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Donald Jacob Hager Jr. (born March 24, 1982) is an American professional wrestler and mixed martial artist, currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) under the
ring name A ring name is a type of stage name A stage name is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers such as actors, comedians, singers, and musicians. Such titles are adopted for a wide variety of reasons, and may be similar or nearly identica ...
Jake Hager. He is a member of The Inner Circle alongside
Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho
, Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz. Hager is also known for his time in WWE under the ring name Jack Swagger. As a mixed martial artist, he is currently signed to
Bellator MMA Bellator MMA (formally Bellator Fighting Championships) is an American mixed martial arts promotion (entertainment), promotion founded in 2008 and based in Santa Monica, California owned and operated as a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. It is one of the ...
where he competes in the
heavyweight Heavyweight is a weight class in combat sports and professional wrestling. Boxing Professional Boxers who weigh over are considered heavyweights by 3 of the 4 major professional boxing organizations: the International Boxing Federation, the ...
division. As of April 19, 2021, he is #10 in the Bellator Heavyweight Rankings. Hager attended the
University of Oklahoma , mottoeng = For the benefit of the Citizen and the State , type = Public university, Public Flagship university, flagship research university , established = , academic_affiliations = , endowment = $1.736 billion (2018) , president = Jose ...
as a two-sport athlete, participating in both
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._Following_a_try-out,_Hager_signed_a_WWE_contract_in_mid_2006_where_he_performed_as_"Jack_Swagger"._During_his_time_with_WWE,_he_became_a_two-time_Professional_wrestling_championship#World_championships.html" "title="All-America#Wrestling.html" "title="Pin_(amateur_wrestling).html" ;"title="Collegiate_wrestling.html" "title="roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg Sch ...

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._He_switched_to_wrestling_full-time_in_his_sophomore_year,_and_in_2006,_set_the_record_for_most_Pin_(amateur_wrestling)">pins_in_a_season_with_30_as_an_All-America#Wrestling">All-American An_All-America_team_is_a_hypothetical_American_sports_team_composed_of_outstanding_amateur_players._These_players_are_broadly_considered_by_media_and_other_relevant_commentators_as_the_best_positional_players_in_a_particular_sport,_for_a_specific__...
._Following_a_try-out,_Hager_signed_a_WWE_contract_in_mid_2006_where_he_performed_as_"Jack_Swagger"._During_his_time_with_WWE,_he_became_a_two-time_Professional_wrestling_championship#World_championships">world_champion A_world_championship_is_generally_an_international_competition_open_to_elite_competitors_from_around_the_world,_representing_their_nations,_and_winning_such_an_event_will_be_considered_the_highest_or_near_highest_achievement_in_the_sport,_game,_or_...
,_having_held_the_WWE's_World_Heavyweight_Championship_(WWE).html" ;"title="Collegiate wrestling">wrestling Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedown (grappling), takedowns, joint locks, Grappling hold#Pinning hold, pins and other grappling holds. The sport can either be genuinely ...
. He switched to wrestling full-time in his sophomore year, and in 2006, set the record for most Pin (amateur wrestling)">pins in a season with 30 as an All-America#Wrestling">All-American An All-America team is a hypothetical American sports team composed of outstanding amateur players. These players are broadly considered by media and other relevant commentators as the best positional players in a particular sport, for a specific ...
. Following a try-out, Hager signed a WWE contract in mid 2006 where he performed as "Jack Swagger". During his time with WWE, he became a two-time Professional wrestling championship#World championships">world champion A world championship is generally an international competition open to elite competitors from around the world, representing their nations, and winning such an event will be considered the highest or near highest achievement in the sport, game, or ...
, having held the WWE's World Heavyweight Championship (WWE)">World Heavyweight Championship and the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, ECW Championship once each and a one-time WWE United States Champion, United States Champion. He left the company in 2017 after he decided to pursue a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career. In 2017, Hager signed with
Bellator MMA Bellator MMA (formally Bellator Fighting Championships) is an American mixed martial arts promotion (entertainment), promotion founded in 2008 and based in Santa Monica, California owned and operated as a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. It is one of the ...
. He had his first professional fight on January 26, 2019 against J.W. Kiser at Bellator MMA in 2019#Bellator 214, Bellator 214, where he won via arm-triangle choke in the first round. In his second fight with the promotion, he faced T.J. Jones on May 11, 2019 at Bellator MMA in 2019#Bellator 221, Bellator 221, where he again won via arm-triangle choke in the first round. He is currently undefeated with a record of 3–0 (1). As a wrestler, he kept working with various promotions before signing with AEW in 2019, including in ''Lucha Underground'' as Jake Strong, where he was the final Lucha Underground Championship, Lucha Underground Champion. He is the only man in history to have been ECW, (WWE) World and Lucha Underground Champion.


