Swerve Strickland on Sting’s retirement match, the importance of younger wrestlers working on their entrance, getting a fresh start in AEW

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet) 

The Game Plan podcast with Swerve Strickland
Hosts: Giancarlo Aulino and Aaron Zaretsky
Interview available via YouTube.com

Swerve on Sting’s retirement match at AEW Revolution: “That match was incredible for one. That was one of the ways, like, a lot of veterans probably wish they could go out. You know, special way, like not just in the fact of the match itself, but just the whole presentation; your children being with you on stage, the video packages shown, going down memory lane. Getting a proper sendoff. Getting 16,000 people to sell out an arena to come watch you. Not a lot of people get the opportunity to really go out with a swan song as beautiful as Sting. So, it was really important to me to sit there and watch that and really to be there for his moment.

“You know, I shared a moment with him at Wembley. 80,000 people. Going against that man in a tag match, so I’m really proud to be a part of that last couple years of Sting. It was really emotional as well to be on stage watching and celebrating him with everybody. That’s probably since I’ve been there. one of the main times where I’ve seen our locker room so united for one cause and the greater cause, a greater cause than just ourselves. And, I haven’t seen that in a locker room, like, probably like that moment ever, so that was huge and to do that for Sting, it was worth it.”

Swerve Strickland on importance for younger wrestlers to work on their entrance: “That’s something that a lot of young people need to really understand and really pay attention to. Like, your videotron has to match the look which has to match the entrance which has to match the sound which has to match the aura that you’re giving off to the people and how they feel about you. If they don’t feel like bouncing and jumping after you hit someone in the car in the backstage segment it’s just not gonna add up. So all those things have to kind of match and line up.”

Swerve Strickland on his fresh start with AEW following his WWE release: “That’s why when I was let go from WWE and coming over to AEW, I just wiped the slate clean. I wasn’t going to carry over with the same thing. I had to wipe the slate clean, I had to start all over again. I wasn’t going to carry in any ex-NXT WWE type of persona. I was like, ‘No, I’m going to start way over here and then work from here’, even though I could have got a head up in AEW just carrying over from what I was doing. But I was, ‘No, I’m gonna start down here with this new fresh like reset.’ Hard reset and then just go rebuild from there and build a new fanbase that I’m not going to act like anybody ever or knew who I was from over there [in WWE]. Some on the internet did, but the majority don’t and I’m always going to take the majority assumption that not everybody knew.”

Swerve on whether there’s an opponent or feud that would prove to fans that he can take the ball and run with it as the top guy in AEW: “I don’t think there’s any opponent. I feel like I’m at the stage now, I need to be the opponent. When people are going up to trying to be named like, ‘Oh, you made it now,’ I want to be the guy that you wrestled to prove that. That’s the stage I’m at now. I don’t think there’s anybody out there because I’ve wrestled them already and if you didn’t believe back then I got to do something different and that’s win that [AEW World] championship. Facing off against Samoa Joe, that didn’t prove that to anybody? Too bad. Facing off Brian Danielson, that didn’t prove that to anybody that I was one of those guys? Facing off against Sting, that didn’t prove that already? You know, facing off against Jon Moxley in the Continental Classic twice, that doesn’t prove that? Then I need to become the guy that they need to prove it too.”


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