As much as we enjoyed Swerve Strickland’s AEW Tag title run with Keith Lee (especially the part where he did moonsaults off the big man’s chest), calling something “the best thing AEW’s done with Swerve since they signed him” doesn’t require it to clear a terribly high bar.
Strickland turning on Lee has infamously gone nowhere. Some memorable moments with Rick Ross aside, Mogul Affiliates didn’t even get to nowhere. Teaming with ROH veteran Prince Nana to form the Mogul Embassy seemed like more of the same, no matter how many good matches Swerve had with Darby Allin while Nana paced ringside.
It wasn’t initially clear that AR Fox joining the group last week would lead to better things, but then last night (Aug. 2) on Dynamite we got this:
Last week, AR Fox turned his back on Darby Allin. This week, AR Fox and Swerve Strickland attacked Nick Wayne at the Buddy Wayne Academy!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) August 3, 2023
Watch #AEWDynamite200 LIVE on TBS! @swerveconfident | @ARealFoxx | @thenickwayne | @DarbyAllin pic.twitter.com/OCdpOJ9Tjs
Attacking your real target’s weaker or less experienced friend — preferably at their home — is well-trod pro wrestling ground. With Fox & Nana’s help, Swerve makes this more classic than retread. He brings real menace to the scene.
Is he infringing on Christian Cage’s gimmick a bit? Perhaps. But busting Nick Wayne open with a framed picture of young Nick with his deceased father Buddy, then laying the photograph down on the spot where Wayne told us he was sitting when he found out his dad had died? Not even sure Christian would be that cold-blooded.
That’s the stuff. Enough to make this the most excited we’ve been for Swerve’s AEW run in months.
Let us know what you think in the comments. On your way down there, check out the rest of the highlights from Aug. 2’s 200th episode of Dynamite.
- Is this it for the JAS? Jericho & Takeshita vs Guevara & Garcia
- Jack Perry expected living legend Jerry Lynn but got the Whole F’n Show!
- Anything goes! Did Moxley emerge victorious in the 3-way match up?
- AEW World Champion, MJF, has a heart-to-heart with Tampa and Adam Cole!
- The Elite Are Back in Trios action against Jarrett, Lethal, and Satnam!
- Who walked out of Tampa the ROH World Tag Team Champions?
- Former partners, now enemies! AEW Women’s Champ, Toni Storm vs Shida!