Swerve Strickland opens up about his frustrations while working for the WWE NXT brand

During an interview with Chris Van Vliet, AEW star Swerve Strickland talked about his time with the WWE NXT brand and dealing with officials such as then Senior Director of Talent Development Caynon Ceman…

“So that was a process of like, frustration. It came from frustration like a lot of those like moments. Matt Bloom brought me into the office with Canyon at the time and I was getting a promotion. I was like going up in pay and stuff. But like early on that week. Here’s the frustrating parts of this. When WWE and NXT is like promoting this and doing this and this and that and that and like you’re tweeting supporting everything like oh, this is coming to the Peacock. Yeah, we’re doing this, retweet it. Hey, this is the new show coming out yada yada and we have this promoted tweet yada yada mass tweets and stuff like that. But then like when you like they’ll say nothing, whatever. Like okay, you’re doing your job, but when you say something like unappreciated tweet, no context, just you just tweet unappreciated. They call you hey man, We see you tweet underappreciated, what was that all about? But you miss all the other stuff that I did? You didn’t see anything about me like that two-minute promo video I put out nobody like mentioned, but you’ll see that though. So that was one of the things I brought up in the meeting. I was like, exactly what I say I feel unappreciated. I feel like I can do more. And I think y’all know that I can do more, like Canyon was right there. The guy who can like hire me fire me at any point? And I was like, oh, yeah, I have a year left here on my contract. And like, I would love to make something make an impact on that time, you know, because I have options I can do. I can go anywhere. And I was like me like laying that out to him. I was like, oh, I want to be in Shawn Michaels’ class. He was like, well, he’s not really having a class right now. He’s doing this. He’s gonna write TV. So he’s not really hands-on with them. Like, can I like watch tape with him? He’s like his office is right over there. Like, okay, and then one over the Hi, Shawn, can I have a good time with you? Yeah, absolutely. Here’s my email. Send me three matches, we’ll watch them. I was like, and then that’s the crazy thing about a system like that. It’s like, Oh, I could have just gone to his office. Because I happen to do these mind games of like let me change my hair. Let me do this. Let me say some wild stuff for like, let me do this, I’m gonna get their attention. Or you could just go knock on this door. who’s like, right there. We walk past it every day. And stuff like that. And that’s like this wild.”

“Like, it can all be so simple, especially if you’re already performing well. I understand. Like, you got to pick your spots too. And like, You got to earn the equity in order to be able to do that. By that time I was already doing the NXT TakeOvers, and like the Worlds Collide, I was already being on everything and weekly TV. But I always told Triple H at the time, first two months there was like, Hey, thank you. I appreciate everything that you’ve given me. I’m happy to be here. What can I do to be one of your guys? Then three months later, I appreciate everything. Thank you. This has been awesome to experience appreciate you having me here. What would I have to do to be one of those guys? Three months after that like a year now? I’m like, What’s stopping you from making me one of your guys? Now it’s like, I’m putting the pressure on him. Because like now the equity has grown. Now. He knows I’m serious. I know what I have to offer, and stuff like that. And that may be like, I don’t know that maybe like, it could be taken as a disrespectful, like, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re not seeing me here. But that’s those risks I gotta take, you know, like, giving me the chance to fail.” (quotes courtesy of 411Mania.com)