AEW's Swerve Strickland Discusses The Rise Of His Character

Though he came up short earlier this month at AEW Revolution, Swerve Strickland seems to have maintained his position near the top of the company's roster. Over the last year, Strickland has garnered a great deal of support from fans, despite being positioned as a heel for most of that time. The AEW star recently spoke with Georgia's 11Alive, with Strickland explaining that his girlfriend's experience as an actress inspired him to look at his onscreen character differently.


"It's all about making a choice ... and truly committing," Strickland said. "You can't be, 'Boom, boom, boom,' ... back and forth [on] what you want to be, who you are, what your motives are."

Strickland said he fully committed to the idea he had for his character, drowning out some online criticism in order to stay focused on the end goal. In turn, that choice has allowed Strickland to be more authentic onscreen and translate his own inspirations into a pro wrestling format, which he believes has resonated with the audience.

"It added just so many more layers and depth that people really attached to it and wanted to see more of it," Strickland continued. "Or wanted to see — next week, how do we explain that? Next week, do we dive in a little more?"


AEW's New Era

Though Strickland's career has been on the rise, the former WWE performer isn't satisfied yet. Citing his music career and podcast as well as his wrestling, Strickland said he intends to continue expanding until he's achieved everything he wants to. At this moment, Strickland sees great possibility as AEW enters a new era.


"It's almost like 'Breaking Bad' just ended season three [or] season four," Strickland said. "Where do you start now? Where do you follow up? Where [do] these characters go?"

The recent changes seen in AEW are not simply for the sake of change but are meant to progress the promotion, according to Strickland. Over the last few months, the company has been in a transition of sorts, moving back toward a sports-inspired presentation. This is evidenced by the introduction of the Continental Classic and Samoa Joe capturing the AEW World Championship from MJF in December of last year. The changes have kept coming, with a new set and theme song being introduced on last week's installment of "AEW Dynamite," and the recent retirement of the legendary Sting.


"That's a big, giant heart that's retired in AEW," Strickland stated. "It's almost impossible to fill the shoes that Sting left in the business and in AEW, but now it's like — okay, now how do we move forward?"

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 11Alive with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.