewhat of a "tryout match" on Heat against independent wrestler, "Fabulous" John McChesney, "who is a good guy & a good talent," but did not really know where things were going after that. After that, he wrestled Matt Striker for a couple weeks, before being used as a "guy to put other guys over," still not having anything else creatively set in stone. He said a couple weeks later, a writer told him that Vince McMahon did not know where they were going with the "Johnny Parisi" character, which he did not know either, and said it was just a "lost in the shuffle" type of deal.

Running off of the Triple H quote from earlier in the interview, The Mayhem asked Johnny if "he’s really that bad," as much of the wrestling internet community claims with much regularity. Johnny said that Hunter was actually always very nice to him, and that he actually wrestled him in one of his first WWE matches in 1995.

 
"Obviously he didn’t remember me after I came back," he added, and then told a story about how Triple H was very cool to him after a match against Val Venis where Johnny had his nose broken. Johnny said that Triple H made a joke about his own nose, saying "If it makes you feel any better I had my nose broken a few years ago, and it’s been growing ever since". He added that he does not believe he personally was high enough on the radar to be "held back" by Triple H, which is why the quote that Triple H said he does not know of him kind of intrigued him.

Mosh asked Johnny about his thoughts working in the original ECW, as we have been seeing "Version 2.0" over the past few years on the Sci-Fi Channel. Johnny said that working in Extreme Championship Wrestling was awesome, and it was the first place he got to get himself over, "and you know what, (he) did." He added that he did not make any money there, but it is not all about money, but said it was still a great time & had a lot of great matches teaming with Simon Diamond.

 
He said that his favorite match was a Triple-Threat Match in the finals of an ECW Tag Team Tournament that had him & Simon Diamond against the teams of Tajiri & Mikey Whipreck, as well as Tommy Dreamer & Jerry Lynn, in which the crowd reactions were unbelievable. He mentioned how he watched the match a couple months ago, and called Simon afterwards to tell him to watch it again too, as "its not like it used to be anymore."

Old-school fans of TNA Wrestling remember Johnny’s "reunion" with Simon Diamond in the early "Asylum" days of the company. Swinger said experience was "once again good timing." He talked about how The Honky Tonk Man once told him that if someone is talented enough & sticks around for awhile, they will eventually have their chance — to which he got those opportunities in ECW & then a few years later in TNA. He said that he & Simon had a good run there, and it was fast-paced at times, with moving on to different angles & areas, so once their run was done, he was released which was around the same time he started talking with World Wrestling Entertainment.

As a parting message to his fans, Swinger said that he appreciates any & all of the support that he gets, going back to the "hardcore, ‘stick with it’ kinda’ fans" from WCW, who are the same fans that keep the business alive — which is appreciated by him & "the rest of the boys." He urged all fans to keep watching TNA & the WWE, and to keep supporting the business like they have been. He also said he would like to give a final plug to the new Jeff Jarrett DVD (coming out from TNA), and reminds fans that it’s spelled "J-E-double F/J-A-double R-E-double T."

More is contained in this half-hour+ Swinger interview including: even more details on the Johnny Parisi character (including how he almost ended up teaming up with Festus & Roadkill), more on OVW/DSW, thoughts on his close friends Edge (capturing the World Heavyweight Championship at No Way Out) & Christian (returning to the WWE & leaving TNA), in addition to his thoughts on the current status of TNA (and the likelihood of him returning there), as well as if we could have seen the last of the "Johnny Swinger" character & if something new could be on the horizon. The only way to find out what lies ahead for one of ECW’s Originals is by tuning into The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network!

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