Tony Khan wanted to bring Swerve Strickland into AEW when company first launched

Photo Courtesy: Cindy Ord

Khan had his eyes on Strickland but the current AEW talent was with WWE at the time. 

The AEW World Championship is going to be up for grabs in a three-way at the upcoming Revolution pay-per-view. Samoa Joe will be defending the title against Swerve Strickland and Hangman Adam Page. 

Going into the bout, Amitai Winehouse of The Athletic pushed out a piece centered around Strickland. The article included a comment from AEW President Tony Khan, who stated that he wanted to bring Strickland to AEW when the company first launched but he was signed to WWE at the time. 

Khan: After his (Swerve Strickland’s) first match against Tony Nese 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.

Strickland went on to speak about the connection he’s established with audiences. He feels there’s different layers of his presentation that resonates with a variety of people. 

Strickland: 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 recognising what I’m made of. It intrigues people, and people understand what I’m fighting for.

There was a segment with Page, Swerve and Joe on the 2/28 Dynamite during which Hangman pretended to be injured and then ambushed Swerve when his back was turned. 

To hear POST Wrestling’s review of that segment and the entire episode of Dynamite, click here.

About Andrew Thompson 8246 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.