Since Jack Swagger aka Jake Hager left WWE in 2017, he’s wrestled some on the indies but has mostly trained and competed in MMA. He still keeps tabs on the wrestling scene and was asked by Pro Wrestling 24/7 about the current WWE product seeing a dip in popularity.
“Well to me it’s like how many weeks in a row can you provide five hours, six hours of wrestling contests truly entertaining? You can only sustain that for so long so I think they need to change their model,” revealed Swagger. “I think they need to move into a season – start at SummerSlam, end at WrestleMania and then have that time off where you can refresh everything or restart everything.
“I know Vince doesn’t like that because he wants to be working and making money, but it’s incredibly tough to put out compelling and entertaining content that you haven’t seen and honestly you’ve seen everything that they’re doing right now. So, it is what it is so maybe it will change or maybe they don’t care and they go their network and will just keep doing what they do.”
Apart from their deal with FOX, WWE appears to be content with putting all of its eggs in the WWE Network basket. Swagger was asked if the network has too much of an influence on the wrestling product.
“Absolutely. When I was there Vince told us if the network is successful then WWE is successful,” stated Swagger. “The network is the future of their programming and you see so many of these streaming services popping up and becoming successful because of it. Television may be going the way of Blockbuster – it’s all internet streams now.”
WWE can run into problems when USA Network or soon to be FOX wants one thing but Vince McMahon wants something else. Swagger says that even though those networks have multi-million dollar relationships with WWE, McMahon still has final say on all programming.
“I know they’re writing the checks,” Swagger said of the TV networks, “but at the same time Vince is Vince and he really is the head honcho. We’ve always said yeah we have millions of fans watching us, but as a performer you’re performing for the audience of one and that’s him.”