On the night of Dec. 9, 2017, Rich Swann was arrested in Florida and charged with domestic battery and false imprisonment.
WWE announced the following day that it has indefinitely suspended Swann, saying in a statement that “WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence.”
Swann was arrested after an incident with his wife, Vanessa Riggs, who wrestles as Su Yung, while they were driving following her match at an independent show in Gainesville, Florida. According to the arrest report, Swann was criticizing his wife’s performance when she feared that the encounter would turn physical and got out of the car.
A witness said Swann also got out of the car, put his wife in a headlock and dragged her back to the car while she screamed for help, according to the arrest report. A second witness later saw the victim jump out of the car while it was still moving and run. Swann again got out of the car to pursue her, according to the arrest report, but he did not put the car in park and it subsequently struck a telephone pole.
Swann’s wife told police that Swann has a temper and she feared the argument would become violent. Swann told police that he did not grab his wife and “never physically touched her.”
Swann and Riggs have apparently since reconciled. About a week before Christmas, Riggs wrote an update on Facebook that said, “I can not wait to see my husband tomorrow! After such an awesome weekend of wrestling debuting in two different promotions across America nothing would be better than to see his face.”
Despite their apparent reconciliation, WWE is leaning heavily towards releasing Swann from his contract. Based on WWE’s own investigation of the situation, they believe the incident was not the first time Swann got physical with Riggs.
As for any criminal prosecution, while Riggs does not want to proceed, there are enough independent witnesses that the state of Florida is planning to move forward with or without her cooperation. Unless the charges are dropped, WWE feels they have no choice but to release Swann.