Jake Hager: “WWE Wants Wrestlers to Feel Lost to Control Them!”

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During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, AEW Superstar and Bellator MMA fighter Jake Hager commented on working for AEW, the Inner Circle, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On the development of the Inner Circle and who he wants to wrestle in AEW: “The development of the Inner Circle is a very cool factor,” said Hager. “We know this is big and we’re getting hot, but it’s still so young. We have a level of mystique about us, and there are so many directions we can go. All my focus is building upon that and giving the fans a different taste, something that is more raw emotion and less overproduced. When that means me getting in the ring, I’ll be ready. I want to go singles with Rey Fenix, Penta, singles with the Bucks, Kenny, PAC, Moxley and Hangman. Those could all be month-long feuds, they’re all such fresh matchups for me.”

On how hard he has worked: “I’ve worked very hard to get back to this point.”

On AEW President Tony Khan supporting his MMA career: [AEW owner] Tony Khan wants me to keep fighting and keep winning. As a fighter, I’m not one of those people that wants to prove I can go out and throw strikes. I’ve heard that I’m a wrestler and not a real fighter, but I have nothing to prove to anybody. All I want to do is go out there and win. That’s all that is important to me. Winning is a statement, and the rest will take care of itself.”


Chris Jericho being AEW’s best asset: “Chris Jericho is on the Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling. He is AEW’s biggest asset. Chris is so good, especially with his timing, that he makes everyone raise their game. I also admire that he’s not afraid to take risks and say, ‘F— it, let’s do this.’”


On being lost in the WWE: “I was lost in the mix there [in WWE]. When I look now at guys like Cesaro, guys like Bobby Lashley, they’re just lost. When I look at them, that whole cloud of doom comes right back over me. I’m so glad I’m not in that. It’s something you deal with within big companies, but it’s also about how they treat their talent. They know exactly what they’re doing, and I hate to say it, but it’s on purpose. They want you lost in there so they can control you. They don’t control me anymore. Now, I’m finally being portrayed in the way I always should have.”

On joining AEW: “This journey keeps on getting better and better, and it’s going to continue this Friday night,” said Hager. “There is a feeling building in that AEW locker room that we are part of professional wrestling history, and I also have the chance to train and compete in Bellator. Plus, I can be with my wife and kids throughout the week. This is what I always dreamed about. Now that it’s here, I’m coming out on Friday to make a huge statement and win.”

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