Details on how Swerve Strickland ended up signing with AEW

During an appearance on the Getting Over podcast, Shane “Swerve” Strickland talked about how he ended up signing with AEW…

“My first call was New Japan. I was on the phone with Rocky Romero and talked with Will Ospreay about it. That’s a little brother to me, he wants me to be over there as much as them. My cousin, Will Washington, who helped produce ‘Who We Are’ AEW album, he talks with Tony Khan frequently and does a lot of media scrums as well. He also does the Grapsody podcast with Righteous Reg and Phil Lindsey, shoutout to them. Tony Khan reached out to him because we’re family and was like, ‘what can we do about getting him here?’ That was the bug in the ear. I was happy about interest being there really early on. I didn’t want to just show up there. I’m glad I had the 90 days. It gave me time to go out, travel, build a team, network, meet other people. I went to LA for 12 days and met so many people in the industry and outside the industry, in the music industry, fashion. I’m building a podcast team, a music team. We’re forming something and I’m not just approaching AEW and Tony Khan with just myself. It’s a team and you’re getting all this other stuff with it. There is no way I can lose and there’s no way I can’t benefit the product with my team.

With the Cody Rhodes situation and him leaving, that opened up a spot with those business acquisitions that he had. I don’t know if they’re doing a lot of those anymore or they are seeing those out until they are finally finished, but that left a window, ‘that gives me an opportunity to fill that void with these business ventures.’ The position that they put me in to debut me, it gave the audience a different feel of what type of asset they’re receiving for AEW. I’m not just another guy who can come in and put on matches, they already have that. They’ve signed a lot of those guys and they are really gifted at what they do. I’m something different. You’re not just getting a talent, you’re getting a brand. In NXT, Swerve was a hip hop artist. In AEW, Swerve is a mogul. There is so much more expansion to myself as a professional outside the ring and what you’re going to receive inside the ring and on television every week. Everyone knew who I was. That alone, was like, ‘Okay, I’m in the right direction.’ I’m giving that feel and vibe to the world. They feel something different, unique, and new as well. That’s what they want. They don’t want a copy and paste from where they last saw me on TV. They want a different feel and different vibe in a different environment.” (quote courtesy of