Jack Swagger Talks WWE's Fascination With Foreign Heel Gimmicks

Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion was recently interviewed by Ring Rust Radio. You can check out the full interview above, and submitted highlights below. 

Ring Rust Radio: Bellator’s heavyweight division is stacked with big names, including Bobby Lashley, Roy Nelson and Fedor Emelianenko. Who are you most excited to square off against and what are your ultimate goals with the company?

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Jack Swagger: Man, they really do have some great names. Big Country has been on the scene really making a name for himself. I just like that he has this different body type, but he can get in there and go and never gets tired. It’s really cool to see Feodor being a part of this. He is like a household name when it comes to MMA. I’ve been really impressed with Matt Mitrione. He’s a big guy but he moves very well and has great footwork. King Mo is another guy who wrestled at Oklahoma then went on to be an All-American for Oklahoma State but was a couple years ahead of me or around the same time. It’s really exciting to be a part of it and I think Bellator is doing a great job of marketing it and making it seem like a big fight feel. You add Chael Sonnen to anything and it’s going to kind of explode. It’s really cool and I am very excited to see what Chael Sonnen and guys like Ryan Bader can do in the Grand Prix. They are giving up a lot of weight, but they are in it and I’m sure they’re ready and they know what the game plan is. I think before I have any fight it’s hard to say what my dream fight would be or which one of those guys I would like to face first. I know I’m ready to fight so I am more looking forward to a date. Give me a date and the line starts here.


Ring Rust Radio: For as long as WWE has existed it's always been infatuated with the American hero vs. foreign heel gimmick. You vs. Rusev is a prime example, as well as Jinder Mahal's recent title run. With that in mind, and the fact that you had gotten the "We the People" chant so over, why do you feel WWE didn't do more to capitalize on that near the end of your run?

Jack Swagger: I’m very honored to be a part of that storyline. It’s definitely one of my best parts of my career. To be able to change from being essentially a bad guy into a really hot babyface overnight is very hard to do. So that proves how special that group was, and that storyline was. Zeb, Lana, Rusev, a special dynamic came together there and it’s hard to replicate. Why they didn’t go further with that I don’t know. I think a little bit was Rusev just debuted and they had plans for him at WrestleMania. They wanted to make that the focus. I don’t know why we parted ways like we did. We could have at least done another pay-per-view and then kept on going. Maybe they just didn’t believe in me as a babyface or think it was that over. I think that’s more of a question for them I guess.


Ring Rust Radio: When you first aligned yourself with Zeb Colter in WWE and established the "We the People" gimmick, it was the talk of the wrestling world and was getting mainstream media attention. Given how the United States and the world have continued to evolve in the few years since then, do you feel like it could have been even bigger had it come into existence more recently, possibly even coinciding with Donald Trump's election as president?

Jack Swagger: Yeah actually it’s funny because I pitched an angle to Vince. Zeb was away, and I said let’s bring him back and let’s do a Donald Trump angle where we mimic everything he does, says and whatever he tweets. It’s essentially a storyline that would write itself and he wanted to stay away from it. I went to him and said, “Hey Vince, how would like to put Donald Trump in the White House?” So, maybe that wasn’t the best pitch. I thought it was really something special. I wrote it up and I showed Zeb and he added his little stuff to it and it could’ve really been explosive right now. There’s so much anger towards his tweets, towards him, his behavior, and that would’ve been like electric heat. I can’t even imagine it. It would’ve been good and just for the record, I pitched that in 2015. So as soon as he announced he was running I was like oh gosh, please let me get on this. That’s a great idea like, I got all the moves, I got all the good moves, that’s sad. I’m going to pause and start tweeting and make the whole audience have to read my tweets in order to see what I’m saying while I’m wrestling. You guys are going to have to give up royalties.

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