AEW's Swerve Strickland On How Pro Wrestling 'Brings Superheroes To Life'

Professional wrestling has always been about larger-than-life characters, and Swerve Strickland believes that after wrestling was picked up on nationally syndicated television, people got to see "superheroes coming to life" with characters such as The Hurricane. "Then [Rey] Mysterio took it to the next level, that showed that you could be a World Champion with a superhero brought to life type of archetype in pro wrestling," he told "Wrestling With Freddie." "For a while we didn't see the next jump and evolution of where's the next platform until I seen Bray Wyatt get a lot of that freedom with The Fiend. Then it was like, okay we are tapping into something new and going into a different way."

When it came to creating his own gimmick, Strickland was looking for a way to bring his culture to the forefront, while being able to humanize it at the same time. He didn't want his gimmick to become satire or feel far-fetched, and a random comment during a promo exchange with Tony Nese helped birth what AEW fans are currently enjoying today, leading to the debut of his Mogul Embassy character.

"We had the back-and-forth promo and Tony called me, 'Some rapper,' and I didn't even have anything in my head as far as what I was going to say, I was literally just flowing," Strickland said. "I was like, 'Hey, be careful how you use the word rapper because I'm a mogul.' I was like, that's what it is, and I kind of ran with that. I was like, how do I get more of the mogul and more business side of hip hop?"

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Wrestling With Freddie" with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.