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Swerve Strickland Recalls Confronting Triple H Over His Push – “Why Are You Hesitant With Me?”

Swerve Strickland AEW

Swerve Strickland may have held championship gold in NXT, but he doesn’t feel as if he was ever perceived as a “Triple H Guy”.

Signing with WWE in 2019, the then-28-year-old Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott came into the company just after the peak of the black-and-gold brand. A former NXT North American Champion, Scott was an upper mid-card NXT talent by the time he departed the brand.

Despite this, the wrestler now known as Swerve Strickland can recall a time when he confronted Triple H, who is synonymous with the NXT brand, over what he felt was ‘The Game’ being “hesitant” with his booking. Speaking to Chris Jericho on his Talk Is Jericho podcast, Strickland indicated that the incident occurred following Worlds Collide 2020 (h/t Sportkseeda):

“For me, I would cut him off and be like, ‘I want to be one of your guys, one of your go-to guys.’ I said it day 1. He was like, ‘For sure, for sure. I see you as one of those guys.’ Okay, cool. He put me in like a big, marquee match or whatever on NXT Worlds Collide, it was a four-way in Houston. Killed it.

I’m like, ‘I want to be one of your guys,’ I looked him in the eye and said that to him. He was like, ‘You are one of my guys, what are you talking about?’ I’m like, ‘No, I know when you’re committed to somebody and when you’re hesitant. Why are you hesitant with me?'”

Swerve Strickland continued, noting that the final conversation he had with Triple H saw the WWE Hall of Famer reportedly tried to “duck away and get into his car” before the former NXT star confronted him:

“I always asked him that. Straight up. Don’t hesitate with me ’cause I’m going to make you look stupid at the end when you hesitate and everybody’s gonna be like, ‘Where was this guy the whole time?’ And that’s what ended up happening when Hit Row kicked off.”

Swerve Strickland would ultimately be released from WWE on 18 November. This came just over a month after he and the rest of Hit Row – Top Dolla, Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis, and B-FAB – were drafted to SmackDown. Dolla and Adonis would be released alongside Scott, whereas B-FAB was released two weeks before the trio on 4 November.

Alongside a handful of matches on the independent circuit, including challenging for PROGRESS Wrestling’s World Championship, Swerve Strickland arrived in All Elite Wrestling at the 2022 Revolution pay-per-view on 6 March. His latest aired encounter saw him lose to Darby Allin in a qualifier for the men’s bracket of the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament.