Skip to main content

Swerve Strickland says his first three months in AEW made him forget last three years in WWE

Strickland appeared on The Sessions with Renee Paquette recently.

Swerve Strickland told Renee Paquette that his first few months in AEW erased his memory of the last three years he spent in WWE.

Strickland appeared on an episode of The Sessions released on Tuesday. During the discussion, he expressed frustration with his time in WWE.

"For that first year, I felt like I was just like a good hand to have and that’s also what built up a lot of that resentment. It's starting to build a little bit cause I put over the Lio Rushs, I put over the Cameron Grimes', I put over the Santos Escobars, I put over the Bronson Reeds, the Austin Theorys. I kept putting all these people over."

Strickland continued to say that he tried to speak to Triple H about his standing in the company. 

"I had a couple conversations with Triple H. I’m like, ‘When am I going to be your guy? What is it gonna take for me to be your guy?’ I had three, three specific conversations with him, I’ll never forget them, that I always pushed the envelope for. I even texted him one day, I was like, ‘Can I have a conversation with you?’ He said, ‘Is it anything that you can talk to Matt Bloom about?’ I was like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘Okay, okay.’" 

"I would stare holes in him all day at production, I wanted him to feel the heat that I was glaring on him. Finally, when we did have a conversation, I’m like, ‘What is your hesitation putting the ball in my hands?’ He gave me the answers that kind of felt like they were repetitious answers from this person asking him, this person asking him, and the one before.” 

"I knew keeping tapping that egg, it wasn't going to work," Strickland continued.

He continued to say that he then went to Shawn Michaels. The two of them would have hour-long tape sessions watching Strickland's matches against Matt Riddle from DEFY or his work in PCW Ultra.

"Then it was just like, okay cool, and that’s where it started really turning around. That’s where my hair color started changing, they put the grills in my mouth and all that other stuff. I really started dabbing into the hip hop field of things," he continued.

Strickland also recalled a conversation he had with Stephanie McMahon around this time. 

"Then Stephanie McMahon came up and said, ‘You’re like my favorite heel, you’re my favorite heel here’, and then everything just kind of whirlwind and went up from there. That's when Hit Row started forming.”

Hit Row was called up to the WWE main roster in early October 2021. B-Fab was released on November 4 and the rest of the faction was cut two weeks later. 

"It hit hard because they got rid of Briana right away. That indicated to me and everybody else, like, I don't think they believe in us as much as they think they should believe in us. For me, the writing was on the walls."

Strickland then signed with AEW in March. 

"So like right away, I was just like, [my] first three months in AEW made me completely forget about my last three years in WWE. I put all of that focus and energy and that resentment and stuff into building something. Now, it's like I'm here seven months and I truly believe without a shadow of a doubt I’m the best acquisition of 2022 in any company."

"Those big disappointments turned into big successes later on for me," he continued.