Swerve Strickland Says Recent AEW Departure Opened Spot For Him

AEW star Shane "Swerve" Strickland joined the Getting Over: Wrestling Podcast to talk about his journey to AEW. Strickland detailed what led to him signing with AEW at AEW Revolution this past Sunday.

"My first call was with New Japan, honestly," Strickland said. "I was on the phone with Rock Romero and I talked with Will Ospreay, cause that's like my little brother to me. He wants me to be over there just as much him. And then like, my cousin, Will Washington, who helped produce on the Who We Are AEW album, he talked to Tony Khan pretty frequently and he does a lot of the media scrums as well. So shout out to them guys.


"So Tony Khan reached out to him because we're family, he's like, 'Hey, what can we do about getting him here?' And so that was already the bug in the ear so I was happy about the interest being already there, like that early. But, once again, I didn't want to show up there, I'm kind of glad I had that 90 days. I'm really glad, it gave me time to really go out, travel, build a team, network, meet other people."

Swerve Strickland joined AEW shortly after Cody Rhodes publicly parted ways with AEW, though Rhodes's future plans remain uncertain. Strickland believes that Rhodes' departure left a window open for other opportunities, including some that Strickland hopes to take advantage of.

"With the Cody Rhodes situation, with him leaving as well, we're not sure where that's going to go," Strickland said. "But him leaving, that opened up a spot with all those business acquisitions that he had, like I don't know if they are doing a lot of those anymore or they're seeing those out till they're finally finished. But that left a window. So I'm like, that gave me an opportunity for me to fill that void with all these crazy other business ventures and all that."


Swerve Strickland said a great thing about signing with AEW is the backing it provides for both him and his outside projects. He believes Tony Khan's business connections can only help his aspirations, both in and out of the ring.

"That's the beauty of it, is the freedom that they provide and when they see it going well, they can also add more fuel to that fire," Strickland said. "I'm already starting all these fires on my own with all these, like the music that I came out to, that's produced by Profit The Producer and Khalid Brooks who helped produce on the Donda album for Kanye West.

"Just that alone, that team right there, and Flash Garments singing the hook to that, who is in bed with a lot of these industry music executives like the Floyd Mayweather Money Team, with team Donda, with Chris Brown and his team and countless others. And other guys that I've brought over to AEW is A&R, I call him Hector. He's with A&R for Bad Boy. So Tony sees all that and he understands it. Like, 'Oh, that's an extension of you. We're going to let you do that, and then whatever you need, we apply more pressure to that with AEW', with all the other business acquisitions going on that he has with agencies and all that in LA."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Getting Over and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription