Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger could be about to debut for AEW on the debut of its weekly show tomorrow (October 2) evening.
Swagger, who now goes under his real name Jake Hager, has been in talks with AEW and is a candidate for a surprise debut on the first episode of AEW: Dynamite.
The report comes from Sports Illustrated, which has a reasonably good record of reporting backstage news accurately.
Swagger is currently also signed to MMA promotion Bellator, and has a fight on October 25 against Anthony Garrett. Swagger has a 2-0 record in Bellator, and AEW would be hoping he might bring over some fans from his time in the octagon.
Swagger spoke to Wrestling Inc earlier this year about having talks with AEW:
“I’m very good friends with a lot of those guys: Chris [Jericho] and Cody and I’ve met the Bucks,” said Swagger. “It’s crazy – Kenny Omega was at Deep South Wrestling in 2006 with me unsigned by WWE. He was going through hell like the rest of us, so it’s cool to see the success that these people have had. You really care about them. You care about the characters they portray and you hate them at times and really like them at times. I talk to them sporadically. We haven’t brought [me working with AEW] up so far. It’s just been congratulations, patting each other on the back type deal.
“It’s a very exciting time. Not since I was in seventh grade have pro wrestlers had other options. No disrespect to wrestlers who went to Impact/TNA but as far as supplementing your income and a paycheck you can rely on, they weren’t that.
“It’s very exciting to see that there is so much life, not that there is life outside of WWE. There is so much life outside of WWE. I think that’s gonna make WWE step up their game, their programming, their storylines and wrestlers are definitely gonna respond to that backstage. I think it’s gonna be awesome. Does AEW need to compete with WWE? No, but they just need to be a great place to come wrestle and to come watch wrestling.”