Early life

Hager started Amateur wrestling, wrestling at the age of five. He wrestled in high school with Danny Hodge's grandson and remains good friends with Hodge as he grew up living two blocks away from him in Perry, Oklahoma. The
University of Oklahoma , mottoeng = For the benefit of the Citizen and the State , type = Public university, Public Flagship university, flagship research university , established = , academic_affiliations = , endowment = $1.736 billion (2018) , president = Jose ...
recruited Hager as a two-sport athlete in football and wrestling. He was the Junior varsity, second-string defensive tackle behind eventual National Football League players Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvoracek. He stopped playing football and concentrated fully on Collegiate wrestling, wrestling his Sophomore year, sophomore year. During his junior year, he was introduced to Jim Ross, who was WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s Head of Talent Relations at the time, through former OU defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek, Hager's close friend and college roommate. Ross encouraged Hager to contact him after graduating to see about a career in professional wrestling. At the 2005 NCAA Division I championships, he lost to University of Pennsylvania's Matt Feast in the second round, and did not place. As a senior in 2006, Hager had a seventh-place finish in the NCAA championships and also defeated the future national champion, Dustin Fox from Northwestern University. Hager was named an All-America#Collegiate sports, All-American at season's end while setting the Oklahoma record for most Pin (amateur wrestling), pins in a single season with 30. In 2006, Hager graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor's degree in finance. Following his graduation, he was going to work with a firm in Dallas, Texas, but signed with WWE after they offered a contract the day he was scheduled to start.


Professional wrestling career


World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE


Developmental territories (2006–2008)

In 2006, Hager had a WWE tryout in Deep South Wrestling (DSW), and in September 2006, under his real name, he made his in-ring debut for DSW, defeating Antonio Mestre in a Glossary of professional wrestling terms#Dark match, dark match. He competed mainly in dark matches before being moved to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in January 2007. He debuted for the Professional wrestling promotion, promotion by defeating Ricky Ortiz, Atlas DaBone, and in the following months began a Feud (professional wrestling), feud with Kasey James, K.C. James. Hager began teaming with a multitude of opponents to feud with James and his tag team partner Cassidy O'Reilly, Cassidy James. During his time in the Farm team#Professional wrestling, developmental territories he appeared as a security guard during a brawl between John Cena and Umaga (wrestler), Umaga on ''WWE Raw, Raw''. In August 2007, Hager was reassigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he began a feud with Tyson Kidd, TJ Wilson. On February 15, 2008, at the Florida State Fair in Tampa, Florida, Hager and Ted DiBiase Jr. were the final two men remaining in a 23-man Battle royal (professional wrestling), battle royal to determine the two contenders for the Florida Championship Wrestling, FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. Hager then defeated DiBiase to become champion. On March 22, 2008, Hager went against the FCW Southern Heavyweight Champion Heath Slater, Heath Miller in New Port Richey, Florida to determine the true Heavyweight Champion. Both championships were on the line, and Hager defeated Miller to become the undisputed heavyweight champion in FCW. He later defended the championship against Miller, TJ Wilson, Kasey James, James Curtis, and Tyler Reks, Gabe Tuft. During this time, Hager had a Glossary of professional wrestling terms#Gimmick, gimmick of having an undefeated streak in FCW. His first loss came in the form of a ''WWE Raw, Raw'' dark match, at the TV taping on August 18, 2008, when he lost to William Regal. He also lost to D'Lo Brown in a dark match, before defeating Jamie Noble in a dark match prior to a ''WWE SmackDown, SmackDown'' taping on August 29. He then lost the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship to Sheamus, Sheamus O'Shaunessy on September 18, after debuting for the ECW (WWE), ECW WWE Brand Extension, brand.


Championship reigns (2008–2010)

On September 9, 2008, Hager made his debut on the ECW brand under the
ring name A ring name is a type of stage name A stage name is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers such as actors, comedians, singers, and musicians. Such titles are adopted for a wide variety of reasons, and may be similar or nearly identica ...
Jack Swagger, winning a match against a local competitor. He immediately established himself as a Heel (professional wrestling), heel by starting a feud with Tommy Dreamer. He attacked Dreamer on the September 23 episode of ''ECW'' when Dreamer attempted to stop Swagger from attacking Chase Stevens. He later defeated Dreamer in a normal match and an "Amateur Wrestling Challenge" competition. After weeks of feuding, their rivalry ended in November in an Professional wrestling match types#Hardcore-based variations, Extreme Rules match, which Swagger won. He then sought to challenge Matt Hardy for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, ECW Championship and was named the #1 contender on the December 30 episode of ''ECW''. On the January 13, 2009 episode of ''ECW'', Swagger defeated Hardy to win his first title in WWE, the ECW Championship. His undefeated streak in singles competition ended on the February 3 episode of ''ECW'' when he lost to Dave Finlay, Finlay in a non-title match. After successfully defending his title against Hardy at the Royal Rumble (2009), Royal Rumble and Finlay at No Way Out (2009), No Way Out, Swagger began a feud with the returning Christian Cage, Christian, who he lost the ECW Championship at Backlash (2009), Backlash, ending his reign at 104 days. He attempted to regain the title against Christian at Judgment Day (2009), Judgment Day and in a Professional wrestling match types#Basic non-elimination matches, triple threat Hardcore wrestling, hardcore match at Extreme Rules (2009), Extreme Rules also involving Dreamer but was unsuccessful in both attempts. His attempt to win the ECW Championship at WWE The Bash, The Bash in an Professional wrestling match types#Championship Scramble, ECW Championship Scramble also failed. On June 29, 2009, Swagger was traded to the Raw brand, making his debut as part of a Professional wrestling match types#Gauntlet match, three-on-one gauntlet match against WWE Championship, WWE Champion Randy Orton, in which he got himself purposely Professional wrestling#Countout, counted out in order to make an impression on Orton. On the July 13 episode of ''Raw'', he won his first match on the brand by defeating Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP). He then feuded with MVP for several weeks, culminating at SummerSlam (2009), SummerSlam, in a match that MVP won. After his short feud with MVP ended, Swagger began pursuing the WWE United States Championship, United States Championship. He had a title match on September 21 against Kofi Kingston but lost the match by countout after stealing the championship belt and leaving the arena with it but Kingston later took it back while Swagger was in a physical confrontation with The Miz. Swagger made another unsuccessful attempt at the title at WWE Hell in a Cell (2009), Hell in a Cell in a Professional wrestling match types#Basic non-elimination matches, triple threat match against Kingston and The Miz. At the Royal Rumble (2010), Royal Rumble, Swagger entered at number 26 in the Royal Rumble match, but was later eliminated by Kofi Kingston. On the March 1, 2010, episode of ''Raw'', Swagger defeated Santino Marella to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI, where he won, earning a contract for any WWE World Heavyweight Championship (professional wrestling), world championship over the following year. On the first episode of ''Raw'' following WrestleMania, Swagger tried to cash in his Money in the Bank contract against the WWE Champion John Cena, but changed his mind when he realized that Cena was not incapacitated enough to be defeated easily. As the match had never started, Swagger retained the contract for use at a future date. Swagger cashed in the contract during the ''WWE SmackDown, SmackDown'' taping on April 2, 2010, after then World Heavyweight Championship (WWE), World Heavyweight Champion had been Professional wrestling attacks#Spear, speared by Edge (wrestler), Edge. Swagger went on to defeat Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time and subsequently joined the SmackDown brand. Following his championship win, Swagger began to develop a more serious persona: previously he had been known for doing Push-up, pushups and beating his chest during his ring entrance. He successfully defended the title against Edge and Jericho in a triple threat match on the April 16 episode of ''SmackDown'' and against Randy Orton in an Professional wrestling match types#Hardcore-based variations, Extreme Rules match at Extreme Rules (2010), Extreme Rules. At Over the Limit (2010), Over the Limit, Swagger retained the title against Big Show by intentionally disqualifying himself. At WWE Fatal 4-Way, Fatal 4-Way, Swagger lost the championship to Rey Mysterio in a Professional wrestling match types#Basic non-elimination matches, fatal four-way match also involving CM Punk and The Big Show, ending his world championship reign at 79 days. Following the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view, Swagger began attacking Mysterio in the lead up to his rematch at the Money in the Bank (2010), Money in the Bank pay-per-view in July, however he failed to regain the championship, ending their short feud. But this match received critical acclaim as one of the best matches that year. In late 2010, Swagger began being accompanied to the ring by his mascot, the Swagger Soaring Eagle, who was portrayed by Chavo Guerrero Jr., Chavo Guerrero. At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs (2010), TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Swagger competed in a triple threat ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, Intercontinental Championship against Kofi Kingston and champion Dolph Ziggler, in which Ziggler retained.


