AEW Tag Team Champion Swerve Strickland has recalled receiving high praise from Stephanie McMahon during his time in NXT.
Strickland recently discussed frustrations he had during his early days on the Black & Gold brand, noting that he’d often tell Triple H that he wanted to be his guy.
Speaking on The Sessions with Renée Paquette, Strickland stated that, following a match with JONAH (Bronson Reed) in 2021, Stephanie McMahon told him that he was her favourite heel in NXT.
The former Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott said:
“So it took like a year of doing all that stuff to get to that point to be able to do that, to have that equity to even get that conversation, that window open. Then it was just like, okay, cool, and that’s where it started really turning around. That’s where my hair color started changing.
“They put the grills in my mouth and all that other stuff. I really started dabbing into the hip hop field of things. Me and Bronson had another TV match, JONAH, and we just went at it because I felt like Triple H didn’t feel like I was intense enough.
“I was like, okay, so we just beat the crap out of each other, boom, had a banger. That’s when the light bulb went off for them. Then Stephanie McMahon came up and said, ‘You’re like my favorite heel. You’re my favorite heel here’, and then everything just kind of whirlwinds and went up from there.”
Strickland was released from his WWE contract in November 2021. He made his AEW debut at the Revolution pay-per-view in March.
Stephanie McMahon currently acts as the Chairwoman and co-CEO of WWE. Nick Khan, the other co-CEO, is also the WWE President.
Triple H is the current WWE Chief Content Officer, and has been running creative since Vince McMahon’s retirement in late July.
Transcription via WrestlingNews.co.
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