Strickland and Keith Lee, collectively known as Swerve in Our Glory, defeated The Acclaimed at AEW All Out to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championship. This clash was an instant classic, and the two teams will clash again at Grand Slam.
Speaking on Under The Ring, Strickland previewed the match and referenced the importance of the location, Arthur Ashe, as Serena Williams recently had her last tennis match there.
“Yeah, New York City, which sis like their turf. They’re homegrown New Jersey/New York guys, you know. I’m a Pacific Northwest, and Keith Lee is from the south and Texas. So we’re out of our elements and we’re going into theirs in a very historic building where Serena Williams had her last tennis match, you know, in a career of a freaking icon, so we’re following that. As African-American performers, all four of us, that’s a really special moment.
“We’re carrying on a cultural significance to AEW on that roster, in that promotion, and for the time, in 2022, year three of AEW, I’ve only been around seven months. Keith Lee’s been around eight, you know. That’s a short period of time to make the impact that we have, and we got to mix it up with a lot of different talent. We’ve mixed it up with Starks and Hobbs. We mixed it up with Josh Woods and Tony Nese and Mark Sterling. We mixed it up with Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. But somehow, we caught lightning in a bottle with The Acclaimed.”
Strickland noted that he’s more proud of this rivalry than any of the others because it has “blindsided people” and captured the fans’ attention. He also teased that more surprises are in store for Grand Slam.
“I felt like I’m more proud of this rivalry than any of the other ones because once again, I’ll reiterate, nobody saw it coming, it kind of blindsided a lot of people, and it woke everybody up,” Strickland said. “If you’re looking at the ratings, we peaked last night with us versus Lucha Brothers, and with The Acclaimed coming out.
“We had the highest rating on the show, so that goes to show you that people are paying attention and people are anticipating next week in New York at Arthur Ashe for Grand Slam. There’s more surprises gonna done next week in New York, I promise you that. I’m letting you know that now.”
He went on to describe how some people have doubted the rematch in advance because they won’t be able to deliver another magical moment. Strickland countered these claims by pointing out that most people didn’t see the remarkable first bout coming. Ahead of this clash, he stated that it’s another chance to prove themselves and take the rivalry to a new level.
“So next week, people are saying, ‘Oh, you can’t do that twice. You can’t do it again. They had a magic moment. You guys can’t do it again.’ I’m like well y’all didn’t expect us to do it the first time,” Strickland said. “Y’all weren’t looking at us the first time to do it, so why should I listen to critics saying we can’t do it again when y’all didn’t even believe in us doing it the first time. So once again it’s another time to put the Swerve in our Glory brand on the map, the Acclaimed and Billy Gunn, to put the ‘Scissor Me, Daddy Ass’ on the map.
“We’re gonna take it to a whole ‘nother level and there’s so much more that we haven’t even unpacked yet as a rivalry and in match form because we only had one tag match. There’s still so much more that can be done, there’s so much more we have to show, there’s so much more that The Acclaimed have to show. I like that competitive nature. There’s a good camaraderie, competitive nature, and it takes a lot of attention off a lot of the negative media in the world right now.”