Jake Hager, better known to WWE fans as Jack Swagger, was granted his WWE release in March 2017. Since leaving the company, Hager has competed in Lucha Underground and MLW along with other Independent promotions.
Speaking to Submission Radio, Hager explained why he wanted to leave the biggest wrestling company in the world.
"WWE, it's a dream job, but it's like any other job -- you have politics and bosses you have to deal with. For me, in the words of Drizzy Drake, 'the moment I'm not having fun with it, I'm done with it.' It got to the point where -- not that I wasn't having fun, because going out there in front of thousands of fans and wrestling is what I was born to do -- but it came to a point where I wasn't there for the same reasons they were having me there. I need to compete."
Hager continued, "That's one thing I take away from leaving WWE -- I will never go this long from competing ever again. It's a part of who I am. When I'm not competing is when I will struggle with things because I'm not going 100 percent or focused 100 percent."
Aside from brief feuds with Rusev in 2014 and Alberto Del Rio in 2015, Hager was largely regulated to Main Event and Superstars following his split from Cesaro after WrestleMania 30.
Hager mentioned that "it's a great time to be a pro wrestler" alluding to the bursting Independent scene.
The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion also cited pursuing a MMA career as a reason why he left. Hager signed with Bellator MMA in November of last year, joining their heavyweight division. He's scheduled to make his Bellator MMA debut in the near future.
"It's also a great time to be a pro fighter. That's also why I left. I knew that I had this opportunity ahead of me and I needed to leave to focus on it and really give MMA, 125 percent. As well as capitalize on the great TV exposure I received over the past 12 years."
Hager is a former college All-American wrestler who set the Oklahoma record for most pins in a single season with 30. He debuted on WWE television in 2008 as part of the ECW brand.