AEW star opens up about Shawn Michaels' role in his WWE push

Shawn Michaels currently produces NXT in WWE.
Shawn Michaels currently produces NXT in WWE.
Adrian Carl Nicodemus

AEW star Swerve Strickland gave his thoughts on how Shawn Michaels helped him during the former's stint in WWE.

Strickland was a former member of the group 'Hit Row' in NXT with A.J. Francis (Top Dolla), Tehuti Miles (Ashante Adonis), and Briana Brandy (B-Fab). He also captured the North American Championship during his tenure with WWE's third brand. However, the group was released from the company in November 2021.

In his interview with Chris Jericho on Talk Is Jericho, Strickland admitted WWE wanted to promote him financially during his injury. He also noted that Michaels supported him and eventually vouched for his push.

“Honestly, the person that really co-signed me, and when things took a huge uphill shift for me was Shawn Michaels. I got a promotion one day with Bloom and Canyon, and I am in their office. I’m not afraid to let you know something is bothering me. Especially if it’s justified, especially if I know I can deliver on it, I’m going to let you know. Now there’s a difference between bitching and whining about it, being an adult, going with the profession and giving the proper respect to people. I am military, I understand the chain of command," Strickland said.

The AEW star added that he wanted to perform in a more prominent role on television. Strickland then highlighted that The Showstopper liked his work with Darby Allin in the independent circuit.

“But, I am going to still be like, ‘I want to be put with this and that. Thank you for the promotion and the financial side of this, but I also want that to match what I am doing on television. I don’t just want to be paid to be here, I want to be paid to perform here. He was like, ‘Shawn Michaels’ office is right there,’ I was like, ‘okay, bye.’ I went to Shawn and was like, ‘can I have some time with you on Tuesday?’ I sent him a couple of matches, he actually liked me and Darby [Allin],” he ended. (H/T Wrestling Inc)
KillshotShane StricklandSwerveSwerves HouseHit Row@WWENXT north american champion! Saw this meme and it perfectly describes seeing this happen! Congratulations @swerveconfident ! The scary part is this is still scratching the surface on his potential...#WWENXT

In October, Hit Row was drafted to SmackDown in the 2021 WWE Draft but were released in the following month. Swerve went to AEW in March 2022, and the remaining members became the 'HitMakerZ' in MCW.

Triple H gave AEW star Swerve Strickland freedom in his promos

During the same podcast episode, Swerve Strickland added that Triple H helped him improvise with his promo work during the former's time in NXT.

The AEW star added that The Game gave him liberty with his promo by taking away the scripts.

“Triple H, his direction was, ‘take away the script, don’t give him a script anymore, let him just go.’ I was like, ‘okay, cool,’ so I am taking little lines and little mannerisms from film, and motivational speakers, and podcasters," Strickland noted. (H/T Wrestling Inc)
Block out the noise. ❌Block out the haters. ❌Hit Row on point. #WWENXT @AJFrancis410 @swerveconfident @TheeAdonisWWE @BFabwwe

Strickland's latest televised match in AEW was a loss against Allin in the Owen Hart Foundation qualifiers on Rampage. He and Keith Lee are currently in a feud with Team Taz (Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks).

It will be interesting to see how their ongoing feud develops in the coming weeks.

What are your thoughts on Shawn Michaels pushing Swerve Strickland? Sound off in the comments section below.

We got the AEW Women's World Champion to run down the Forbidden Door Card with us here.

Edited by Pratik Singh


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