Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger (Jake Hager) may be headed to AEW.
Swagger has had talks with AEW and is now a potential surprise for Wednesday’s Dynamite premiere from the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, according to Sports Illustrated.
Swagger will return to the cage for his third Bellator MMA fight in October when he faces Anthony Garrett at Bellator 231 on October 25. Swagger, who debuted back in January and has landed back-to-back first round submission wins, could bring new fans to AEW with a potential Bellator crossover.
Swagger spoke with Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast back in May and said that he’s had informal talks with AEW. He also praised Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks.
“I’m very good friends with a lot of those guys: Chris [Jericho] and Cody and I’ve met the Bucks,” said Swagger. “It’s crazy ? Kenny Omega was at Deep South Wrestling in 2006 with me unsigned by WWE. He was going through hell like the rest of us, so it’s cool to see the success that these people have had. You really care about them. You care about the characters they portray and you hate them at times and really like them at times. I talk to them sporadically. We haven’t brought [me working with AEW] up so far. It’s just been congratulations, patting each other on the back type deal.
“It’s a very exciting time. Not since I was in seventh grade have pro wrestlers had other options. No disrespect to wrestlers who went to Impact/TNA but as far as supplementing your income and a paycheck you can rely on, they weren’t that.
“It’s very exciting to see that there is so much life, not that there is life outside of WWE. There is so much life outside of WWE. I think that’s gonna make WWE step up their game, their programming, their storylines and wrestlers are definitely gonna respond to that backstage. I think it’s gonna be awesome. Does AEW need to compete with WWE? No, but they just need to be a great place to come wrestle and to come watch wrestling.”
Ross Kelly contributed to this article.