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Swerve Strickland: My First Three Months In AEW Made Me Forget About The Three Years In WWE

Swerve Strickland found his time in WWE frustrating

Swerve Strickland's early months in All Elite Wrestling helped him forget about what had been a mostly-frustrating three years in WWE, he revealed on The Sessions.

Strickland signed with WWE in 2019 but he was very much in the mid-card of the cruiserweight division during his first couple of years on NXT which prompted him to ask Triple H when he would receive a push. 

"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. 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,'" Swerve said. 

"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."

Following this, Strickland instead went to Shawn Michaels and they would go through his matches on the independents together. His opportunities on NXT began to get better before they improved dramatically after Stephanie McMahon told Swerve he was her favourite heel on NXT.  

Strickland would eventually form Hit Row with Top Dolla, Ashante Thee Adonis, and B-Fab in 2021 and they would become a popular act and move to the main roster. They were released in late 2021, though.

Following his release, Strickland would sign with AEW in March 2022 and he has since become one-half of the AEW World Tag Team Champions with Keith Lee. 

Speaking about his short time in AEW so far, Swerve added: "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."

H/T to F4W Online

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons