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TOP AEW star reveals FRUSTRATIONS they had in WWE NXT

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In the dynamic world of professional wrestling, the journey from one major promotion to another often comes with its share of challenges and revelations. This is particularly true for Swerve Strickland, a top star in All Elite Wrestling (AEW), who recently opened up about his frustrations during his tenure in WWE NXT.

Swerve Strickland, known for his charisma and in-ring prowess, had a stint in WWE NXT that many believed barely scratched the surface of his potential. Despite being a part of the innovative group Hit Row, Strickland’s time in NXT was marked by a series of frustrations and missed opportunities.

In a candid interview with Chris Van Vliet, Strickland delved into the intricacies of his NXT experience. He expressed his feelings of being underappreciated, despite his active participation in promoting the brand and engaging in various initiatives.

One incident that stood out was his reaction to a promotion and pay raise, which was overshadowed by his broader concerns about the recognition and utilisation of his talents.

AEW Star Swerve Strickland on The Struggle for Recognition

Strickland’s journey in NXT was not just about showcasing his wrestling skills but also about navigating the complex dynamics of recognition and appreciation within the organisation.

He shared an instance where his tweet expressing a feeling of being ‘unappreciated’ caught more attention than his promotional efforts or his two-minute promo video, highlighting the selective responsiveness of the management: “When WWE and NXT is like promoting this and doing this and this and that and that and like you’re tweeting supporting everything like oh, this is coming to the Peacock. Yeah, we’re doing this, retweet it. Hey, this is the new show coming out yada yada and we have this promoted tweet yada yada mass tweets and stuff like that. But then like when you like they’ll say nothing, whatever. Like okay, you’re doing your job, but when you say something like unappreciated tweet, no context, just you just tweet unappreciated”

This situation led to a pivotal meeting where Strickland confronted the management about his feelings of being underutilised.

He emphasised his readiness to make an impact and his willingness to explore options outside WWE NXT, given his contract situation.

Seeking Mentorship and Growth

An interesting aspect of Strickland’s time in NXT was his approach to seeking growth and mentorship. He recounted his efforts to be part of Shawn Michaels’ class and his initiative to watch tape with Michaels, illustrating his proactive approach to learning and development.

This experience underscored the importance of direct communication and initiative in a system that often seemed convoluted to him.

AEW Star: The Pressure to Perform and Prove

Strickland’s interactions with Triple H, then a key figure in NXT, were marked by a gradual increase in assertiveness.

Over time, he moved from expressing gratitude for opportunities to directly questioning what it would take to become one of the top talents in NXT.

This evolution in his approach reflected his growing confidence and desire to be recognized for his capabilities.

Swerve Strickland in AEW

Currently thriving in AEW, Swerve Strickland’s journey is a testament to his resilience and adaptability.

His success in the Continental Classic round-robin tournament, currently tied for first place with 6 points, and his victory in a Texas Deathmatch against Hangman Page at Full Gear, are indicative of his rising stature in AEW.


  • Who is Swerve Strickland? Swerve Strickland is a professional wrestler currently signed with All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
  • What were Swerve Strickland’s frustrations in WWE NXT? He felt underappreciated and underutilized, despite his efforts and contributions to the brand.
  • How did Swerve Strickland seek growth in NXT? He sought mentorship and learning opportunities, including watching tape with Shawn Michaels.
  • What is Swerve Strickland’s current status in AEW? He is performing well, recently succeeding in the Continental Classic tournament and winning a Texas Deathmatch against Hangman Page.
  • What does Swerve Strickland’s story illustrate? His story highlights the importance of self-advocacy, resilience, and adaptability in professional wrestling.
Jake Skudder
Written by
Jake Skudder
Jake is an SEO-minded Combat Sports, Gaming and Pro Wrestling writer and successful Editor in Chief. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling and gaming across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy.