Jake Hager, the artist formerly known as Jack Swagger, has dipped into the mixed-martial arts scene after his wrestling career. Last weekend he picked up his second pro-MMA victory at Bellator 221 over TJ Jones.
As Hager looks to ascend the Bellator rankings, he says he wonders what could've been in the wrestling promotion where he was once top dog, Lucha Underground.
In that promotion, Hager competed under the name Jake Strong and held the Lucha Underground Championship for over 400 days. Now, it seems, he may never get the chance to defend that title or wrestle in that promotion again.
"Well, the sad part is, I'm not being told anything," Hager said in an interview with NBC Sports Radio Pro Wrestling 24/7.
Hager said after filming season 4 in 2018, executives at the promotion's network, El Rey, and production company Mark Burnett Productions, were pleased with the show. Executives said they wanted to immediately shoot another season, but that never came to fruition.
"It's been crickets," Hager said. "It sucks because that was such a great show, fans could watch it and easily suspend disbelief, get into the crazy powers of the superstars of the characters and just enjoy pro wrestling. That arena was something else. I think more shows should look into having an arena like that because it was like a playset that you grew up with as a kid. You can jump off things, throw that, it was really cool to wrestle in."
The interviewer added that Lucha Underground had a huge following in large part due to delivering a different product than other major wrestling promotions such as Impact and WWE. Hager agreed.
"Yeah, and I was immediately attracted to it and very glad to be a part of it," Hager admitted. "To go to the top and win their championship, that's definitely a notch on my belt and was really something I was proud of. I was hoping to do more and compete with people like Impact or WWE."
As it stands, Lucha Underground seems all but over. There's been a mass exodus of Lucha-related talent lately and the promotion's executive producer Chris DeJoseph said earlier this year that he doesn't think that the promotion will return.