Swerve Strickland credits Kofi Kingston’s title win for inspiring him in championship chase

Swerve Strickland, with his World Championship win over Samoa Joe, established the fact that AEW is indeed Swerve’s house. The 33-year-old defeated Joe at AEW Dynasty on Sunday to secure his first major title and become the 8th person to hold the prestigious AEW World Championship.

After the pay-per-view, the newly crowned champion sat with the media and discussed how a WWE superstar inspired him to pursue the gold. The superstar is none other than Kofi Kingston. Swerve said, “Seeing friends like Kofi. The last five years, that’s probably one of the biggest inspirational things you’ve ever seen, not just Black history, but wrestling history, period. That’s motivating. That’s inspiring. That makes me be like, I want to do that for the next generation.”

“KofiMania” was one of the most gripping storylines in pro wrestling in recent times. After years of loitering in the mid-card and tag team division, Kofi Kingston finally got his opportunity to fight for the WWE Championship. The story climaxed at WrestleMania 35 when Kofi beat Daniel Bryan for the title after taking fans through a roller-coaster ride of emotions leading to it.

Swerve previously spoke of WWE personnel in a positive light and the same was reciprocated after his win as congratulatory messages flooded the former NXT superstar.

WWE stars of past and present congratulate Swerve Strickland

After Swerve pinned Samoa Joe for the title, the live audience exploded in jubilation. The same happened on social media as well and messages poured in from all corners of the pro wrestling world, including from those in WWE.

After Swerve uploaded a picture on Instagram with the title in a Kobe Bryant-esque pose, former WWE star Mustafa Ali, who was released by WWE last year, sent his congratulatory message. WWE veteran Natalya also did the same with Cedric Alexander and Joe Gacy joining in. Former WWE and AEW superstar Matt Hardy also congratulated the new champion for being the first African-American AEW World Champion.

Among the others wishing Swerve on social media are Darby Allin, Orange Cassidy and Kevin Knight. Strickland’s win will surely shake up the dynamics of AEW in the coming days as the win marks the start of a new era in the company


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