Jake Hager

For Jake Hager, Wrestling Was Always On His Mind

Jack Swagger's Controversial Bellator 221 Win

Despite walking away from pro wrestling when he left the WWE, Jake Hager, also known as Jack Swagger, always planned a return to the sport.

Hager made a surprise appearance on the debut of AEW on TNT when he aligned himself with Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz as the “Inner Circle.” The group also appeared on the most recent edition of AEW Dynamite and confirmed their plans to take over.

“I think they really get it – Scott (Coker) especially – (and) it’s really cool to see,” Hager told MMA Fighting. “Especially coming from WWE, where they put their thumb on everybody except the people they want to become stars. They worked almost as hard not building stars with certain people as they did in building other people.”

Bellator (encourages people) because it’s my belief if I become a bigger star, then the company I work for also becomes bigger. That might just be logic – and that’s just silly to apply that to WWE – but it’s so nice. It’s so refreshing to be able to have that and be able to go to them and have a conversation where I don’t know the answer beforehand. It’s refreshing.”

Hager is splitting his time between training for his October 25 Bellator fight with Anthony Garrett and his return to pro wrestling. His interview with MMA Fighting happened before his contract with AEW was revealed, but Hager offered some foreshadowing on his part.

“Hopefully, we keep doing what we’re doing, and I think the rest will kind of take care of itself as far as where to go,” he said. “I’m definitely planning on wrestling for a long time after this, and it’s just a matter of when it starts again.”

Kenny Omega Compares MMA Fighters To AEW Wrestlers

Kenny Omega was asked by ONE Championship, the top MMA promotion in Asia that is set to make a debut on TNT this Saturday night, to compare some of the main fighters to top wrestlers in AEW. The two are now on the same network thanks to AEW Dynamite and ONE’s deal with TNT.

Omega offered up his thoughts on announcer Michael Schiavello, former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, reigning ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera and former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson in a special video promo.

ONE: CENTURY takes place this Saturday night live on TNT from Tokyo, Japan at 11 p.m. ET. Johnson will be in action, as he competes in the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix Final vs. Danny Kingad.

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