Jake Hager made an impact on the debut issue of AEW’s Wednesday Night Dynamite after leaving WWE back in 2017. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, the former Jack Swagger talked about how invigorating it is to be on such a large platform without the shackles of WWE, which he described as a “cloud of doom.”
“I was lost in the mix there [in WWE],” said Hager. “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.
Hager is a former World Heavyweight Champion in WWE, but requested his release in 2017 after years of start-stop pushes.
While it seems counterproductive, the consensus among WWE critics and fans alike is that the WWE brand itself is the headlining attraction of the promotion nowadays, and no one person is ever elevated to superstardom by design, to prevent having to rely on any one person to sell tickets. But many feel this approach stifles the ability for wrestlers to truly get ahead and make a name for themselves in the vein of megastars of the past such as Hulk Hogan or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Jake Hager is now the muscle for Chris Jericho’s “Inner Circle,” a faction that also includes Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara. The group is expected to make an appearance on tonight’s episode of Dynamite at 8:00 ET on TNT.
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