Jack Swagger Excited For AEW, Talks With Cody And More

4 years ago by Wrestle Talk

Jack Swagger Excited For AEW, Talks With Cody And More

This past Saturday, Jake Hager (formerly WWE‘s Jack Swagger and Lucha Underground‘s Jake Strong) made his MMA debut defeating J.W. Kiser in just two minutes and nine seconds via submission at Bellator 214. The ‘All-American American’ used his legitimate amateur wrestling background to secure the win and do what MMA’s other recent professional wrestler, CM Punk, sadly couldn’t.

Prior to his victory, however, Hager sat down with WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross for the latter’s podcast, The Jim Ross Report. During the interview, the former Jack Swagger discussed his excitement for the fledgling AEW promotion as well as a brief conversation with the new brand’s Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes. Furthermore, Hager also detailed his life away from WWE and the fears that came about when he left.

Transcription credit to WrestlingInc.com

On what AEW will do for professional wrestling:

“I could not be more excited about it,” Hager revealed. “I feel like it’s changing the landscape of professional wrestling. It’s providing competition. I know, Jim, you’re like me. I believe competition makes everyone better. So this is great for pro wrestlers. This is great for the boys in the back – it gives them some place to go, it gives them leverage. And it’s great for pro wrestling fans! It gives them different styles and shows the different artistic ways we can tell stories. I can’t put a finger on how guys like Kenny Omega, guys like The Young Bucks, guys like Cody, over the last two years have just become red-hot and just generated so much momentum. They’re just doing the right things at the right times and really making it a great time to be a pro wrestler.”

On whether or not he has thought about joining the new promotion:

“I’ve kind of had my nose in training camp since September, so I haven’t talked with them about it too much, but here and there, I will talk with Cody and you can’t help but bring it up. I always think back to what [Chris] Jericho and Kenny Omega did for New Japan [Pro-Wrestling] last year for Wrestle Kingdom. I really feel like they worked everybody, that angle and it was really refreshing to see… it was 2018 at the time, but to see that in pro wrestling where people can still get hooked, still believe it.” Hager said, “I expect nothing but more of that and great matches from these guys.”

On his new lifestyle since leaving WWE:

“Of course now, a year-and-a-half, almost two years since I left the company, I have a different perspective than I did at the time when I was first leaving,” Hager reflected. “When I was first leaving, [I was] angry, upset, wanting, want, want, want, and now I look back and there’s a lot that I could have done better to change that outcome. I learned my lesson and I see that and don’t make the same mistake twice. And, honestly, Jim, I’m happier than I ever have [been]. I’m home more with my kids and my family. I love being a dad. I love being a family man.”

On the fear of leaving WWE for pastures new:

“Honestly, Jim, going into that industry, it always terrified me to be one of those guys [leaving pro wrestling with no money and no family] after having it all,” Hager admitted. “It’s a scary superstar type deal like be careful what you wish for. If you want to roll with the big dogs on the top level, it’s not all glitz and glamor. There [are] a lot of behind-the-scenes decisions that, one bad one could lead you down a path and it’s hard to reverse.”

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