Swerve Strickland Discusses How Kevin Gates' AEW Appearance Came About

At AEW Dynamite Fyter Fest week two, Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee had their AEW Tag Team Title celebration after winning the belts in a three-way tag bout that featured Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks and The Young Bucks.

The celebration was crashed by Tony Nese & "Smart" Mark Sterling, who wanted Swerve off the AEW roster.

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Swerve & Lee got the last laugh with a little help from rapper Kevin Gates, who punched Nese.

Speaking on AEW Unrestricted, Swerve discussed how the segment came together.

"That's the beauty of what we do. We're not just a pro wrestling company, there are still entertainment aspects in there. You want that crossover appeal. I know, and I realize, if I can't have a match on the show or the best match on the show, I'm going to try and get some standout moments that, it doesn't have to be me wrestling, I still want to entertain people and have people enjoy my presence on TV," said Swerve about doing the segment.

He continued, revealing how he was able to secure Gates' appearance.

"Having the connections I have in the music industry, going through bookies, promoters, and producers. This guy is like, 'I see what you did with Jeff Hamilton in LA. I book Kevin Gates. I'm a huge wrestling fan. Kevin is too, but he hasn't watched in a while, do you think there is a way we can get him in there to do something? He's never done anything like this.' 'Oh, watch me work. Absolutely.' I kept putting the bug in Tony Khan's ear, week after week. Not a long conversation, just 30 seconds of, 'Hey, Kevin Gates. 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' The following week, 'Hey, remember I got Kevin Gates.' 'Yeah, for sure, for sure.' 'Kevin, we gotta talk about it.' Inching, inching, inching, and sure enough, the stars aligned.

"Kevin's schedule is so busy, he can get an instant text or call and, boom, he has to be in LA that night. The fact that he took the time out of his busy schedule to come in and play around with us in AEW, have us go viral in all these different social platforms. Hip hop is the number one genre in the world, as far as music, it's a cultural thing. Just to have AEW's clips in those Shade Room forums that have 27 million followers, getting three million likes and views on these things on XXL, Complex, No Jumper, Shade Room, that's a pretty big deal. Even TMZ picked up on it. To have that crossover appeal and me to contribute five minutes of TV time for it to work, I'm really proud of that. Keith Lee is involved, Mark Sterling, Tony Nese. It wasn't just, 'Kevin Gates punches wrestler.' It was 'Kevin Gates punches Tony Nese.' People in the forum know him now. It was a fun and entertaining thing and that's what I like to do. I like to entertain and whoop ass and win championships. It's also a television product. Let's make good television," said Swerve.

The segment would end with Swerve throwing a cake in the face of Sterling's "cake-able" face.

Swerve & Lee would defeat Nese & Josh Woods in a street fight on the August 5 episode of AEW Dynamite.

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