Tonight's NXT is loaded as usual, but one of the most intriguing matchups on the card is a grudge match between Isaiah "Swerve" Scott and Leon Ruff. Scott has been rather annoyed by all of the title opportunities Ruff has received recently, and he's made a point to push Ruff down the list and showcase why he's the only one who should be in the running for gold. Scott will look to put Ruff down the card for good tonight in a Falls Count Anywhere match, and ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to Scott all about tonight's throwdown, embracing his new attitude, a future title shot, and even some R&B.
First though we had to talk about Ruff, and while Scott does see someone with more fire than he expected, that respect shouldn't be misconstrued.
"I'm looking to kill his confidence. That is my goal," Scott said. "Now, I know that this dude has a lot of fire, and I know that he has been bringing it as of lately. He's brought that intensity up, he has myself to thank for that. I brought something out of him. I didn't think he had it in him, but he proved me wrong. With that being said, there are consequences to actions. There's consequences and repercussions for going the extra mile, and I'm about to show him that."
Scott has some lessons to teach, and he's preparing fans for a very physical match, one that should not be missed. That said, it might be a bit...uncomfortable for some.
"Now, of course, I know that this is going to be a very, very, very big match for tonight, even though there's also other great matches that are going to be on. But we have something special between us right now. There's something special, and there's lessons being learned and taught, and I'm going to be the one teaching those lessons, and Leon's going to be the one learning them," Scott said. "This is going to be a clinic, but this is also going to be very uncomfortable. I'm going to have to go to a certain level that I haven't had to go yet. I haven't had to go that far yet, but Leon's the one bringing that out of me. And just for the viewing audience, there's going to be certain times it's going to be unsettling. I will say that."
For as many matches as Scott has been in, this is actually the first Falls Count Anywhere match he's been a part of. Still, he's not worried in the slightest.
"This is honestly one of my first few Falls Count Anywhere matches that I've had in my career, out of all that I've done. So this is even new territory for me, but the stipulation match is not," Scott said. "So the thing is, this is like a match that honestly does benefit Leon Ruff more so than anything, because he's an environmental type of performer. He can jump around, he can Spider-Man off of things. You've seen that at TakeOver with him jumping on like the barricades and stuff."
"So this does favor him, because he's the aerialist a little bit more, but me, I'm the one that... I'm the power. I'm the Green Goblin in this situation, I'm trying to stop the Spider,' Scott said. "So there are a lot of difficulties between, for both of us, in this match stipulation. I'm always going to go with myself, because I'm just a different type of performer. There's nobody else like me on that show, and I'm just unlike anything, any type of force that Leon's ever faced. And I think that always wins."
Scott seems like he's having a lot of fun these days, and that change coincided with Scott's change in attitude, which was a response to what Scott perceived as a failure to reach that next level.
"Failure is, honestly, what brought me to where I am right now. Because if you look in the past, I've always climbed the mountain, but I could never get the job done," Scott said. "I couldn't take down Santos Escobar for the Cruiserweight Championship. In Houston, I couldn't defeat Jordan Devlin at Worlds Collide to win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. So now I look back on those things, I can just laugh at it.
I just laugh at how gullible I was. I laugh at how not fully put together I was as well. I didn't embrace the history that I have in my heart with being, you know, the violent wrestler, the violent performer. Now, I do. Now, I just laugh at those moments, and now I'm creating new ones. Now, I'm giving a different vibe, and it's amusing to me. I'm flowing in a different way. I walk differently, I talk differently, I look differently, and I'm enjoying the person that I am. Whether it's good or bad, the things that I'm doing, I'm enjoying it. That's all that matters to me right now."
After his match with Ruff, I had to ask what the future holds for Scott, and if he sees a rematch against Gargano or a Championship match with Karrion Kross in the cards.
"I mean, the way the landscape is right now in NXT, it's all flipped upside down. Especially after TakeOver, the landscape has just changed so much. There are different challengers coming in and out now. So honestly, it's about being opportunistic, in which where does Swerve fit in? What is the best opportunity for Swerve? Is it going after Kross? Because he hasn't been really showing his face too much inside the ring. Is it going after Johnny? Like, do I go through a Bronson Reed to get to Johnny? Do I go back to the Cruiserweight division now that I don't have to deal with Santos Escobar and the rest of Legado del Fantasma interfering anymore?"
"There are all these different elements. Like I said, the landscape's changed now, so it's all about being opportunistic for me. I got to just wait things out and see where it goes, but I can't take my eye off of Leon Ruff yet. Is he on my level? No, but I can't take my off him, because he is a former NXT North American Champion. So I've still got to look at the task at hand, and I will weigh the landscape after tonight is finished," Scott said.
When Swerve is not taking out opponents in the ring he's hosting his SwerveCity Podcast, and recently he had the chance to bring on R&B star Donell Jones. As a massive R&B fan (especially '90s R&B), I had to ask who else was. on the podcast bucket list.
"Ooh, R&B star. I'm a huge Musiq Soulchild fan. Huge Musiq Soulchild fan. Grew up on his music, like literally my sister used to play his albums and CDs back in the day when I was younger, and I never knew what it was. I'm like, man, who is this? I stole her CDs every time she got them, because I was just a huge Musiq Soulchild fan," Scott said. "That would be my bucket list, and I don't want to leave anybody out, and so as far as like R&B, Ginuwine would be one. I'm a huge Ginuwine fan. Like, I can go... I'll say Dru Hill. Dru Hill. Yeah, yeah. And like I just talked about bringing Dru Hill together to do an interview would be, whoo, difficult. But man, I think that would definitely be like my tops. My own personal top favorites."
Scott asked Jones what his dream Verzuz battle would be, and I liked the question so much I wanted to know what Scott's would be, and it would involve two Hip Hop giants.
"Hmm. I got to put Em in there because Eminem, he's in his own realm and he doesn't really come out and get social too much," Scott said. "So just seeing them in a versus alone is just a treat for me, like interacting and stuff. Honestly, the only other person that can really rival an Eminem versus is a Jay-Z, because that catalog is just so long. It's so impactful. Yeah, I think Jay would be the only one that could rival Em."
He did have one other matchup to throw out though, and it's one that I hope one day actually happens. "You know, I want to see more groups. I would like, I'll tell you one, they were both hot at the same time, both their albums came out at the same time when I was growing up, and you don't see too many group versus. I would like to see D12 and St. Lunatics, because they were both hot at the same time."
Purple Pills vs Midwest Swing? Sign me up now!0comments
You can watch Swerve take on Ruff in a Falls Count Anywhere match on tonight's NXT when it airs on USA Network at 8 PM EST, and you can catch all of our NXT coverage right here on ComicBook.com.
What do you want to see next for Swerve? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things NXT with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!