Army Brat to Champ: Meet AEW's Swerve Strickland

By AntMan

May 22, 2024

Swerve Strickland
Photo: Ricky Havlik

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the reigning AEW champion, Swerve Strickland. The conversation provided an in-depth look at his journey, experiences, and mindset as a professional wrestler. But, as we get ready to head into the Memorial Day weekend, Swerve shed some light on not only AEW’s big weekend plans in Las Vegas for their annual PPV, “DOUBLE OR NOTHING”, but also shared how his time in the Army played a roll in shaping his life as a champion.

Swerve's entrance; It’s one of the most electrifying in the business today and has an interesting origin story. It all started with a mutual friend and a timely phone call after Swerve was released from WWE. He reached out to a buddy who connected him with Flash Garments. This connection led to a Zoom call, followed by an invitation to an independent wrestling show in LA. The next night, they had a late-night studio session in LA, and the magic of "Big Pressure" was created.

Swerve reminisced about his childhood as an army brat in Germany, sharing an experience that left a lasting impression, tying the sense of smell to cherished childhood memories involving home-cooked pizza! However, it’s Swerve’s time in the United States Army that helped shape one of his most memorable wrestling characters, Killshot in Lucha Underground. He wrote his character's backstory and had significant input in its development. This creativity and proactive approach have been a consistent theme throughout his career. Whether it was changing his look and persona in NXT or introducing new elements in AEW, Swerve has always been willing to take risks and push boundaries.

Double or Nothing 2024
Photo: AEW

As Swerve gears up for his match against Christian Cage at AEW's Double or Nothing, he emphasized the importance of mental preparation. Despite physical readiness, the mental aspect is crucial. His focus now is on overcoming the veteran Christian Cage and solidifying his legacy as the AEW champion.

Swerve will defend his title, this weekend as AEW’s 5th Anniversary,  with the very first Double or Nothing pay-per-view going down in Vegas in 2019. 

WATCH or LISTEN to the WrestleChat Podcast for more on AEW’s big events!

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