AEW star Shane “Swerve” Strickland recently joined the Talk Is Jericho podcast for a conversation on all things Lucha Underground, and how much he enjoyed the creativity of the short-lived promotion. Swerve also dives deep on his Lucha Underground character, Killshot, and how he based it on his love of Metal Gear Solid. Highlights from the interview are below.
Recalls his experience at Lucha Underground and how the creativity just flowed:
“That was another place where the creativity just flowed. They were so open to ideas. It was a little tricky because they can’t modify or change too much direction because it was written seasonally. So, if like, ‘We want this but this person is getting over, we already shot the scenes for this and that.’ You shot like a three-month block from March to June, and say this character is getting over in December, oh well. Gotta catch you in the next season. That was the only tricky part about that. But that’s where I really started figuring out I can’t just be the same person I was on the indies. You have to modify, adapt, and change, and not be afraid of the change and afraid of failing at changing. A lot of people are so afraid of getting a negative reception, so they stay in their bubble and stay the path. I welcome criticism.
Discusses his LU character, Killshot:
“They had an idea to put me in a mask. They had no idea what the character was going to be because I wasn’t a Robert Rodriguez creation. Prince Puma was a Robert Rodriguez creation. The Son of Havoc one was created by him. Thunder Rosa’s character was one, Cobra Moon. There were quite a few. So I came up with Killshot, a military character and all the stuff. Then after the first season, I was like, ‘Oh, I feel like I just wrestle matches. I don’t feel like there’s any meat to me.’ So during the break after we filmed the season, I was writing more depth to the character. I’m a Metal Gear Solid fan, so I put some espionage in there. I was writing my character to be able to interact with other characters, and they liked that, so they took all of it and formed something. People really gravitated towards that character because it was a person. A lot of the characters were Mayan, Aztecan [monsters] – it was very fantasy. It was cool, but I was like, ‘I have to do something to be different over here.’ The same with my wrestling style.”
Says despite their following the studio didn’t want to spend money to grow LU:
“It was growing in popularity, but I don’t feel like the studio wanted to grow along with it. They didn’t want to spend the money to grow it. We should have been touring with that roster. You can’t see those characters anywhere else. I feel like merchandising, they didn’t want to spend the money on that.”
(H/T and transcribed by 411 Mania)