Swerve Strickland talks Chris Jericho being an inspiration for his work ethic and more.
Swerve Strickland is not only the leader of the Mogul Embassy on AEW TV he also considers himself to be a real-life mogul. In a new interview with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Swerve credits another AEW performer, Chris Jericho with inspiring his work ethic as Chris Jericho is also a crossover Superstar, wrestling for AEW, acting in movies, and being the frontman of Fozzy for over two decades.
"Jericho is like the patriarch of crossover media in pro wrestling. I take a lot of influence from his work ethic. From him just doing the cruise, starting Fozzy almost 20 years ago, seeing that process. I’ve read his books and hearing his process of creating Fozzy and really starting from the ground up and trying to get people to buy in at an early stage was a lot of work and a lot of sleepless nights. A lot of grinding, a lot of touring. That’s the ultimate dream," he said. "I take a lot from him in that sense, but trying to do it in a hip-hop way was another challenge. Hip-hop has had influence on pro wrestling for many years. Without hip-hop, you wouldn’t have a John Cena, but it’s never been tapped into in such a big way like that. Ron Killings is another guy who had that influence. Me trying to take it into the viral world is uncharted territory, and I feel me, Flash Garmets, and Prophet the Producer, and Kalid, who co-produced the track, really saw something before a lot of people. It still took almost a full year for that to generate to the TikTok realm."
Swerve believes that his partnership with Prince Nana helped really tap into the viral nature of the act that he was trying to convey. Swerve credits Tony Khan for having the idea to put them together and again stresses that he's not worried about Nana taking any Shine from him, believing that they are a great combo pair.
"Nana put it over the edge. It was like alley-oop, but we’re waiting for someone to catch it and dunk it. Nana was that slam dunk for it. Shout out to Nana for a resurgence in 2023, he’s been in the industry for over 20 years and him coming into Ring of Honor, people didn’t necessarily have an eye on him like that in the Embassy. Attaching us both together, Tony came up with the idea to merge us together. That’s hats off to Tony and his booking," he said. "I didn’t really see it like that. ‘Okay, we got this, let’s play off that. Let’s do more of that.’ Some people still have criticisms of Nana taking up screen time or taking my glow or attention off me. No. We’re Steph and Klay Thompson. Sometimes, Klay is going to drop 60 and have the hot hand. Other times, Steph is going to go off and drop 40 or 50 on another night. I have no problem assisting my brother and he has no problem passing it to me. Whether he takes those rewards and goes and buys weed with it, who cares. We’re winning. That’s what we’re doing. The whole process is trial, error, see where the algorithm is going, tap into it. It’s constantly tapping on the cylinder and seeing if the car engine sparks and keep doing it until it’s fully revved. This Saturday, you’re going to see us fully push on the gas and take it to another level. Tune in Saturday for not only a blood bath of a match but see where we take this viral thing to another level."
Swerve will take on Hangman Adam Page at AEW Full Gear 2023 in a Texas Death Match. Fans can read Swerve's remarks to Sean about the Texas Death Match at this link.
Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Full Gear 2023 on November 18, 2023. Check out the full card here.