Swerve Strickland Is On The Brink Of Making History In AEW

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Swerve Strickland has the chance to make pro-wrestling history at AEW’s Revolution PPV this Weekend by becoming the companies first Black AEW World Champion.

AEW Revolution airs live from the Greensboro Coliseum and will see Strickland go nose to nose with his nemesis and wrestling soulmate, Hangman Adam Page and the AEW World Champion Samoa Joe in a three-way match with the biggest honor in the men’s division, the World Championship on the line.

If Swerve is able to take home the gold by vanquishing either of his foes in the middle of the ring, it would be a historic and ground-breaking moment for not only the man himself, All Elite Wrestling as well.

It took the number one name in the world of U.S. wrestling, the WWE nearly fifty years to crown it’s Black World Champion in the year 1998 when Dwayne Johnson would finally obtain the gold. WCW crowned Ron Simmons, their first black World Heavyweight Champion in 1992, four years after the inception of WCW although the specific championship has history dating back to the 1940’s

All Elite Wrestling is possibly on the verge of crowning their very first black World Champion in Swerve Strickland, just five years after the birth of the up-start company.

Strickland recently spoke with The Athletic about his hopes of making history, about AEW, and it’s owner and general manager, Tony Khan.

“It would be change. It would be culture. It’s impact, and it’s history, for AEW to get their first African American champion only five years into its existence would be big. Other companies took years to pull this off. I came over in 2022, and unlike a lot of people who carry the weight of where they’ve come from, I was like, ‘No, I’m gonna wipe the slate clean, start fresh’. I started from literally zero. “Getting to this point in just two years shows what Tony Khan sees in me. I want to be part of AEW’s history and take it to different heights.”

-Swerve Strickland

Swerve Strickland would go on to relish the idea of being the defining individual within the ranks of AEW in 2024, as well as the idea of having his name in the pro-wrestling history books.

“I want to come to Wembley Stadium this year as the world champion, as an African American in another country and fill 80,000 seats. Speaking about the possibility of pulling that off, it gives me goosebumps. It’s hard not to be excited about this kind of thing.”

-Swerve Strickland

Swerve Strickland rolls into Revolution with momentum on his side and the fans widely behind him. Strickland has committed numerous heinous actions upon his peers in the locker-room such as but not limited to; breaking and entering into Adam Page’s home and proceeding to threaten his young child, kidnapping Billy Gunn, and smashing Keith Lee with a cinderblock.

However, despite Strickland’s pension for violence and all things despicable, the AEW fans love this man to pieces. Alongside Prince Nana, Strickland has been conducting business to the sounds of a roaring crowd for months now.

“There are, like, four different layers of Swerve that people get to witness. If you don’t resonate with Swerve the mogul, the artist, the rapper, then you’re going to resonate with the filmmaker. If not the filmmaker, you will resonate with the in-ring competitor. If not the in-ring competitor, the faction leader of the Mogul Embassy. By showcasing myself every week, people have gravitated and started recognizing what I’m made of. It intrigues people, and people understand what I’m fighting for.”

-Swerve Strickland

AEW’s owner and booker also spoke to The Athletic, where he would admit that he had always seen big things in Strickland.

“After his first match against Tony Neese on AEW Rampage, Chris Jericho walked back to me and said, ‘This guy is really amazing. Where did you find him?’, I’ve been watching him for years. I wanted to bring him into AEW when we first launched, but he had just been signed by WWE. Swerve is a wildcard. We saw that Swerve is a breakout star. He won the tag team championship in his first year and went on to have a massive 2023 while being showcased as a singles star. The idea was to showcase Swerve in feature positions with the intent and belief that crowds all over the world would buy into him. I believed he’d become very popular.”

-Tony Khan

Swerve would also go on to speak about how he feels his semi-nomadic upbringing helped him become the jack of all trades he is today. Strickland’s father’s connection to the U.S. Army saw the family moving frequently throughout his formative years. Strickland lived in Germany for years before his family made their way back to the United States.

“When I got into wrestling, I opened my ear and my mind to different cultures, sounds, music, media, art and philosophies. It helped me grow into a multifaceted person, and also to being open. All of those things made me, me. I’m not just one thing — Swerve has never been just one thing.”

-Swerve Strickland

One of the defining characteristic of Strickland’s 2023 was his introduction of another of his interests, that being horror, something that he feels transcends the typical perception of slasher movies and Freddy Krueger.

Swerve and Hangman Adam Page went to war in 2023 in a Texas Deathmatch that would make David Cronenberg blush. The two bathed and drank the blood of the other man and tore each other limb from limb before Strickland was able to emerge with the victory over the cowboy. Swerve got the chance to speak further on his feelings regarding horror, how multifaceted he feels it is, and how he was able to implement it during his ongoing feud with Adam Page.

“That’s not, to me, what horror is. Horror is the actual fear of what could happen,” he said. “It’s being put in uncomfortable positions and you can’t do anything about it, and you just have to sit there and watch. Like the home invasion … I can freely move around and put my hands on things. I can make it real. I can get close to your infant child in a crib, and there’s nothing (Page) can do as a father. As a human, that is horrifying. It wasn’t a physical thing. It wasn’t loud. It was quiet and controlled and very slow and subtle.”

-Swerve Strickland

Swerve also spoke about the pro wrestling veteran and his other opponent for Revolution this weekend, the AEW World Champion, Samoa Joe. Strickland would mention that Joe’s in-ring style and presentation was key to his early years of professional wrestling. Strickland is obviously eager to test his mettle against Joe.

“He’s a true pioneer in this business, and he holds so much intimidation,” Strickland said of Joe. “There’s so much of an aura about him that he has always had, and he has found a way to fine-tune it in so many ways. Joe has once again revitalized his career, found another way to reshape it. Just being in the ring doing promos (talking sections of wrestling shows) alone is surreal. People are buying into it from a promo standpoint; now people are anticipating us getting to the physical aspect. It means the world to me, and reaching Joe in a pay-per-view sense shows my growth. Getting to him means I’ve grown.”

-Swerve Strickland

With as much praise as Swerve gives his foes, it goes without saying that AEW’s Revolution could be one of the biggest moments of Swerve Strickland’s professional wrestling career. Strickland has the chance to make history by officially turning AEW into Swerve’s House.

AEW Revolution airs live on March 3, from North Carolina’s Greensboro Coliseum, the event will also feature Sting’s Last Match as he and Darby Allin defend their AEW World Tag Team Championship against the AEW EVP’s Nicholas and Matthew Jackson, The Young Bucks.

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