Though Keith Lee and Dustin Rhodes technically got one over on the Mogul Affiliates before Revolution, Swerve Strickland has insisted online that his AEW faction is going strong, with Parker Boudreaux and Trench just needing a bit more seasoning to get over in Tony Khan’s company.
Appearing on Say Less With Kaz, Lowkey, and Rosy in his first interview since his loss to Lee and Rhodes, Strickland explained the genesis of how Rick Ross joined the Moguel Affiliates on that fateful edition of Dynamite in the fall of 2022 and how it really brought the crew together.
“No. First off, we filmed it one time, it was one shot, and I pretty much broke down the synopsis. I’m like alright, Rick, so this is what happened,” Strickland said via Fightful. “Me and my partner, we broke up…’ We didn’t break up at the time, ‘So he’s gonna come in and accuse me of some sh*t, and you just kind of try and bring us together.’ He’s like, ‘It’s nothing, it’s easy. It’s nothing, bro.’ He’s like, ‘Too easy, let’s go.'”
From there, Lee joined the conversation, and the trio helped to establish the framework of arguably the most important segment of the faction’s history in the promotion.
“Keith comes in, he’s like, ‘Yo, Ross.’ He’s like, ‘Yo, what’s up big Keith?’ In the middle, we was like, ‘Can you promote [that] there’s gonna be a six-man tag match next week?’ He’s like, ‘How about Swerve, you do it?’ Ross doesn’t know all the names. I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ So I start naming the names, like, ‘It’s me and him,’ and Ross goes, ‘Ha-ha, six-man tag, yeah’ [laughs] in the middle of it. I’m like, ‘Uh-huh,'” Strickland said.
“There’s a part where Keith, he’s like, ‘You haven’t answered my phone calls. What’s up with you, man? What’s going on? I ain’t heard from you in a week.’ Ross is like, ‘Hey, this is not the time for no negativity. We staying positive. Matter of fact, here. You get a drink, you get a drink. Hey, Tony, with the microphone, you get one, too. Let’s toast it up. Boss time.’ He’s just ad-libbing the whole time. I’m like, I don’t even know where I jump in.”
Will AEW fans see Ross back in AEW soon alongside the rest of the Affiliates? Only time will tell, but for now, Strickland is out for blood, as he detailed on Rampage.
“Maybe I made the mistakes, maybe I overestimated Keith Lee,” Swerve Strickland said. “The fact that he took out Trench and now Parker Boudreaux, my men, my affiliates, are on the shelf now. I gotta hand it to you Keith, you were more prepared than I thought. But Swerve has not thrown every bullet he has in the chamber, I’ve got something more in store for you and you’re not gonna see it coming. I promise you, I don’t lose the war, but you got this battle. At this point, Swerve is gonna turn into a cannibal because every single thing I see now is food. Keep eyes on the back of your head, Keith, hoodies stay up.”
.@swerveconfident has more in store for @RealKeithLee | #AEWRampage pic.twitter.com/9S451BIewl
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 12, 2023
Swerve Strickland’s AEW rival explains how he returned to the ring in 2021.
After being out of action for almost three months following the vicious attack by Strickland and The Affiliates on Dynamite, one would think Lee would need to get back up to speed and train for his re-debut to the professional wrestling world, especially since he’d been working a not-so-exciting style of wrestling on RAW instead of his indie-rific efforts in promotions like PWG and Evolve, right? Well, according to “The Limitless One,” that isn’t the case, as he detailed on Grapsody.
“You mean like in-ring training?” Lee asked via Fightful. “I don’t do in-ring training. I’m gonna level something here. This is where you’ll really understand why I’m confident in who I am and what I do. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in training and believe it’s a good thing to do. When I came back form the almost dead situation, I did a lot of in-ring training, maybe five or six weeks before I returned. But it wasn’t enough time to get myself together and be back on a TV show, if that makes sense.
“Because the after effects of that whole ordeal left me in a position where things like running and some of my favorite versions of cardio were extremely difficult and some just couldn’t be a thought because it was too taxing on me and the recovery was too long. So at that time I did a lot of in-ring training and a lot of training outside of that to try to get back into a position to be ready. That’s probably the only time where I’ve been out that I have put in that much effort into returning. Part of it was, at the end of the day, I was prepared to change my entire career. Because for the entirety of those five or six months that I was out doing all of that, it was basically expected that if I did too much, I would die and wrestling wasn’t going to be a thing for me going forward. Coming out of that and learning otherwise, I was just excited to do this still in whatever capacity that would be. I was just happy to be able to take part and still be a credit to the industry. Now outside of that, I’ve never been out for more than maybe two or three months, I suppose. I’ve never been truly injured. I’m very fortunate in that. A lot of times, and I don’t know why this is, but in terms of needing a ring to get myself ready has never been a thing for me. Movement in the ring is not something that is difficult for me. For what you see in the ring, particularly today, is a fraction of what I’m capable of. I like it that way ‘cause I am always a guarantee regardless of what happens.”
Will Keith Lee use his “Limitless” potential to become the first-ever black AEW champion, his previously stated goal in the promotion? If he can get through Swerve Strickland, the Joker to his Batman, I personally wouldn’t put it past him.