1. Were you a fan growing up if so what are your early recollections of pro wrestling at this time?
I grew up watching it around the age of 12 so it wasn’t like I was watching it ALL my life but def a majority. I remember the first episode of Smackdown I watched was the Billy and Chuck wedding, lol! But seeing Rey Mysterio, Jamie Noble and Benoit and that cruiserweight division compete is what captivated me.
2. As far as indy wrestling goes, what promotions did you first discover as a fan and what memories do you have of these?
CZW was one of the first big ones I’ve seen back when I was in high school. my buddy had CZW tapes and the first guy I seen was Ruckus. ROH was the next one I really got into and Austin Aries was by far my favorite guy to watch on the indies.
3. What was behind the jump from just being a fan to actually training to be a wrestler, was there anyone instrumental in you doing this?
My buddies and I used to backyard wrestle and I was the only one motivated enough to wanna get inside a wrestling ring and pursue it. My mother was very instrumental in this happening. She was definitely my biggest supporter.
4. In what year, who with and where did you get your training?
2008 I started training in GROUND XERO WRESTLING in Richmond, VA under Ron “The Pharaoh” Cromartie.
5. Any standout moments from your time training and was there ever a point you felt like getting out due to the training?
I never wanted to quit. I knew this was something I wanted to do and could potentially be good at it. I remember they took us on 2 mile runs up the road from where our training facility was. Also, training with Mickie James and Earl Hebner.
6. So, where was it you got your first break and first match and what memories do you have of this?
When eventually I moved back up north, I went to Ground Breaking Wrestling run by Greg Excellent. I had my first real breakout match against Alex Colon in which we truly stole the show. My first match was a tag match down in Va that wasn’t that good.
7. Most of the times I’ve seen you work has been in CZW, tell us how you got into CZW and it’s owner DJ Hyde?
While at Ground Breaking Wrestling I met Adam Cole. I facebooked him some of my work and asked for advice which after a couple of weeks he gotten back to me. He told me I was pretty good and had a lot of potential and told me I should come up to Philly at the CZW arena and meet with DJ Hyde for a training session. The rest is history
8. You’ve worked with many great guys in CZW but 3 guys I live to see you work against are AR Fox, Andrew Everett & Alex Colon, of course the 4 of you had that terrific match at Cage of Death recently and along with telling us about that match, tell us what it’s like working with these guys.
Those guys are just extreme athletes, all 3 of them and in very different ways. They push you to be on top of your game and to perform at your very best. Fox has to be one of my all time favorites because we mesh very well in the ring. Everett has incredible body control, and Colon is a complex competitor. Combing all 3 together just makes for absolute magic.
9. You have been in the ring with standout stars like Rich Swann and now current WWE developmental star Samuray Del Sol, what was it like working with these guys, any good memories etc?
I had incredibly great memories with Swann. Working with him, I learned so much about pacing myself in the ring. Putting me with Swann helped us both because it put Swann on a higher level and it showed people that I could go with one of the best in the world today. Without him I wouldn’t have been able to work well against the likes of Del Sol. Del Sol is just so smooth in the ring, he is like water. Watching his work compared to being in the ring with him are 2 VERY different things. I was just glad to be able to work with him on his final DGUSA/ EVOLVE weekend.
10. CZW, EVOLVE & DGUSA are top Indy promotions but the likes of ROH and PWG seem to be the pinnacle of the Indy scene, I won’t ask you if you want to work there because I’m sure you do but has there ever been any contact between yourself and those promotions, I understand there’s an issue with the owners of ROH and EVOLVE/DGUSA but has there been contact?
I was spoken to by Prince Nana recently but not in a business sense. He just hit me up out of nowhere just to compliment me and acknowledge that he enjoys my work which I was very humbled to hear. That was the extent of that
Thanks for your time today Shane, tell people where they can find you online for bookings etc. along with all your social media links
Facebook under Shane “Swerve” Strickland, twitter: @StricklandShane
For booking inquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again my friend and I hope you have continued success in your career.