Backstage Report On AEW's Plans For Swerve Strickland

AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland started his reign in fine fashion on the April 24 "AEW Dynamite" as he defeated ROH World Television Champion Kyle Fletcher in an Eliminator Match. Despite a strong performance, some were surprised to see Strickland wrestling so soon after his title win over Samoa Joe at Dynasty, instead expecting him to cut a promo to give some insight into what the future holds for him now that he is champion. However, this was all by design.


Strickland will cut his first promo as the AEW World Champion at the beginning of the April 27 "AEW Collision," which according to a report by Fightful Select is expected to get a big lead-in on TNT thanks to the show immediately following the NBA playoffs. AEW sources told Fightful that the game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat is set to be the best lead-in of AEW's year, meaning that by placing their new champion at the top of the show, the most possible eyes will be on Strickland, benefiting him greatly.

Since Fletcher couldn't get the job done on "Dynamite," fans have started to wonder who will be the one to step up to Strickland and be his first challenger. That question will be answered on the May 1 "AEW Dynamite" in Winnipeg, as the man who will challenge Strickland for the AEW World Championship at Double or Nothing on May 26 will be announced. Outside of finding out who Strickland will face at Double or Nothing, fans in Winnipeg will see Chris Jericho make his first defense of the FTW Championship against Katsuyori Shibata, while Kenny Omega will make a special appearance in his hometown after being sidelined since December following being diagnosed with diverticulitis.