AEW Star Swerve Strickland Reveals The Basis For His On-Screen Character

AEW star Swerve Strickland has become one of the most popular performers in the business, as fans have latched on to his mob boss-like character, complete with his Mogul Embassy stable and, of course, dancing manager Prince Nana. Some fans have wondered what inspired Strickland to create the character he embodies today, as has Bully Ray, who asked the former AEW World Tag Team Champion on 'Busted Open Radio' if his character was based on Wesley Snipes' character in the 'Blade' franchise, to which Strickland both agreed with, and corrected Bully at the same time.

"It's based off of Wesley Snipes," Strickland said. "The core of it, when I was in "NXT," was based on Simon Phoenix from Demolition Man. But it was a lot of Wesley Snipes-esque mannerisms in his acting. Then I went to "New Jack City" when I kind of transitioned over in to the Mogul Embassy/Mogul Affiliates type of genre." Strickland admitted that it wasn't just movies that inspired his character, as he has taken influences from some of the biggest names in modern hip-hop too. "Then I started really feeling like a lot of rappers that I'm a fan of, like Playboi Carti," Strickland said. "The black leather, braiding the hair back ... the eyeliner or eyeshadow, those little elements of me were just starting to change and people weren't noticing it but they felt something new." 

Strickland also revealed what prompted his character to become even darker than it already was. "It was a purpose because of something Sting did to me that affected me that transitioned me to where I am. It's a purpose for why this happened." Sting and Darby Allin defeated Strickland and Christian Cage in a coffin match at All In 2023, with Strickland being placed inside the coffin.

Please credit 'Busted Open Radio' when using quotes from this article, and give a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.