AEW Star Didn’t Answer The Phone To Hear WWE Offer

WWE & AEW logos over blurred background

A former WWE Superstar has no interest in going back.

Swerve Strickland signed with WWE in April 2019 and starred in NXT before moving to SmackDown in October 2021. However, despite being promoted to the main roster, Strickland and the rest of his group Hit Row were released by the company just weeks later.

Following his release by WWE, Strickland headed back out on the independent scene and eventually signed with AEW in March 2022.

While Hit Row later returned to WWE, Strickland has seen his star rise in AEW and he now finds himself firmly in World Title contention — this is despite WWE reaching out to try and lure him back.

During an appearance on the Smooth Vega podcast, it was mentioned that Hit Row has struggled with Strickland. When discussing the group, Strickland explained that working with WWE can be extremely difficult, adding that when the company reached out to him, he didn’t even have an interest in answering the phone.

“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,'”

WWE Set To Miss Out On Mercedes Mone

While Strickland is determined to stay with AEW, he could soon be joined by another former WWE Superstar. According to recent reports, WWE is set to miss out on re-signing Mercedes Mone, with the star formerly known as Sasha Banks said to be on the brink of debuting in AEW.

In fact, there are some who claim Mone has been signed to AEW for weeks.

H/t to Fightful