Jake Hager on when the AEW deal came together.
The premiere episode of AEW Dynamite ended in a big way last Wednesday when former WWE superstar and current Bellator MMA fighter Jake Hager made his debut for the promotion. Hager (known as Jack Swagger in WWE) aligned himself with Chris Jericho's new group to lay waste to The Young Bucks and The Rhodes Brothers.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani, Hager revealed that the alliance between him and Jericho goes back months.
"It's been an amazing process since I left (WWE) and came out on my own and invested in myself and got to choose the people I wanted to work with. This was a no brainer. This is the best thing that could have happened. It was all teased and a little bit of fun and then this summer, the greatest wrestler in the world, Chris Jericho, started recruited me heavily to come to AEW. When Jericho comes calling, you don't say no," he said.
Hager and Jericho both train under MMA coach Josh Rafferty, though Hager revealed that they don't see each other much in the gym as they are on different schedules.
Along with competing in AEW, Hager will continue his Bellator MMA obligations. When asked about Bellator's involvement in the deal, Hager noted, "Bellator has been great. They were very excited to work with AEW and have me continue fighting for them. We had a game plan going ahead of this and we're ahead of schedule in camp. We definitely maneuvered some stipulations we had in the contract. But they've been great. Right now, with where AEW is at, we're gonna be just fine before we go out there on October 25."
Hager is scheduled to fight Anthony Garrett at Bellator 231 on Oct. 25.
After Hager's debut, Tony Khan discussed when the deal came together and Hager sticking with MMA as well. You can read his full comments by clicking here.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Ariel Helwani's MMA Show with a h/t to Fightful for the transcription.