AEW's Swerve Strickland Details Frustrations In WWE's NXT

Swerve Strickland is riding high in AEW, coming off a huge win against "Hangman" Adam Page at AEW Full Gear and a first-round win in the Continental Classic last week, but it wasn't too long ago he seemed poised to be a future star in WWE as Isaiah "Swerve" Scott. Instead, Strickland was released by WWE in November 2021, effectively opening the door for his AEW run.


Strickland hasn't been shy about documenting his frustrations during his time in WWE, and in an appearance on "Insight With Chris Van Vliet," he discussed some of those frustrations, which he was open about with WWE management in meetings.

"Here's the frustrating part of this," Strickland said. "When WWE and 'NXT' are promoting this and doing this and this and that ... and you're tweeting, supporting everything like, 'Oh, this is coming to the Peacock.' 'Yeah, we're doing this, retweet it.' 'Hey, this is the new show coming out' ... they'll say nothing ... You just tweet 'Unappreciated,' they call you. 'Hey man, We see you tweeted 'underappreciated,' what was that all about?' But you miss all the other stuff that I did? You didn't see anything about me, like that two-minute promo video I put out [that] nobody mentioned. But you'll see that, though? So that was one of the things I brought up in the meeting. I was like, 'Exactly what I say, I feel unappreciated. I feel like I can do more. And I think y'all know that I can do more.'"


Strickland Constantly Asked Triple H How To be 'One Of Your Guys'

Ultimately, a meeting with former WWE executive Canyon Ceman would open the door for Strickland to have more interaction with WWE higher-ups like Shawn Michaels, making Strickland realize he could be more open about approaching management. That led to more frustrations regarding Strickland's interactions with Paul "Triple H" Levesque (something Strickland has spoken about in the past) and how his constant approaches of "The Game" to be "one of your guys" seemingly fell on deaf ears.


"By that time I was already doing the 'NXT' Takeovers, and like the Worlds Collide, I was already being on everything and weekly TV," Strickland said. "But I always told Triple H at the time, first two months there [I] was like, 'Hey, thank you. I appreciate everything that you've given me. I'm happy to be here. What can I do to be one of your guys?' Then three months later, 'I appreciate everything. Thank you. This has been awesome to experience, appreciate you having me here. What would I have to do to be one of those guys?'

"Three months after that, like a year now? I'm like, 'What's stopping you from making me one of your guys?' Now it's like I'm putting the pressure on him. Because now the equity has grown. Now, he knows I'm serious. I know what I have to offer ... It could be taken as disrespectful, like 'You don't know what you're talking about. You're not seeing me here.' But that's those risks I gotta take, you know, like, giving me the chance to fail."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription