Swerve Strickland

Swerve Strickland Will Be The Next AEW Champion, Prince Nana’s Dancing, Adam Page, Lucha Underground

Swerve Strickland (@swerveconfident) is a professional wrestler with AEW and is also known for his time in WWE’s NXT and Lucha Underground. He sits down with Chris Van Vliet in Hollywood, CA to talk about his Texas Death Match with Adam Page at AEW Full Gear, the viral Prince Nana dance during his entrance, Swerve City Podcast, why he originally didn’t like the song “Big Pressure” as his entrance theme, wanting to make history as the first black AEW World Champion, his time in Lucha Underground as Killshot, what he learning from his time in NXT, studying his matches with Shawn Michaels, how he balances music and wrestling, how he approaches wrestling like cinema and much more!

Quote I’m thinking about: No amount of regret changes the past. No amount of anxiety changes the future. But any amount of gratitude changes the present.

Sponsors:FITBOD: Get 25% off when you use the code INSIGHT at http://fitbod.me/INSIGHT

ZBIOTICS: Get 15% off with the code CVV and have a better morning after you drink at http://zbiotics.com/cvv

MYBOOKIE: Bet on WWE! Get up to $200 cash bonus when you use the code CVV and sign up at http://mybookie.ag

BLUECHEW: Use the code CVV to get your first month of BlueChew for FREE at http://bluechew.com

GHOSTBED: Get 40% of your purchase with the code CVV at http://ghostbed.com/cvv

MIRACLE MADE: Upgrade your sleep with Miracle Made! Go to http://TryMiracle.com/CVV and use the code CVV to claim your FREE 3 PIECE TOWEL SET and SAVE over 40% OFF

PLUNGE: Get $150 off your Plunge with the coupon code CVV150 at http://plunge.com

BONCHARGE: Go to http://boncharge.com/CVV and use coupon code CVV to save 25%

On Being in the recording studio:

“I’ve been doing that lately. I’ve been doing these for five years. And like, the first year I was just like playing around, see if I can if I am good at it. Or if I have potential? Or if I would like it though, because like, it sounds fun to make music. But when you’re actually doing is like, Oh, this is a process. It can be tedious, every little thing and you’re spending hours and like days, like trying to get one little thing right. I was like am I going to enjoy that process? I was always like, taking the first year, like really understanding that process. And then after a while, I was like, Oh, I know my voice. I know my vocal cords. I know my muscles. I know where to sound at what point and when to do this. And so like all that stuff was like all that stuff was like was became the fun part of it. But it can be taxing, but I still enjoy it.” 

On wanting to make music:

“I grew up listening to it. Like it was in my, I wouldn’t say it’s in my blood, but like I just grew up attached to music. Um, and I didn’t know what my attachment really was. And I didn’t know if I would even belong in it. But like my parents played every CD you could imagine we lived in Germany at the time. So my dad had this huge CD collection, my mom had the R&B and all that stuff. And then my dad had vinyls, played records and stuff. So it was like I was always attached to it, but nobody was like a musician and my family. So it wasn’t till like later, actually, like right before the pandemic, my co-host of the Swerve City Podcast, Monteasy, put me on to like a do I think you actually do this because we have these hip hop music conversations. You sound like you kind of know what you’re talking about. Or like, I don’t know, I just listened to a lot of podcasts, a lot of musicians that I like. And he was like, No, you talk like you’d actually kind of have an intuition on what you’re doing. So I was like, Okay, so I’m in the studio, we put a song together, it was trash. I threw it out. Nobody’s ever gonna hear it. Like I even bought the beat then I was like, No. It was it was just wasn’t it didn’t sound like I wasn’t confident. And I wasn’t comfortable with it. And then we came back again and wrote Broke Boys with a Big Swole was on the song too. And we like got pretty well received. So I was like, Okay, I think I got the bug now I want to try this kind of song. With like more rapping more of this. I’m going to put more of this. And it just snowballed into actually making an album with Monteasy, Swerve City. And then we were like, Okay, we need to get our own producer so we got in house music like coming strictly specifically from one guy. So we got brought like Rich Lada in who does a lot of the music on the AEW the albums and the video games. So we brought him in is a friend of Teasy and we were like all together he would bring his laptop to the house and Orlando from Tampa. And we would all just work together well during this 2020 In the pandemic, that’s where our second album came from. And then the third arm was like okay, I want like to reach out to other producers and like everything was just levelling up but I want more features. I want like Like real name features like we had like other guys that are like on the second time we had guys from like the UK and like other like Mickey Facts stepped in and helped us out with some features. I was like, third album I want like Music Soldier, was like one of the greatest R&B singers of all time. I was like, we can we get him? And sure enough, we got him. And we got like Grammy Award winners and stuff like that in our projects and our producers and stuff. And that’s where our third album came from. Then the music videos, like progressively got more and more expensive and the quality grew. It wasn’t just like three guys walking around with a camera anymore. It was like, No, we have a set, we have like three, four cameras, we have like then we moved on to like now I just did my first solo project You Couldn’t Be Me that came out in May. We just dropped two music videos At WrestleDream. Like the weekend WrestleDream I dropped two back-to-back music videos, one was wok it in the next one was these dreams that Flatbush Zombies on there. And Anthony King as features in Monteasy. And I was like shot in the church in Atlanta. And they used to shoot the Walking Dead episodes. And they’re now so we progressively progressively moved up more and more. And then the director is Prophet who has Grammy wins with Kanye. So like everything just constantly push the bar more and more. And that’s where the fun, it felt like my indie wrestling, in music again. Okay, I gotta do more. How do I do the next? What’s the next thing? So it just became a huge thing.”

