– Former WWE Jack Swagger was recently participated interview with The Wrestling Estate to help promote an upcoming charity event he’s headlining, called WrestleJam16, check out the highlights below:
On life since leaving WWE:
“Exciting, very exciting. I didn’t really know what to expect on this side of things, but what I found is that pro wrestling is very popular right now. Combat sports in general is very popular right now. I’ve found a lot of people working together to be a part of it and help grow it. I’ve been to many locker rooms across the states and in the U.K., across all the promotions, there seems to be no egos and people just want to help each other. Really, you get to have a lot of fun and be more intimate with the fans.
Every crowd is different and it’s even more the truth on the indy scene. You have to feel the crowd and adjust to the area in which you’re wrestling. You can’t just go out there and rest on your laurels and rest on a name. You really have to go out there and work, especially when you see the talent on these shows. Some of these guys can do so much, and I don’t want to be left behind. It’s the competitor in me. It’s fun and challenging. When you get bored with something or don’t like it anymore, don’t do it. That’s not the case for me because it feels like overnight I’ve fallen in love with pro wrestling again.”
Was there a certain moment when you decided to leave:
“I’m very grateful for the career I’ve had, but I’ve seen a lot of friends go and I had been passed over for opportunities. I don’t want to blame anyone else for something that I didn’t achieve because that’s just not the way to go through life. But it did get frustrating not even being on the playing field, not being allowed to compete. So it was a combination of that and pro wrestling being as popular as it is now that I felt I could take advantage of 10 years of TV exposure. I want to move forward and see where that takes me.
I don’t regret it. I’m very glad that I did it because I needed a change. I needed to find a way to push myself again. This is definitely doing it. Be careful what you ask for. (laughs) It’s a lot less stressful, but at the same time, a lot more work. Now you’re handling everything. We handled a bunch before, but now it seems like more. But it’s been fun. I have 100% creative control over my character and merchandise.”
READ MORE: Jack Swagger Comments On Leaving WWE, Starting Again From Scratch, Reaching Out To Matt Hardy & Others
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On his proudest wrestling moments:
“Winning Money in the Bank, winning the World Heavyweight Championship against Jericho, wrestling Rusev. I just thought that was a very cool moment – the flip from being a bad guy my whole career to being a babyface, just being so accepted and having the whole 1980s USA/USSR back up.
One of the proudest of my career is the transformation of ‘We The People.’ It’s still as popular as it was in 2013. It went from a really nasty political storyline and through Cesaro and maybe a little bit of me, it really turned into something else. It really highlights why people love pro wrestling. Anything can happen and you’re not going to make fans like something they don’t like. If they do like it, then they take it and it becomes theirs.
‘We The People’ is really not mine anymore, and it’s not Dutch’s. It’s the fans and it’s turned into a movement amongst them. I hope I don’t sound arrogant when I say this but whatever country I go to – Australia, Mexico, Canada, U.K. – these places stand up and recognize it. To be a part of that, when our shows are centered on all the fans, I’m really honored.”
On the possibility joining Bellator:
“I’m considering going into MMA. Like I said earlier, combat sports is at an all-time high in popularity. I’m lucky that I still can go and have exposure outside of MMA. I’ve been training. I’m still trying to figure out the best route. I’m 100% serious about it because the reward that could come from it would be astronomical. Plus, it’s something I’ve done all my life. Maybe not MMA-totally, but it’s very similar to competing in wrestling, just with punches. It’s kind of a natural transition for me. When you leave WWE, you need to find a way to use that exposure for whatever you want. This would be a great way – I just have to learn to bob and weave a little bit, and don’t get tapped out. But I’m very excited about it. The sky is the limit and my body has never felt better, which is surprising at 35 and after 10 years of traveling.”