Swerve Strickland Returns To Home Indie Promotion DEFY Wrestling As AEW World Champion

Coming off his massive win at AEW Dynasty, newly-crowned AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland returned to his home state of Washington to celebrate at the promotion that he believes laid the foundation for his success – DEFY Wrestling. Strickland's resurgence in DEFY took place on Friday evening, as the promotion hosted its "Here and Now" event from Washington Hall in Seattle. Equipped with a microphone in his hand, Strickland embraced the crowd's warm greetings before praising them for their continued efforts in uplifting the independent wrestling scene.


"After me going all the way to St. Louis in the main event of [AEW Dynasty], and winning this AEW World Championship, there was only one other place I was going to go to come celebrate, and that was here in DEFY Wrestling. There's no other place like this in the world," Strickland said. "I've been saying it since 2017, and I still mean that to this day. You guys are very special because y'all have something very special that not a lot of places have – y'all can predict the future. Y'all set the tone for the rest of the independents of wrestling. Not only that, now y'all set the tone for the rest of the wrestling industry."


As he thanked the DEFY allegiant, Strickland also looked back on the promotion's first-ever show in January 2017, which was headlined by a GFW NEXGEN Championship match between himself and Cody Rhodes. In the years following, Strickland established himself as a regular fixture for DEFY while claiming three reigns as the DEFY World Champion. And much like Rhodes, Strickland noted that he is now a world champion in one of wrestling's biggest companies.

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