On a recent edition of the “Not Sam Wrestling” podcast, Swerve Strickland recalled paying tribute to the late Bray Wyatt with his Wyatt-inspired gear at AEW Full Gear 2023.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On paying tribute to Bray Wyatt: “I didn’t know Bray as close as a lot of people like Brodie Lee, there were people influenced by him from his time there, but some people have known him since FCW or NXT and they have that personal connection. To me, I remember when The Fiend was really going, there was a lot of chatter that it wasn’t for them, as a fan. I was like, ‘No, this is brilliant work.’ I don’t think people really appreciated the brilliance he was bringing to the screen and a lot of risks he was taking, week by week, which is not easy to do. Weekly television on two shows. It wasn’t just RAW or SmackDown, he was doing both shows with his material. Bringing that to the real world. I really appreciated that and I think he was ahead of his time.”
On wanting to show appreciation for Wyatt’s influence: “I just wanted to show appreciation that the love and influence wasn’t lost. I put that as part of my gear, and I was in the locker room with him during my time at 205 [205 Live], he always gave me hugs. He was awesome. At one point, I had to help him with a Fiend mask. It was COVID and we were all in that box together. There were times I had to help him with that. There were times I would see him in Gorilla coming back when they were testing the red lighting after the show and getting that going. I’ve seen a lot of those processes with him.”
On how Bray Wyatt was a good person in a locker room: “He was always a good brother in the locker room. He was fun, really cool. That was one of those things of, ‘you’ve always influenced me through all of this.’ No matter what, if it was their taste or wasn’t, I’m a horror person, and I was really happy to see a new age of horror brought to the screen in an industry that I love and I was like, ‘Man, that was a revolutionary.’ I wanted to take a little piece of that into what I was doing that night. If anything, I feel like his spirit powered that match.”
Strickland defeated Hangman Page in a Texas Death Match at AEW Full Gear 2023.
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Swerve Strickland, a professional wrestler in All Elite Wrestling (AEW), recently paid tribute to the late Bray Wyatt with his Wyatt-inspired gear at AEW Full Gear 2023. In a recent episode of the “Not Sam Wrestling” podcast, Strickland shared his thoughts on Wyatt’s impact and why he wanted to show appreciation for his influence.
Strickland acknowledged that he didn’t know Wyatt as closely as some others in the wrestling industry, but he still recognized the brilliance of Wyatt’s character, The Fiend. He mentioned that there was initially some criticism of The Fiend character from fans, but Strickland believed it was brilliant work. He admired the risks Wyatt took and the creativity he brought to the screen on a weekly basis, especially considering the challenge of performing on both RAW and SmackDown.
The wrestler also expressed his desire to show appreciation for Wyatt’s influence by incorporating elements of his character into his gear. Strickland had spent time with Wyatt in the locker room during their time on 205 Live, and he always found him to be a great person. Strickland even recalled helping Wyatt with his Fiend mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. He witnessed the behind-the-scenes processes and saw how dedicated Wyatt was to his character and the production.
According to Strickland, Wyatt was always a good brother in the locker room, fun to be around, and someone who influenced him throughout his career. As a horror fan, Strickland appreciated how Wyatt brought a new age of horror to the wrestling industry. He believed that incorporating a piece of Wyatt’s spirit into his match with Hangman Page at AEW Full Gear 2023 powered their performance.
In the Texas Death Match, Strickland emerged victorious against Page. The tribute to Wyatt in his gear added an extra layer of meaning to the match and showcased the impact that Wyatt had on his fellow wrestlers.
Overall, Strickland’s tribute to Bray Wyatt at AEW Full Gear 2023 highlights the lasting influence and legacy of Wyatt’s character. It also serves as a reminder of the impact that wrestlers can have on their peers, both in and out of the ring. Wyatt’s creativity, dedication, and positive presence in the locker room left a lasting impression on Strickland and many others in the wrestling industry.
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