Jack Swagger recently spoke with The Wrestling Estate. During the interview, he talked about life outside WWE, using the Jack Swagger name on the indies, and why he left the big show.
On what life is like outside of 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.”
On how he’s been able to keep using the name Jack Swagger on the indies:
“It just kind of depends. I left on good terms so I haven’t had much problem with it. I know other guys have and I know they’re known for it. I’ve been Jack Swagger since I left. It’s one of those things that’s really silly but it comes down to dollars. I’ll always be recognized as that so we’ll just have to deal with that when it comes. Hopefully, it doesn’t.”
On why he left WWE:
“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.”