Jake Hager, formerly known as WWE’s Jack Swagger, opened up about his last days with the company and what his goals are as an independent wrestler.
Hager spoke with Fightful and said he hopes to wrestle outside of the United States soon, more specifically Japan. Japan has been a hotbed for indie wrestlers to become major stars, as evidenced by Hager’s former WWE colleague Cody Rhodes being a major indie star and is scheduled to have a match at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom show in 2018.
Hager also recently signed with Bellator MMA, joining current Impact Wrestling star Bobby Lashley as heavyweight mixed martial artists who also compete in pro wrestling. But as busy as Hager will be soon, he did not rule out the possibility of returning to WWE should that chance ever come to him.
“Yeah absolutely [I would go back to WWE]. It’s kind of weird to think about that now since all this has just started, but you got to pay the bills. Right now, I’m just focused on wrestling international and domestic here. I really want to go to Japan very soon and start wrestling over there and see what all the fuzz is about,” Hager said.
During his last days in WWE, the former World Heavyweight Champion said he wasn’t able to meet with either Vince McMahon or Triple H and Hager saw the writing on the wall prompting him to request his release and wrestle outside of WWE.
“That would have been one route to go. We were in the middle of contract negotiations and they were keeping me sheltered from Vince or Hunter during it. So when you reach a stalemate, you just go one way or the other. Once it became clear that I needed a change, I needed to move on and go do something else and see where that takes me,” Hager said.
The full interview can be heard on “The List & Ya Boy” podcast. “The List & Ya Boy” is hosted by Fightful owner Jimmy Van and Fightful managing editor Sean Ross Sapp and can be seen live on YouTube and on Fightful every Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.