AEW’s Swerve Strickland had a great 2023, launching himself into the promotion’s main event scene with consistently strong work that connected with the audience — in particular while feuding with Hangman Page.
That program wrapped up (for a little while, anyway) with a controversial Texas Death Match at Full Gear that left both men covered in blood... with some of Strickland’s going into Page’s mouth. But that wasn’t the only horrific scene Swerve played last year. He also had a role in Samuel Gonzalez Jr.’s anthology film, Night of the Missing.
Must have been a good experience for both, because Gonzalez Jr.’s next project has been announced and Swerve (referred to as “AEW star Stephon ‘Swerve’ Strickland” in Deadline’s article) will again have a role in Stiletto. The writer/director says the movie is an homage to early slasher flicks from the 1980s, and its official description reads:
“A year after the grisly murder of a local exotic dancer, the victim’s sister, Lyric [Gigi Gustin], searches for the serial killer responsible as he stalks and kills his favorite dancers on the night of the anniversary.”
No word yet on Swerve’s role, but he’s already doing his part to promote Stiletto:
Like most indie horror, Night of the Missing wasn’t a big budget affair. One imagines Stiletto will be shot in a similar way. That’s not a criticism of Swerve’s previous collaboration with Gonzalez Jr. (I haven’t seen it) or a prediction of quality about their upcoming movie. It’s just to say that even if Strickland’s part in Stiletto is a big one he likely won’t need to miss too much work at AEW in order to film it.
Regardless, it’s cool that Swerve’s found a creative partner in the movie business. And if Stiletto gets some buzz or his performance catches the right people’s attention, his star could start to shine as brightly outside of wrestling as it is in AEW.