Tony Khan: AEW Worlds End Is The 'Right Time' For Swerve Strickland Vs. Keith Lee

Nearly a year removed from their tag team breakup, Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee will finally go one-on-one at AEW Worlds End this Saturday. During the pre-event media scrum on December 28, AEW President Tony Khan addressed why he chose to book their singles match now after all this time.

"Yeah, absolutely. I think now is the right time for Swerve — well, for both of them just because last night the Continental Classic Gold League finals I thought was one of the best matches on the show, and so was the Blue League finals," Khan said. "Swerve on 'Dynamite' in the Gold League has been tearing the house down, pun intended. It has been Swerve's house and he's been tearing it down."

He added, "The timing of it is by design. We've been trying to build both men. Swerve has had a meteoric rise unlike anybody in AEW or in pro wrestling. It has been very organic, and he has earned the position."

Khan noted that Orlando, which is where "Dynamite" was on December 27, was also where Strickland made his first AEW appearance during Revolution 2022. Meanwhile, Keith Lee beat Brian Cage in San Antonio, which is where Strickland put Lee through a cinder block. To him, the stars have aligned.

'Both Guys Have Been Doing Tremendous'

Regarding Keith Lee, Tony Khan stated, "I have been so enthusiastic about 'AEW Collision' and Keith Lee being regularly presented on 'Collision' is something I love and something that has been very successful for the show when you look at the ratings growth we've had, the success we've had with 'Collision' rising in the ratings despite the competition getting undisputedly tougher and tougher."

Khan went on to praise Lee and Strickland's work as a tag team. He believed they were a force together and kept their singles match "in the chamber" for when he needed to pull the trigger.

"Coming out of the Continental Classic, Swerve is on fire and I thought it'd be perfect to go into Worlds End with Keith still in the chase," Khan said. "He's had these great matches recently. We didn't know who 'him' was even though we all suspected who 'him' was."

"Both guys have been doing tremendous and for the company, it's a great time to go to the match coming out of the Continental Classic... Frankly, I think that the timing is right because had I gone to the match at another time and place, I wouldn't do anything differently in terms of what we've done with Swerve. I think it's been perfect. I wouldn't change a thing."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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