Swerve Strickland says he “didn’t even answer it” when he got a phone call to make WWE return

During an appearance on the Smooth Vega podcast, Swerve Strickland commented on being pushed in AEW while his former Hit Row teammates struggled when they returned to WWE…

“That comes from experience. I had a different experience than those guys had. I’ve known how to build myself from the ground up on the independents. I knew how to hustle, get here, get to there, put on performances and matches, and then go, ‘How do I get that?’ Then monetize that into this and make this into something. Everything, throughout my career, and to this day, I apply; one thing leads to another and to another. That’s kind of how you see those little things in my entrance and my music, my wrestling, my look, the sound, all that was weaving together from going from here to here to hustling. That’s something those guys still need to learn.

It’s tough in that organization, WWE, it’s really tough creatively when you don’t have your hands on your creative, and it’s left to the powers that be to maneuver you how they see fit, and that’s not easy for anybody. For me, I was in a place where I knew I needed to be. I needed to be in AEW. When I got the phone call to go back, I didn’t even answer it. It was, ‘Nope.'” (quote courtesy of Jeremy Lambert)