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Swerve Strickland On His Feud With Dustin Rhodes, Says It Doesn’t Need a Title Involved

February 5, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Swerve Strickland AEW Rampage Image Credit: AEW

Swerve Strickland and Dustin Rhodes are at odds in AEW, and Strickland recently weighed in on the feud and his plans for dealing with Rhodes. Rhodes came out to make a save for Brian Pillman from a post-match attack by Strickland and Mogul Affiliates on the latest episode of AEW Rampage and Swerve talked about the situation in an appearance on Fightful’s Wrestling Perspective Podcast. You can check out the highlights below:

On his feud with Rhodes: “There’s only so much of this question I can answer, because there are a lot of seeds. I want to plant for the future, I’ll maneuver correctly here. Honestly, for me personally, what I like to operate off of is his pain and going by the timing of Dustin with his family and everything. There’s a lot of pain there, and with that being said, pain can be manipulative. On the outside, you can take that and weaponize it, just like love. Love can be weaponized, and I think like that’s what cinema is. We weaponize emotion, and especially with seeing where his brother [Cody Rhodes] was to go over this past weekend. I’m like that’s another emotion we can tap into.”

On his plan for dealing with Rhodes: “We can weaponize that too, and it got trickling down to connecting dots and people, targeting pain, weaponizing it, and emotion. Oh man, you see this guy sad on his luck right now. He’s not feeling good, but you’re in my way, move, you’re in my way. Why do you want to talk to him like that? Because I’m sick of it, I don’t care, I have the authority now. My ego has the authority now, because I have people with me. So, some people understand that situation. Okay, even if I confront someone like Dustin who can hold his own with anybody, he still has to second guess and stop to think about the situation he’s in. Because of the guys, those entities around me, and that’s weaponizing his pain.

“Over these next couple of weeks, I would advise people to pay attention to how I play with these things. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but that’s the beauty of it. That’s to me, that’s the fun of it. I don’t want to think about it. I wanna go off the feel of it, I want to just come to work that day and be like, oh, I got something and it just popped into my head as we’re performing. This is how I’m going to hit you, and that’s where the fun is, and that’s where the confidence comes from. Because now I’m in the field and I’m in the fun of it, so I know it’s going to work.”

On not needing a title for the feud: “A championship doesn’t have to culminate in the end for me and Dustin, you know what I mean? It wouldn’t, it kind of messes it up. I don’t think that’s what it needs. Right now, where Cody Rhodes is at, a Championship is definitely needed to be placed somewhere in this story. It’s the timing, and it makes sense, but the story though is he doesn’t get it now. They killed him [momentum wise]. It almost writes itself. Well, again, continue watching the story as it unfolds. You’ll see why I’m so deep into this feeling, like there’s the legacy of these legends that continue to create problems for me? You’ll understand.

“The timing of the championship will come when you know it, and you’ll feel it, and you’ll be like, “Oh, we know where this is going.” This is where the momentum swing is happening, and right now I’m okay with what I’m doing and building. I’m okay with creating foundations right now, because I don’t want to take off without having the why, where, who. I don’t feel it yet. I have to make you feel first, then I can take off.”