Swoggle Recalls How A Booking Oversight Changed His WWE Career

Dylan Postl, formerly known as Hornswoggle/Swoggle, had an unforgettable run in WWE.

For years, he was primarily used as comic relief; he dressed up as a leprechaun and danced with Finlay, the fighting Irishman. Hornswoggle was later revealed as WWE Chairman’s Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son, and he also had a prominent role as the mascot for D-Generation X. This stretch of his career gave him a prominent spot on WWE TV, but it trivialized him and denied him the opportunity to showcase his skills as a wrestler. But the fan-favorite star’s in-ring career took off when he started feuding with El Torito in 2014. This rivalry gave Hornswoggle his first real chance to prove himself as a legitimate competitor.

In a recent interview with WrestleZone’s Colin Tessier, Swoggle looked back on this transformative storyline and recalled how it all stemmed from his performance in a rehearsal match. The former WWE Cruiserweight Champion explained that practically everyone wanted to see him fail, but by holding his own as best he could with El Torito, he silenced his doubters and made it clear that he could perform at a high level in the ring.

“I wasn’t shown I could wrestle until the stuff with Torito,” said Swoggle. “And I had the match with like Little Boogeyman and random things, but I never was able to wrestle. And when they had me, before the first Torito match, it was a six-man or something, or it was a singles with us, I forget. But they had me in rehearsal like go over stuff with him before the show. And like, it was a locker-room sellout at the ring. But it was a locker room sellout to see me fail. Like… they wanted to see me [fail], that I couldn’t hang. And I couldn’t hang with Torito. He is the craziest, best athlete of my people in the world, and always will be. But I hung as best as I needed to do.

“And people were like shocked, and I still remember to this day, looking over at the barricade, and Dolph Ziggler and Kofi [Kingston] were at the barricade with just Cheshire Cat smiles because it was like they knew. They had a feeling I could do it, and they wanted to see me kind of shove it up everyone’s ass.”

Swoggle then described how it felt to prove his naysayers wrong and noted that all he needed was an opportunity; once he got it, with Torito’s help, he capitalized and delivered a performance that stunned everyone in attendance. Swoggle’s background as someone who trained to be an actual wrestler flew under the radar in the early years of his WWE career, but this rehearsal match let him show everyone that he could go in the ring.

“I was trained to wrestle,” said Swoggle. “I wasn’t trained to have dirt on my face and come out from under the ring. It was something I knew I always could do, and I was able to show it. And it was finding the opportunity to show it, and that’s the only time I’ll ever pay myself on the back. But I blew it out of the water, with Torito’s help, and with everyone’s help going forward with that story and all that. We blew it out of the water each and every time.

“And it was a very fun moment, to be able to, even just in rehearsal, with no one in the building, and no one in the seats, just kind of say to myself, ‘I told you guys. I told you I wanted to wrestle, I wanted to do this. And I knew I could. And now I’m showing you I can.’ So finally I’m getting the chance.”

In hindsight, Swoggle stated that he’d never take back his run as the “growling ass-biter” he played while he was limited in his role as a comedy act. But he also made emphasized that finally getting the chance to wrestle was one of the most rewarding highlights of his career.

With such a wonderful moment of growth, one would hope that there’d be an equally heart-warming reason as to why WWE finally gave Swoggle a chance. That’d certainly be the case if this situation played out in a movie. But in real life, even the most meaningful progressions can be random sometimes, and that was the case for Swoggle’s breakout. He got the opportunity to take his career to a new level simply because Heath Slater of 3MB was on a tour overseas, and WWE desperately needed someone to fill in for him. Even after Swoggle spent months pitching his involvement in 3MB’s feud with Los Matadores and El Torito, it took a glaring oversight for WWE to call on him.

“Heath Slater was in Saudi Arabia — that’s legitimately the reason,” said Swoggle. “I asked to work with Torito since he started on TV, since he got hired at that point, and they told me verbatim, ‘That’s too easy, we’re not going to do it.’ What? Okay. So then a couple months later, ‘Hey man, I wanna do this, I can do this.’ Nothing. They started the thing with 3MB and the Matadores. ‘Hey, I can join them.’ Nothing. Okay.

“Heath Slater is in Saudi Arabia, they need a sixth man because they booked a six-man and didn’t realize Heath Slater was gone for some reason, because they didn’t know their roster. And then they go, ‘Oh no, what are we gonna do? Oh we have Hornswoggle.’ Sweet, here we go.”

As a fun detail, Swoggle also recalled how, for this career-changing bout, he wore pants that were made for Heath; to make them the right size, the designers just chopped the legs so they would fit Swoggle instead. The former WWE star then repeated that this amazing opportunity only came about because WWE booked a sixpman tag without having the requisite six people

“And it was like a funny backstage thing, like they were making a pair of pants for Heath that they just chopped off for me, and they fit, and they worked. So it’s just, I joke with Heath, I go man, thank you for being on that tour. Because I would never have gotten the chance. And it was just off to the races from there. But there was so reason, like there was literally no reason for them to give me a chance other than, they booked a six-man and realized, oh s—-, we don’t have a sixth person.”

As Swoggle noted, this bout had an immeasurable impact on his career, as it proved that he could wrestle. Since WWE released Swoggle in 2016, he has an active run throughout the wrestling world; he competed for various independent promotions, and he has also worked several shows for IMPACT Wrestling.

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