Sw3rve Strickland Discusses His Status As A Veteran On The Independent Wrestling Scene

At 31 years of age, Sw3rve Strickland values his position as a veteran on the indie scene.

After two and a half years with the company, Strickland was released by WWE in November 2021. With his non-compete clause coming to an end, the former Hit Row man has begun his comeback tour, already working matches for NJPW, PROGRESS, and at TERMINUS 2.

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Appearing on the latest episode of Grapsody On Fightful, Sw3rve discussed his role as one of the elder statesmen in the indie locker rooms and the advice he gives to young talents.

"I value it very highly. Even in TERMINUS, there are young guys. I'm seeing Leon Ruff opening the show and my experience with him. A lot of these guys, I'm doing seminars and they are saying, 'I got into wrestling because I watched you vs. Lio.' That's incredible. That's not that far away, that was only four or five years ago. These guys are four years wrestling since that timeframe. That's cool, but I don't want y'all to see me now, how you saw me then. I don't want that same vibe. Dr. Dre doesn't want to be seen as Chronic 1. He's (up) here now. Seeing these young guys, it's the evolution of athleticism and sports, all around in entertainment. Everyone is getting it and understanding it at a younger age. They 'got it' got it. They get the structure, the crowd control, body control, rhythm, so many things. They got it. I haven't felt them yet. I want to feel some of these guys. That's going to take some time. You do have special occasions where you feel an MJF, everything he does, week by week, you feel something new, different, organic, he has got that down. That's a rare occasion. Will Ospreay, you feel him in the ring and his entrance. Those are phenomenons that you can't explain. Even Lio Rush, you feel that guy. That's my guy. There is a presence when I walk in to face you in the ring. There is a presence, match that or try to reach it. That's a story in itself. Even if he fails, that's not a bad story. I want to tell these guys, you're not doing anything wrong. There is no wrong answer in wrestling. 'What's his name is doing his move.' Yeah, he should. Do the shit. That's how they're learning. I'm pretty sure Allen Iverson wasn't telling young kids, 'don't do the crossover.' No, they were doing the crossover, but they were adding to it. Now, we're getting ShamGods and Curry slides because they are adding to what they know and that's the evolution of things. Nick Wayne does a springboard cutter, an Oscutter, 'Yeah, do it,' you should do it. I'm changing, I'm growing, I'm getting older, I'm going to change up something and can't do that anymore. He's going to learn it. I don't want to be the old geezer who is like, 'That's Ospreay's stuff, don't do that.' I'm seeing people in deathmatches do the House Call. Cool, do it. You need to learn how your body works in those moves and understand how your body is going to react, how to control it. I learned it from doing Ricochet's shit and doing (Rich) Swann's stuff, ACH, (Johnny) Gargano, (Adam) Cole, Sami Callihan, Riddle. I learned it from being with those guys and doing that stuff. Then I started tweaking, learning, maturing, and evolving and adapting, and doing my own thing. I still do Austin Aries stuff. That's my advice to them. Keep doing that stuff, get comfortable with it, and when you're comfortable and confident, you're going to adapt and change up because now you're confident to do anything else and your brain will adapt and evolve and now you'll create something new from this origin," he said.

Elsewhere during the interview, Sw3rve said he wants to change the narrative of the value of in-ring talents. Click here to learn more.

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