Teaming with Dolph Ziggler and United States Champion (2011–2012)

On the February 28 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger was announced as Michael Cole (wrestling), Michael Cole's trainer for his match at WrestleMania XXVII against Jerry Lawler. On the March 28 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger faced Lawler in a singles match, which he won by disqualification after Lawler attacked him with a steel chair. At WrestleMania, Swagger receive a Stunner (professional wrestling), Stone Cold Stunner from the Referee (professional wrestling)#Special referees, guest referee, Stone Cold Steve Austin when attempting to withdraw Cole from the match. Cole went on to win the match via disqualification. On April 26, Swagger was drafted to the Raw brand as part of the 2011 WWE Draft#Supplemental draft, 2011 supplemental draft. At Extreme Rules (2011), Extreme Rules, Swagger teamed with Cole to defeat Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross in a Professional wrestling match types#Strap match, Country Whipping match. Swagger ended his partnership with Cole on the May 16 episode of ''Raw'', after Cole insulted him. Beginning on May 23, Swagger feuded with Matt Sydal, Evan Bourne, with both men trading victories on several episodes of ''Raw''. At WWE Capitol Punishment, Capitol Punishment, Bourne defeated Swagger to end the feud. Swagger competed in his second Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank (2011), Money in the Bank pay-per-view, however he was unsuccessful as the match was won by Alberto Del Rio. On the August 15 episode of ''Raw'', after defeating Alex Riley, Swagger suggested to Vickie Guerrero that she should manage multiple clients, in the vein of managers like Bobby Heenan and Freddie Blassie. The following week, Swagger had a "tryout" match, but was distracted by Guerrero arguing with Dolph Ziggler at ringside, and lost the match. Swagger and Ziggler continued to fight over Guerrero for the next few weeks, which led to a match being for Ziggler's WWE United States Championship, United States Championship at Night of Champions (2011), Night of Champions, also involving Riley and John Morrison (wrestler), John Morrison. At Night of Champions, Swagger was unsuccessful in winning the title as Ziggler retained. On the September 19 episode of ''Raw'', Guerrero agreed to manage Swagger. As a result, Swagger and Ziggler formed an alliance, with Swagger helping Ziggler retain his championship. At both the Hell in a Cell (2011), Hell in a Cell and Vengeance (2011), Vengeance pay-per-views, Swagger and Ziggler unsuccessfully challenged Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston) for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship, WWE Tag Team Championship. On the January 16, 2012, episode of ''Raw'', Swagger won the United States Championship for the first time by defeating Zack Ryder. At Elimination Chamber (2012), Elimination Chamber, Swagger successfully defended his title against Justin Gabriel. On the February 27 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger and Ziggler unsuccessfully challenged Primo & Epico for the WWE Tag Team Championship in a triple threat tag team match, also involving Kofi Kingston and Ron Killings, R-Truth. On the March 5 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger lost the United States Championship to Santino Marella, ending his reign at 49 days. On the following episode of ''SmackDown'', Swagger failed to regain the United States Championship in a steel cage match, after Marella escaped through the cage door. On the March 19 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger was announced as a member of John Laurinaitis, Team Johnny at WrestleMania XXVIII, a match Team Johnny won. On the April 2 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger and Ziggler unsuccessfully challenged Marella for the United States Championship in a triple threat match. In May, Swagger and Ziggler unsuccessfully challenged Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for WWE Tag Team Championship, first at Over the Limit (2012), Over the Limit and second on the May 28 episode of ''Raw''. On the June 11 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger and Ziggler competed in a fatal four-way elimination match for a number one contenders spot to the World Heavyweight Championship; however, he was eliminated after Ziggler pinned him. The following week, Guerrero, finally tired of the bickering between Swagger and Ziggler, arranged for a match between them; Ziggler won the match, thus ending their partnership, and also ended his clientele association with Vickie Guerrero. On the June 25 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger once again unsuccessfully challenged Santino Marella for the United States Championship. Following this loss, Swagger went on a three-month losing streak against the likes of Tyson Kidd, Sheamus, Brodus Clay, and Ryback. After again losing to Sheamus on the September 3 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger told Raw General Manager AJ Lee he would take "extended time off".


