Swerve Strickland Wins AEW In-Ring Debut on Rampage

All Elite Wrestling made a splash at AEW Revolution with the surprising signing of Swerve Strickland, and tonight on AEW Rampage he was making his in-ring debut. His opponent is Tony Neese, who he battled it out with during their time in WWE as well. That actually came up during the pre-match promos, as Nese took a shot at NXT 2.0 with the line "This isn't a Hip Hop show, this is a wrestling show." Then Strickland said he would beat his a** just like he used to on Fridays, and then it was time for the match.

Right off the bat Strickland grounded Nese and applied a hold to his wrist and hand, causing Nese to roll out of the ring. Then Strickland gained control again by applying pressure to Nese's head and neck, and after some counters, Strickland tried to apply a Single Leg Crab but Nese got to the ropes to force the break.

Nese delivered a kick and a punch but Strickland dodged his charge and sent Nese reeling before an Irish Whip into the ropes, and then Strickland hit a Dropkick to the side of Nese's face.

Nese tried to knock Strickland over the ropes but Strickland landed on his feet impressively. Nese then overshot Strickland and hit the floor, and Strickland then landed a loud boot to the chest to knock Nese down.

Nese gained the apron skirt and distracted Strickland, buying him time to hit a dropkick, sending Strickland to the floor. Then he threw Strickland into the steel steps on his shoulder and arm, and then he rolled him into the ring.

Nese was on a tear, knocking Strickland down and hitting him with several punches before a pin attempt, but Strickland kicked out. Nese kept up his momentum, locking Strickland in a hold to keep him grounded and hitting a stomp before another hold. Swerve fought back and bought himself some space with a punch and then another punch to the stomach, but Nese caught him with a quick punch to the face to stall his comeback. Then Nese took Strickland over the top rope and went for a Moonsault to follow it up but Strickland got out of the way in time.

Strickland fired a punch and then some big chops, and a Hammer Throw and Elbow Strike followed. He then hit an uppercut to the head followed by a slam and then a Brainbuster, but Nese kicked out of the pin attempt. Strickland went up top but Nese jumped up to knock him down, and Nese kicked him in the stomach and then brought him down on the knees from a Fireman's Carry, but Strickland kicked out of the pin attempt.

Nese hit the ropes but Strickland met him, and then Strickland ate a spinning kick from Nese. Nese went up top and hit a 450 Splash into a pin but Strickland kicked out. Nese was getting frustrated and taunted Strickland but Strickland hit back, and then Strickland countered a move but Nese escaped. Strickland then swept out Nese's legs from under him and hit a superkick and then hit a Foot Stomp on the ring apron. Strickland then went to pin Nese but Nese kicked out. Strickland then kicked Nese in the head and went up top for a massive stomp and that was enough for the pin and the win. Strickland is now in 1 – 0 in AEW.