One AEW star says they wouldn’t be who they are today without the inspiration of Chris Jericho.
At AEW WrestleDream, Swerve Strickland successfully defeated ‘Hangman’ Adam Page with heavy assistance from Prince Nana. Swerve’s popularity has been building with AEW audiences and fellow wrestlers alike, and he received high praise from the likes of Kenny Omega and the newly-All Elite Adam Copeland at a media scrum following the event.
When Swerve himself spoke at the media scrum, he said he was honored by the praise and considers it validation of his hard work in building himself as a star up to this point.
“It’s a beautiful validation. I didn’t hear it personally but just knowing that they’re speaking like that, about me is big. Even Adam Copeland using my name, in the media scrum once again, that shows you my name is ringing bells around here. My name should be in these conversations with these guys. It took a year and a half to get to that point but y’all been seeing what I’ve been building. Y’all been seeing what I’ve been doing.
“A lot of people like to say it was a lot of like missteps and redirections and pitfalls and stuff. No, that’s not wrong. That’s building me. I’ve been building this – this entire time. To get to that point where I get that recognition from my peers, from legends, from guys that run this place. This place doesn’t even move without those guys. So honestly, it’s humbling to that fact.”
“Without A Jericho There Was No Swerve” – Swerve Strickland On Chris Jericho
Continuing, Swerve Strickland spoke about his admiration for Chris Jericho, crediting the veteran with inspiring him to become the star he is today.
“Speaking on Jericho, that’s a man that honestly…without a Jericho there was no Swerve because he’s the one that kinda was the multitool player of a wrestler for like the last 20 years. Doing his podcasting, having his band, being in movies, doing TV shows, doing all these different things while still having an amazing legendary run as a professional wrestler. That’s kind of what I wanted to be. I wanted to gel myself into that.
“But at the time, you weren’t seeing too many African-American guys in the wrestling world doing that. Shout out to like a Ron Killings who does that, amazingly. But I wanted to be the one to just take it up another notch. Bring that world a little bit closer to ours. So even if it’s the wrong kind of noise or the right kind of noise, I’m happy noise is being made.
“Just to know those guys respect my hustle and grind as a media person, but also as a wrestler is even bigger. That spectrum is like closing in and it’s getting really big on every side but it’s not too much. I’m very balanced out right now, which is really good. It was hard as hell to do but I worked really hard for that. I sacrificed a shit ton. I’ve two beautiful daughters that I barely get to see, because I don’t want that time that I wasted with them to amount to nothing. That’s why it goes so hard. That’s why I grind so hard. That’s why I do all this stuff.”