AEW: Shane Strickland Close to Signing Deal, Kenny Omega Injury Update, Brody King on AEW Signing

AEW Reportedly Close to Signing Shane “Swerve” Strickland

As noted before, Shane “Swerve” Strickland (former Isiah “Swerve” Scott) was released by WWE this past November. AEW, Major League Wrestling, and other promotions have shown interest in signing Strickland following the expiration of his non-compete clause with WWE.

Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that Strickland and AEW have been in significant talks recently and the current expectation is that he will very likely be signing a deal soon.

Kenny Omega Injury Status Update

As noted before, Kenny Omega has been out of action for AEW since this past November due to him having surgery to fix several injuries.

A recent episode of the Wrestling Observer Radio had Omega as the guest. One of the topics discussed included Omega providing an update on the status of his current rehab from injury.

“The plan of course, and perhaps I was a little too optimistic, I was hoping to be back by February. It’s not looking that way anymore. That’s not to say there was a huge snag or something that is terribly wrong, it’s not that. It’s just, trying to get appointments and things fixed, you have it in your brain, ‘Oh yeah, I can call a number and get in the next day.’ Unfortunately, there are sometimes waiting lists or other complications which create follow-up appointments and things like that, and the whole COVID thing, which has backed everything up by two weeks or so. That’s caused me to missed appointments, which caused me to re-book and that extends the time. That part of the recovery process is always really goofy. It’s still on track. I’m still feeling a little bit better as time goes by and that’s without having to do major procedures that need to be done. That’s just working with trainers and doing the proper rehab to strengthen surrounding areas of the injured areas of the body.

One of the big takeaways from my training lately is I was leaning too heavily into my strengths as a performer and athlete and I guess, over the years, there were natural strengths or things I overdeveloped and I was relying too much on those things and now that the knees are gone, the neck is going, I’d lose power in my right knee, a lot of stuff is going on. How do you compensate for that stuff and what is it I can strengthen around those areas that can create a more stable and strong body? It’s a silly process and I always laugh at myself to see that, ‘wow, as strong as this thing was, this thing adjacent to it was terribly weak and I feel really pathetic.’ It’s been a process, but it feels good to kind of learn from the ground up these new movements that help correct issues that otherwise would have been completely debilitating. It’s going well, the training is going well, once I’m able to try to get the knees fixed, get the neck fixed, the hernia, and all that stuff, hopefully, I’m able to move around much better than I was before and I look like a guy who was doing what he was doing ten years ago, hopefully,

As days go by, you don’t realize how your daily activities and your normal lifestyle changes unless you have someone point it out to you, who really knows the human body and its mechanics. I would work with a trainer who is studied in human anatomy and it’s like, ‘Do this, flex this, now flex only this, flex this and this together,’ and my body could not make those connections anymore. I was like, ‘what is going on? Why is my glute completely dead? Why won’t it fire? Why can’t I, on command, activate my hamstring muscle?’ It’s things like that and it’s alarming at first because it’s like, Woah, I’ve been that quad heavy for this long because my knee was in pain and I was trying to compensate in this way and I was putting too much pressure on my toes and the balls of my feet rather than absorbing any impact in the glutes and hammies and sitting back on my heels at all. It’s things like that where I’ve been putting far too much impact on things that actually work because they hurt and I thought I was pushing them properly. For me, in the moment, that’s how my body would react just to get through it and to try to continue this facade that Kenny Omega was 100% when he wasn’t anywhere close to it.

For me, even if I can’t be the exact version of myself that I brought to the table for ‘x’ amount of years, I still want to be somebody known for their dynamic ability in the ring and someone who has good stamina. When the wheels go away, it’s really hard to stay on top of your game from a cardio aspect. You have to get creative.

Hopefully, the big reward at the end, is coming back and wrestling in a healthier state …

The hernia is absolutely something I want to get taken care of now. The last thing I want to do is…doctors are telling me, ‘you have the umbilical hernia, it’s going to get real bad eventually and you’re going to have to get it taken care of, but you can let it rip for now.’ I would hate to come back and let’s say something happens where it just tears wide open and my intestines are spilling out everywhere. It would suck to take this time off, come back, and immediately go, ‘No, I need this other surgery now.’ I want to get it done now. To be able to walk around and live life, it’s like a five-day process. To be able to take impact on the abdomen area, it’ll take six to eight weeks before I should be doing it or before I get cleared to do it. Maybe my healing factor would kick in and it could be quicker, you have to listen to the doctors at that point. As of right now, that’s going to be the longest recovery time I have to deal with. As soon as I get that taken care of, once that eight weeks is up, that’s probably going to be about the time when I make my return. In the interim, I have various knee treatments coming up.”

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Brody King on Signing with AEW

A recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast had Brody King as the guest. One of the topics discussed included King’s thoughts about the process that led to him signing with AEW.

“Persistence, I guess. I met Tony a few years ago, he knew who I was and I feel like cutting my teeth in Ring of Honor and meeting the Bucks and a couple of other people, all these pieces fell into place. With Malakai joining, it was kind of a perfect fit. He pitched the idea to Tony and Tony liked it a lot. I talked to him when we all got released from Ring of Honor. I messaged him and he was like, ‘let’s try to catch up sometime.’ ‘I can be anywhere within a few hours.’ ‘Why don’t you come out to Indianapolis and Minneapolis.’ I flew myself out there, we talked, here I am now.

He’s an incredibly kind person too. Knowing what he’s involved with on a day-to-day basis between wrestling, football, soccer. My head would explode. The fact that he has two minutes to talk to another human is crazy. It’s been a really awesome experience. Everyone here is awesome and cool and welcoming. Every where you turn, there is someone you can learn from. [Jericho], Dean Malenko, Big Show, Mark Henry. Anywhere, you can go to someone and get a different piece of advice or opinion. That’s what I want the most. When I come out of a match, I don’t want to know what I did good, I want to know what I did bad or what I could do better.”

King also gave his thoughts about his current goals in AEW.

“With House of Black, we have something different to offer. I don’t want to compare it to anything directly, but it has a very Ministry of Darkness aura and that was something that latched onto me as a kid. Watching all these crazy people…crucifying Stone Cold. That was stuff that grabbed me as a kid. To be able to put our spin on that and be a darker element of wrestling that I feel has been missing for quite some time has been awesome. There is a lot to work with, a lot to grow with. I think Malakai is one of the best wrestlers on the planet so being able to learn and grow and team with him, I feel our chemistry works well, our styles are different, but they work in unison.”

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