The Real Americans (2013–2014)

On the February 1, 2013, episode of ''SmackDown'', Swagger returned, and demanded that SmackDown General Manager Booker T (wrestler), Booker T put him in the Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber (2013), Elimination Chamber. Later on that night, Swagger made his in-ring return by defeating Kofi Kingston. On the February 11 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger debuted a new manager, Dutch Mantel, Zeb Colter, a self-proclaimed great American hero who strongly advocated anti-immigrant, anti-illegal immigration, immigration beliefs; Swagger's character was influenced by Colter to display similar traits. That same episode, Swagger defeated Zack Ryder to qualify for the Elimination Chamber match that would determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship which he also won after last eliminating Randy Orton. On February 19, Fox News and various conservative commentators including Glenn Beck claimed that Swagger and Colter's characters were a mockery of the Tea Party movement meant to "demonize" the Tea Party. WWE responded to the criticism by stating that they were incorporating "current events into [their] storylines" to "create compelling and relevant content for [their] audience" and that "this storyline in no way represents WWE's political point of view". WWE followed by having Swagger and Colter break character during a video to invite Beck to appear on ''Raw'' while justifying that the storyline was designed to elicit a crowd response for the protagonist, Alberto Del Rio, and the antagonists, Swagger and Colter, while remaining within a PG rating, unlike several high-rated scripted dramas that use murder and rape in their storylines. Beck rejected the invitation. On the March 18 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger broke the ankle of Del Rio's ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez (wrestler), Ricardo Rodriguez after Rodriguez tried to save Del Rio from Swagger's vicious assault. On April 7 at WrestleMania 29, Swagger unsuccessfully challenged Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship. The following night on ''Raw'', Swagger and Zeb Colter were defeated by Del Rio in a Two-on-one handicap match after forcing Swagger to submit to the ''Cross Armbreaker''. Immediately following, Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Del Rio to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. Swagger would then feud with both Del Rio and Ziggler over the World Heavyweight Championship, with Swagger defeating Ziggler in a non-title match the following week and Del Rio attacking him afterwards. Swagger was originally booked to face Ziggler and Del Rio in three-way ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules (2013), Extreme Rules, however, Ziggler would suffer a legitimate concussion at a ''SmackDown'' taping due to a kick from Swagger, thus removing their match from the card. As a result of Ziggler's injury, Swagger instead would be booked to face Del Rio in a number one contender "I Quit" match, I Quit match at the pay-per-view on May 19, which Del Rio won. In June, Swagger took a leave absence to undergo surgery on his hand, which sidelined him for the remainder of the month. Swagger returned on the July 1 episode of ''Raw'', accompanying Zeb Colter's new client Antonio Cesaro to his match with Cody Rhodes. At the Money in the Bank (2013), Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Swagger and Cesaro competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match, World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, but were both unsuccessful as the match was won by Damien Sandow. The following night on ''Raw'', Swagger and Cesaro, now billed as The Real Americans, teamed together for the first time, but ended up being defeated by The Usos. During the Night of Champions (2013), Night of Champions pre-show, the Real Americans competed in a number one contender Professional wrestling tag team match types#Tag Team Turmoil, Tag Team Turmoil match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship, WWE Tag Team Championship, in which they were the last team eliminated by The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil). Simultaneously, the Real Americans began a feud with the returning Santino Marella after he defeated both of them in singles competition. On October 6 at Battleground (2013), Battleground, the Real Americans defeated Marella and The Great Khali in a tag team match. The Real Americans moved onto feuding with Primo & Epico, Los Matadores, culminating in a tag team match on October 27 at Hell in a Cell (2013), Hell in a Cell, which Los Matadores won. The following night on ''Raw'', The Real Americans defeated WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a non-title match. At Survivor Series (2013), Survivor Series, Swagger teamed with Cesaro, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose The Shield (professional wrestling), and Seth Rollins in a 5 on 5 traditional Survivor Series tag team match in which their team was victorious over Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Goldust and The Usos' team. At TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (2013), TLC they also challenged for the WWE Tag Team Championship again in a losing effort in a fatal four-way match also involving RybAxel and the team of Big Show and Rey Mysterio. Swagger would enter the Royal Rumble (2014), 2014 Royal Rumble match at entrant #7 but was eliminated by Kevin Nash. On the February 14 episode of ''SmackDown'', Swagger became the #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship after winning a Fatal 4-Way match, defeating Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio and Mark Henry. However, Swagger would advance to Elimination Chamber (2014), Elimination Chamber, where he would face the current Intercontinental Champion, Big E, and would lose the match. During the pre-show of WrestleMania XXX, the Real Americans were the final team eliminated during a fatal-four-way match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Swagger blamed Cesaro for the loss and put Cesaro in the Patriot Lock before Colter demanded that the duo shake hands. Cesaro instead retaliated with a Cesaro Swing on Swagger. Later during the pay-per-view, Cesaro was a surprise entrant in the Wrestlemania XXX, André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, which he won by last eliminating Big Show by body slamming him out of the ring, which mirrored Hulk Hogan's momentous body slam of André. Swagger retaliated by attacking Cesaro on the following ''Raw'' and then destroying the trophy, thus ending the stable.


