AEW's Swerve Strickland Explains The Different Sides Of His Character

AEW Revolution 2024 could be the biggest night in Swerve Strickland's career, as he may leave the Greensboro Coliseum on March 3 as the new AEW World Champion, becoming the first Black man to hold the belt in the process. Strickland will have to get past both the champion Samoa Joe, and the biggest rival of his AEW career, "Hangman" Adam Page. That might sound daunting, but considering some of the things Strickland has accomplished since signing with AEW at Revolution 2022, he's up for the challenge.


Speaking with The Athletic, Strickland explained how AEW fans have been able to connect with him, despite some of the horrific things he has done to other members of the roster. "If you don't resonate with Swerve the mogul, the artist, the rapper, then you're going to resonate with the filmmaker. If not the filmmaker, you will resonate with the in-ring competitor. If not the in-ring competitor, the faction leader of the Mogul Embassy." Strickland explained that by being allowed to showcase many different areas of his personality and influences, people from all walks of life have been able to connect with him.

Strickland attributed his ability to connect with a variety of different people to his upbringing, in which he lived in both the United States and Germany, as well as attending a whole host of different schools. This led to him getting into the wrestling industry, where he opened his mind up to multiple influences that has allowed his persona to be more than what meets the eye. "I opened my ear and my mind to different cultures, sounds, music, media, art and philosophies. It helped me grow into a multifaceted person, and also to being open. All of those things made me, me. I'm not just one thing — Swerve has never been just one thing."


Swerve Strickland is AEW's Horror Movie Villain

When it comes to the horror genre, people might think of things like vampires, ghosts, and monsters. But as for how thinks Strickland sees horror, he looks beyond famous villains like Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, and Frankenstein's Monster, and looks for a sense of realism. "Horror is the actual fear of what could happen," Strickland said. "It's being put in uncomfortable positions and you can't do anything about it, and you just have to sit there and watch." 


Strickland used the home invasion storyline he did with Page as an example, in which he cut a promo towards Page's real-life infant child. "I can freely move around and put my hands on things. I can make it real. I can get close to your infant child in a crib, and there's nothing (Page) can do as a father. As a human, that is horrifying. It wasn't a physical thing. It wasn't loud. It was quiet and controlled and very slow and subtle."

On top of the home invasion, Strickland has attempted to cut off Billy Gunn's fingers after kidnapping him, put Keith Lee out of action by breaking a cinderblock over his chest, and left Nick Wayne in a pool of his own blood in his home gym. Despite all this, Strickland is still routinely cheered by AEW fans, which has prompted Page to try and get an advantage ahead of the pay-per-view by attacking Strickland with a crutch on the most recent edition of "AEW Dynamite."