wrestling / News

Swerve Strickland on His Message to Kids After AEW Dynasty, His Frustration After All Out 2022

April 22, 2024 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
AEW Dynasty Swerve Strickland Image Credit: AEW

– We have a new AEW World Champion. Swerve Strickland beat Samoa Joe at tonight’s AEW Dynasty to win the championship and become the first African American World Champion in AEW history. During the post-show media scrum, Swerve Strickland discussed winning the title, his message to young African American kids, and his frustration when people thought an audible should’ve been called in his tag title bout at AEW All Out 2022. Below are some highlights:

Swerve Strickland on becoming the first African American AEW World Champion: “I wasn’t going to settle for anything less. I think I was offered opportunities at the AEW International Title, and I turned it down. I’m like, no disrespect to what Orange Cassidy was doing at the time with the International Championship, but I can’t settle for less, and I want to shoot for the top, and that’s how everybody’s mindset should be in this business. That’s how everybody’s mind is in AEW. We want to shoot for the top. We want to go to the main event, we want to fight and grind. We’ve got five matches tonight that could’ve been the main event. That’s how competitive we are. That’s how special this roster is, and so, I’ve got to have that mindset to push even further. I can’t settle for less because nobody else is.”

On reporters asking about if an audible should’ve been called for his match at AEW All Out 2022: “It showed that, ‘Oh, we still got a lot of work to do.’ Simple, plain and simple. It shows just like, ‘OK. We can make those decisions on the fly, on the call, just on a whim just because,’ not knowing the ripple affects that has, you know? And that put a chip on my shoulder from that day forward. And we beat the hell out of each other, we put on the performance of a lifetime to be overshadowed by some bulls***. I stand with anybody who says that was the best match on that show, even this man here [Tony Khan]. And that put a chip on a shoulder to that’s how we get here. That’s how we turn negatives into positives. We don’t go online and talk about it. No, I put the work in, and I give you results.”

On his message to the kids who saw him win the title: “I think this one moment sends many messages to everybody. Primarily, it’s possible. It can be done, but it’s not easy. Like, I kept saying this throughout the week through all these media and interviews I was doing, ‘What happens if this doesn’t work out?’ I don’t win the championship. ‘Ah, well, push it down the road. We got to wait for a bigger moment. We got to push it down the road again.’ That’s happened several times in history, and pushing it down the road results to missed opportunities. It never happens, and I’ve seen that way too many times as a kid growing up. I’m sure you have too, and I’m sure a lot of other people have. They’ve seen opportunities for us pushed down the road, want to build it to something bigger around the corner, and boom, injuries. Boom, somebody else gets the opportunity in front of them. Boom, that person’s not as hot as they were before, and the timing was missed. And boom, that person, you never see or hear from them again. They’re — police, fired, gone somewhere else, and that moment just flickered. When it’s our moment, we have to take it. That’s the message I’ve been wanting to send. That’s why I came out in the outfit that I wore. I’m not coming to be rewarded with the crown and the throne. I’m here to take it. That’s what we have to do. We have to take it.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit AEW, with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.