Jake Hager — who WWE fans remember as Jack Swagger — made his All Elite Wrestling debut last week in a big way.
During the main event of the inaugural episode of Dynamite, he showed up and helped Chris Jericho, Santino, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara deliver a beatdown to The Young Bucks, Dustin Rhodes and Cody Rhodes. A new faction looks set to be formed as a result, but the company has bigger plans for Hager in the long run.
As quoted by SEScopps, Wade Keller of PWTorch is reporting that AEW is impressed by Hager’s attitude and plan on turning him into the main event star that he didn’t become in WWE.
“People in AEW are telling me he is super motivated, he’s regained his confidence that he lost in WWE and there’s some powerful people in that company, influential people, who think he is going to be not a support player, a guy standing behind a star, but be a star. And if that’s what they think and he can deliver deliver on that, then that will show itself in the next couple months.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, AEW kept Hager’s involvement in the company a secret until Dynamite. For the past few months, he’s been primarily focused on Bellator MMA, but he looks set to compete in both companies moving forward.
In an interview with ESPN MMA, Hager revealed that the mixed-martial arts promotion has been supportive of him returning to pro wrestling, and have been more than willing to accommodate his needs so he can be a part of both worlds.
“We definitely maneuvered some stipulations we had in the contract. But they’ve been great.”
In addition to his AEW duties throughout the rest of the year, Hager will be entering the octagon for the third time later this month to take on Anthony Garrett at Bellator 231. The former WWE star is currently undefeated as an MMA fighter, and he’ll be looking to continue his momentum with a victory at the upcoming event.
With AEW planning to adopt a sports-centric approach, recruiting Hager is a smart move. He’s a rising star on the MMA circuit, and his background as an amateur wrestling champion will add some legitimacy to the company’s product.
He’s also a former WWE Champion, even though he didn’t reach the heights there that many felt he should have. However, his “We the people” catchphrase went over well with the crowd, and AEW fans look set to continue chanting it.