Roderick Strong has talked about how he got to AEW and why he chose to work for them instead of WWE.
Strong was recently a guest on the “AEW Unrestricted” show, where he said that he was in talks with both AEW and WWE before deciding to join AEW earlier this year.
“In August of last year, I got injured and I was out for some time. When it was getting closer to the year, my contract, actually, expired from WWE,” said Strong. “It was just one of those situations where, one, I was rehabbing in a pretty decent place but not exactly sure what was going to go on with me at that time. I had someone representing me just kind of reached out and I was talking to both companies. It was one of those weird things it just felt like it was almost inevitable.”
The 40-year-old said that he chose AEW over WWE because he wanted to be with his friends again and work for the same company as his wife, Marina Shafir.”I really wanted to be with my friends and my wife,” said the man who used to lead the Diamond Mine.
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Strong also said that AEW reminded him a lot of Ring of Honor, which he was a part of when he first started out in professional wrestling. He thinks that the way everyone in AEW wants to make things better is a lot like how it was in ROH.
Strong kept quiet about his first show in AEW.
In April, Roderick Strong made his AEW debut when he met up with his old friend Adam Cole from the Undisputed Era and saved him from an attack by the Jericho Appreciation Society. The person who used to be the NXT North American Champion said it was hard to keep his start a secret.
“It was very difficult,” Strong said about his debut being a secret. “But, it’s also something that I feel bad because I misled people. I didn’t outright lie, but you do realize, especially nowadays, there are no real secrets anymore in wrestling. And to actually be able to be one is huge. It’s something that people will remember forever.”
Strong said that he did everything he could to keep his start a secret. He didn’t even tell all of his family members that he had signed with AEW. The former WWE star said that he was very scared for his first match in AEW.
Strong has had a fight with the Jericho Appreciation Society since he joined AEW, and he even beat Chris Jericho in a singles match. He was also involved in the storyline between Adam Cole and MJF, telling his friend not to believe the AEW World Champion.