Why Bully Ray Says Swerve Strickland Is Treated Differently Than Other AEW Champions

Swerve Strickland is well over a month into his AEW World Championship reign, but not everyone feels the company is emphasizing Strickland as much as they should. Speaking on "Busted Open Radio," WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray and the other hosts took issue with the fact that Strickland was booked to wrestle on "AEW Dynamite" after winning the title rather than giving him an opportunity to speak to the fans.


"That first week, we all can agree that we would've loved to have heard from Swerve right off the bat, as your new AEW World Heavyweight Champion, as the first African American AEW World Heavyweight Champion," Bully said. "I don't know if any of us can actually put our finger on it, but from a perception point of view, it feels like Swerve is being treated differently than other world champions and how they were put forth by the company."

Co-host and former AEW employee Mark Henry agreed with Bully, sharing his belief that Strickland should be treated just like any other world champion, citing the way "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was presented during his heyday in WWE. Both men, along with fellow host Dave LaGreca, agreed that TBS Champion Mercedes Mone has been presented more prominently than Strickland.


"Why does Mercedes Mone get to kick off the show last week on 'Dynamite' after she just won a television championship, but Swerve Strickland didn't get to kick off 'Dynamite' after he won the AEW World Championship?" Bully asked.

Henry then suggested that the promotion had possibly learned from its mistake in not booking Strickland to open the show following his win in April. However, his co-host made the point that the company has now trained the audience to view Mone as a bigger star than the AEW World Champion.

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