Jack Swagger knew pro wrestling would get him out of Oklahoma.
In 2008, Jack Swagger made his debut on WWE's version of Extreme Championship Wrestling, where he met much success during his initial run and was a key part of the brand. Before that, he was a University of Oklahoma graduate and was given an opportunity to move onto a world-wide career . In an interview on Fightful Wrestling's podcast The List and Ya Boy, Swagger talked about why he chose to transition to professional wrestling.
"I think if you were an amateur wrestler in my generation, a lot of amateur wrestlers looked at pro wrestling with a certain stigma, at least we did when we were kids. A lot of that has definitely changed now. Combat Sports are more popular than ever. Pro Wrestling is more popular than ever. So a lot of the stigmas are removed that were previously associated with it," said Swagger.
After years of success in amateur wrestling, most importantly a career in professional wrestling provided a unique opportunity according to Swagger.
"I was very excited for it because I knew for one it was going to get me out of Oklahoma ASAP. Two: I knew how big the company was then. I knew enough about it where I was a fan in junior high so I understood a little bit about it," said Swagger.
While under a WWE developmental contract, he was part of three different promotions: Deep South Wrestling, Florida Championship Wrestling, and Ohio Valley Wrestling. He credits working with different coaches for getting him ready for WWE. Also during the interview, Swagger revealed he is "seriously" training for a mixed-martial-arts debut.
The List and Ya Boy airs Wednesdays at 3 pm and features interviews with wrestlers and wrestling personalities.