Jack Swagger was interviewed by The Wrestling Estate ahead of a charity independent wrestling event he's headlining in this weekend called WrestleJam16.
They sent us these highlights:
If there was a certain moment when he decided to leave or if it was a bunch of factors that piled up:
"I'm very grateful for the career I've had, but I've seen a lot of friends go and I had been passed over for opportunities. I don't want to blame anyone else for something that I didn't achieve because that's just not the way to go through life. But it did get frustrating not even being on the playing field, not being allowed to compete. So it was a combination of that and pro wrestling being as popular as it is now that I felt I could take advantage of 10 years of TV exposure. I want to move forward and see where that takes me.
"I don't regret it. I'm very glad that I did it because I needed a change. I needed to find a way to push myself again. This is definitely doing it. Be careful what you ask for. (laughs) It's a lot less stressful, but at the same time, a lot more work. Now you're handling everything. We handled a bunch before, but now it seems like more. But it's been fun. I have 100% creative control over my character and merchandise."
If he is considering joining Bellator MMA:
"I'm considering going into MMA. Like I said earlier, combat sports is at an all-time high in popularity. I'm lucky that I still can go and have exposure outside of MMA. I've been training. I'm still trying to figure out the best route. I'm 100% serious about it because the reward that could come from it would be astronomical. Plus, it's something I've done all my life. Maybe not MMA-totally, but it's very similar to competing in wrestling, just with punches. It's kind of a natural transition for me. When you leave WWE, you need to find a way to use that exposure for whatever you want. This would be a great way – I just have to learn to bob and weave a little bit, and don't get tapped out. But I'm very excited about it. The sky is the limit and my body has never felt better, which is surprising at 35 and after 10 years of traveling."
If he was surprised that CM Punk tried his hand at MMA:
"A little bit, but at the same time, he made so much money from it that it's not surprising. If you knew you were going to get that type of money and you're that type of draw, hats off to you, my friend. I don't think you're going to find many pro wrestlers who are mad at him for doing it."
You can check out the full interview by clicking here.