Former WWE star and current Bellator mixed martial arts (MMA) heavyweight Jack Swagger spoke to The WINCLY podcast to talk about several professional wrestling topics. Swagger talked about the possibility of joining All Elite Wrestling (AEW), the current environment in professional wrestling, and WWE releasing Arn Anderson. Here are the highlights:
Possibly joining AEW: “I’m very good friends with a lot of those guys: Chris [Jericho] and Cody and I’ve met the Bucks,” said Swagger. “It’s crazy – Kenny Omega was at Deep South Wrestling in 2006 with me unsigned by WWE. He was going through hell like the rest of us, so it’s cool to see the success that these people have had.
“You really care about them. You care about the characters they portray and you hate them at times and really like them at times. I talk to them sporadically. We haven’t brought [me working with AEW] up so far. It’s just been congratulations, patting each other on the back type deal.”
The current environment in pro wrestling: “It’s a very exciting time. Not since I was in seventh grade have pro wrestlers had other options,” stated Swagger. “No disrespect to wrestlers who went to Impact/TNA but as far as supplementing your income and a paycheck you can rely on, they weren’t that.
“It’s very exciting to see that there is so much life, not that there is life outside of WWE. There is so much life outside of WWE. I think that’s gonna make WWE step up their game, their programming, their storylines and wrestlers are definitely gonna respond to that backstage. I think it’s gonna be awesome. Does AEW need to compete with WWE? No, but they just need to be a great place to come wrestle and to come watch wrestling.”
His reaction to WWE releasing Arn Anderson: “Surprised yes. But at the same time, no I’m not surprised,” Swagger said. “I know he’s a smart man and saved his money so he can step back for a period. I love Arn Anderson, I don’t think you’ll find a wrestler who worked with him that won’t say that.
“Just an amazing person – good-hearted, cares about you, sincere, honest. You can just drop it right there at honest because in the entertainment business, that’s the most rare thing there is.
Anderson should be inducted into the HOF for producing: “If there was a Hall of Fame for producing, he’d definitely be up there. He always had the big matches and his record speaks for itself. I would not be surprised if he ends up wearing black and gold [of AEW],” said Swagger.