On the most recent episode of Talk Is Jericho, Jake Hager discussed why he chose to leave WWE back in 2017. Jake Hager revealed that WWE attempted to pick up his contract as he was nearing the end of his current five-year deal.
Jake Hager, who wrestled under the ring name Jack Swagger, was entering the last year of his second five-year contract with the WWE. The company had an option to pick up his contract for the following year. However, Jake Hager was fed up with his current situation with WWE and chose to leave the company.
"So in 2017, the company had an option in my contract where they only had the option to pick it up and pay me at the same price. I was finishing up my second five-year contract with them, and so I was a little fed up. I finally grew some balls, and stood up for myself, and said, 'no, we're going to renegotiate now.' This was December '16, and then by February '17, I finally got some straight answers out of them." H/t Wrestling Inc
Jake Hager was released early due to his good standing with Vince McMahon
Jake Hager believes that the reason his departure from the WWE went so smoothly was that he still was in good standing with Vince McMahon. This explains why WWE released him right before WrestleMania.
"It was one of those things where I just immediately asked for my release, and two days later, they gave it to me. I was really surprised, actually, that they gave it to me. I think, at the time, I was still kind of in good standing with Vince and the higher-ups to where they were just like, 'let's let him go.' And so that was March '17 that they finally granted me my release, right before WrestleMania, and I was on the indies for about a year and a half." H/t Wrestling Inc
However, Jake Hager also recalled feeling insulted by the offer that WWE initially made when he renegotiated his contract. He claimed that it let him know where he stood with the company.
"It was insulting, and I knew that's where I stood with them, and so, it was kind of not as insulting as it was like, 'okay, this is clear to me.' And so, I was off. I was at home anyways, which worked out well. I could talk with my wife and we could figure out what we want to do because, honestly, to substitute that type of income - it's very scary, especially for a young professional with no other experience besides wrestling on TV... But that time, what they offered us, we didn't even make a counter." H/t Wrestling Inc
Jake Hager went on to spend some time on the independent scene before she eventually transitioned into MMA and worked with Bellator. Now, he is one of the key members of Chris Jericho's faction, The Inner Circle, on AEW Dynamite. So far, he has had major success.
It is great to see that Jake Hager was able to get out of a situation. Nevertheless, he fought his way, quite literally, back to the top. Hopefully, he will continue to have success with AEW, MMA, and the Inner Circle.
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