As previously reported, former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jake Hager, f.k.a. Jack Swagger, made his AEW debut at the conclusion of AEW Dynamite. Since leaving WWE in 2017, Hager has been wrestling on the independent scene, and also appeared on a season of Lucha Underground.
During the post-Dynamite event scrum, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked AEW President Tony Khan about Hager’s signing. Khan revealed that Hager has actually been signed to the company for a long time.
“You know what’s pretty cool about secret keeping is that Jake’s been signed for like a really long time,” Khan said. “Jake’s been signed to us for like a really long time now. Jake can clearly keep a secret and so can we. For quite awhile now Jake was signed.”
Hager has also been busy with his MMA career, where he is 2-0 in Bellator MMA. Hager is scheduled to fight Anthony Garrett at Bellator 231 on October 25th. Wrestling Inc. asked Khan about Hager balancing his MMA career with AEW.
“It’s something we’ve been planning for,” Khan said. “He moved his camp to accommodate this, but he’s also still in training and has a good schedule with that. The AEW schedule with Wednesdays allows him to make Wednesday the off day so he can train Friday to Tuesday and that’s what Jake’s doing right now.
“Jake’s a machine. At the end he got a great reaction and for him to come in, he’s different from a lot of the high flying wrestlers we have right now, he’s a powerhouse and he came in and he’s really exciting.”
Hager appeared at the end of Dynamite, joining Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara to beat down Cody, Dustin Rhodes and The Young Bucks. Khan essentially confirmed that the heels are part of a new stable.
“I thought the stable, we’re going to learn more about them,” Khan said.
When we asked Khan if he was confirming that the group was officially a stable, he replied, “They looked really good together, didn’t they? It looked like a stable to me, the way they walked, the way they talked, the way they acted, they seemed like guys with a plan. To me, I thought that’s what it might be, but we’ll see.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
The full audio from Tony’s post-AEW Dynamite scrum aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post.