A veteran believes one of AEW’s hottest talents rose to the top in 2023.
Swerve Strickland enjoyed a stunning 2023 and now stands on the brink of challenging for the World Championship. The star took part in one of the most talked-about matches of the year against Hangman Adam Page at Full Gear, before delivering an impressive showing in the Continental Classic.
While speaking to Premier Live TV, Mark Henry said that Strickland’s performances had made him the ‘Breakout Wrestler of 2023.’
“He [Swerve Strickland] is definitely the Breakout Wrestler of ’23. But you got to look at this too, is he the same guy that he was at WWE? At NXT? He not the same guy, he grew up, he 20 pounds heavier. He looks more the part.
Also, he didn’t do a lot of the Hardcore, the tough character building, the fact that you go, ‘Hey man, be careful. That dude ain’t right. He willing to put himself through pain in order for you to have pain.’ He wasn’t that guy. Now he’s a different… So, he’s the same man, but just elevated,”
Swerve Strickland’s AEW Feud With Keith Lee Remains Unfinished
After coming up short in the Continental Classic, Swerve Strickland had been due to face Keith Lee at Worlds End. However, the match fell through at the 11th hour when Lee revealed that he’d been struggling with an injury for over a year.
On the night, Lee was replaced by Dustin Rhodes who became Strickland’s final victim of 2023.
H/t to Wrestle Zone