On his family:

“As a person, being a father helps me understand who I am. My girls, like, because you learn patience, you learn understanding, you got to learn how to truly listen and take yourself out of situations, because you have two beings that you have to care for. And you have to, they have to learn from you. And they learn by watching what you do and how you are and how you act, how your temperament is, like how do you fix problems? How do you solve, problem solve? How do you come to an understanding, but also how do you lead? And as a father with girls, like, that’s where I really became comfortable with who I am as a person, you know? And as they age, 14 and 11 years old, I become more important because now they’re becoming adults.”

On being his authentic self:

“For sure. Man, it just, it literally became like, I don’t think too much anymore. As they were like, how are you going to look at this? I’m like, I don’t know I’m five minutes before going through the curtain. Or I’ll like, make someone laugh make Nana laugh and tell a joke, or like, even when I was tagging with Keith Lee at the time, I would riff a joke to him and have him cackling. And the song would hit and they were like I see out there. Just because, like, then you felt that energy coming out to the curtain because you felt like it was genuine. Like us just having a good time. And then going out to the curtain. Now you’re seeing us carry the energy through, you know, and then like, there are times where I love improving in the ring. I love improving on the entrance. I love improving. In music, I love improving on the podcast, like, Oh, that wasn’t a question we were supposed to ask. Like, I know, it was just popped up. Yeah, because it was flowing and stuff. And that’s what I feel like people become like, all this is the most genuine me, because like, a lot of times I have no idea what I’m about to do. Like I had no idea what I was about to do with Bryan Danielson. I was like, Okay. But that becomes like, I think that people truly like, gravitate towards that so much.” 

On being aware of Prince Nana’s dance:

“When I watched it back on Twitter, and then people are like really, like really making traction and it’s Yeah, I was like, Oh, this is funny. I like the one time like when I had the match with Hangman at WrestleDream. I did the stomp on the apron. And I like sold into the guardrail. And Nana just zooms past me doing this really fast. I didn’t know that happened. Until I watched it back. And then that became a thing. And I was like, That’s hilarious. I couldn’t tell him to do that. There’s no way I could have told him to do this. Like, you make sure you do this. There’s no way. And that’s one of the things that like, he’s so loose, because I’m so loose, and I’m so loose, and he’s so loose, if I was so uptight and it like so over producing, like, hey, you need to be here. You know, I want this and don’t do this because like that’s not what managers do. That’s not what heels and bad people do. I’m like, No, who are you as a person? that’s going to bleed through no matter what people are going to understand what you are who you are your motive, your feelings towards this your purpose if you just be the person you are. And that’s what I like to just be.”

On the home invasion:

“I’m letting the people’s imagination run wild by not showing it it’s almost like Blair Witch Project was so ahead of his time, because you didn’t see the ghosts you didn’t see, they didn’t show you anything. [Same with] JAWS, like the idea of just going to the water is now a fear of and causes a lot of anxiety to a lot of people go into the beach now. And there’s nothing out there. But the idea that something could be out there is your imagination. You’re letting the viewer really take hold, like Paranormal Activity. The first couple was like, the idea of something bumping and swaying you have no control of your life. It’s not the house. It’s the person, it’s haunted. You can’t control that. And then the boyfriend trying to like, like, I’m going to handle this because I’m the man of the house. I’m going to like, protect you. No, you can’t we have to do these things. I’m like, No, but I’m going to take care of the problem. You’re helpless. You can’t do anything. That’s a real fear of men. And like and just like that’s just like taking a paranormal viewing of it but real fears like not having control of your own life in your own situations.”

On taking part in tape studies with Shawn Michaels:

“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, 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.”

On Tony Khan:

“I think me and him had so much more. I love Tony, I’ve had way more conversations with Tony than I ever did with Triple H, even Shawn, that came up last in my NXT [run]. And then I was like, called up and stuff. But like, I had those conversations, I was not going to allow me to have those conversations late with Tony, I wanted to get right to it at the beginning. This is what I do. This is what I can offer. This is where I want to be. Boom. But once again, I had to earn the equity to be able to like back up those words. You know, I always made sure like, that’s where my style has changed so much in a way that just complements the match not me. It complements the match.”

What is Swerve Strickland grateful for?

“My children, my mind and loved ones around me.”

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enter your email address to receive exclusive content from CVV!



Enter your email address to receive exclusive content from CVV!