Former WWE superstar Jack Swagger (real name Jake Hager) is busy preparing for his mixed martial arts debut at Bellator 214 on Jan. 26 but he’s always keeping a watchful eye on his other job in professional wrestling.
After exiting the WWE in 2017, Swagger became a mainstay on the independent wrestling circuit, most recently performing for Lucha Underground as ‘Jack Strong’.
Right now, his focus is solely on his debut fight in Bellator but Swagger has definitely seen the developments of All-Elite Wrestling (AEW) over the past week with the launch of the promotion and signing several high profile professional wrestlers.
While AEW has yet to even put on their first show, Swagger believes they have already challenged the status quo with professional wrestling where WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) remains king in the industry.
As far has his own personal interest in potentially working with AEW, Swagger isn’t showing his hand just but definitely sems to admire what the upstart promotion is trying to do right now.
“First I have to say that Bellator has been absolutely amazing to work with. I think you see that with a lot of fighters gravitating towards this promotion because of how they treat their talent and how they put on their promotion. I’m already signed with a great promotion,” Swagger said on Tuesday during a Bellator 214 media conference call.
“As far as AEW and what those guys are doing, I think it’s awesome. I think they’re changing the landscape of professional wrestling, providing competition to the big dog where they haven’t had competition in over 20 years. It’s only going to make things better for professional wrestlers when promotions like AEW emerge and are successful.”
Swagger is obviously putting his attention on fighting right now but he’s still working the independent wrestling scene as much as time allows.
Whether or not AEW would pursue him remains unknown but he’s definitely finding the balance between his two careers — one inside the ring and the other inside the cage.
“It’s been kind of a work in progress,” Swagger said. “When I left WWE in April 2017, I knew I had a lot of meat on the table to capitalize on as far as in the independent wrestling world. At that point, it was the main focus and then slowly as we got closer to being ready to step into the cage, the focus shifts more into the MMA aspect side of it. I think it’s been a really cool journey.
“I definitely would have been ready sooner if I wasn’t wrestling on the weekends but unfortunately I have to make my income the way I can and that was a big part of it to capitalize on my TV exposure and continue on professional wrestling and entertaining. At the same time, I think it will help me with my MMA career so it’s almost like practice, too.”
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