Final feuds and departure (2014–2017)

Following the dissolution of their team, Swagger would feud with Cesaro, with Rob Van Dam also being drawn into the feud, with the three competing in a Professional wrestling match types#Triple Threat match, triple threat elimination match at Extreme Rules (2014), Extreme Rules, which Cesaro won. On the May 5 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger and Zeb Colter would begin to rant about the foreign superstars in WWE, before being interrupted by the debuting Adam Rose. Over the next month, Swagger would lose matches due to Rose causing a distraction by appearing at ringside with his "Rosebuds". This would lead to a match on the June 2 episode of ''Raw'', where Swagger would be defeated by Rose. At the Money in the Bank (2014), Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Swagger would compete in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which was won by Seth Rollins. On the June 30 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger turned Face (professional wrestling), face for the first time in WWE, after he and Colter would confront Rusev (wrestler), Rusev and Lana (wrestling), Lana about them disrespecting America. This would lead to a number of matches between the two, with Swagger being defeated by Rusev at both Battleground (2014), Battleground and SummerSlam (2014), SummerSlam. On the December 1 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger would find Colter assaulted backstage, with Rusev later admitting to the attack. At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs (2014), TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Swagger would challenge Rusev for the United States Championship, in a losing effort and ending their feud. Around this time, Swagger appeared on television less frequently. At Royal Rumble (2015), Royal Rumble, Swagger competed in the 2015 Royal Rumble match, lasting a while before he was eliminated by Big Show. At WrestleMania 31, Swagger participated in the 2nd Annual André the Giant Memorial Professional wrestling battle royal, Battle Royal, in which he was again eliminated by Big Show. Swagger made a rare ''Raw'' appearance on November 2, encountering his former manager Zeb Colter, only to be interrupted by Alberto Del Rio, Colter's new client. This started a feud between the two, which culminated at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs (2015), TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs with Swagger challenging Del Rio for the WWE United States Championship in a Professional wrestling match types#Chairs match, Chairs match, which Del Rio won. At the WWE Tribute to the Troops results#2015, 2015 Tribute to the Troops event, Swagger defeated Rusev by submission in a "Boot Camp" match. On January 24, 2016, at Royal Rumble (2016), Royal Rumble, during the kick-off show, Swagger teamed with Mark Henry in a winning effort against the teams of Darren Young and Damien Sandow, The Dudley Boyz and The Ascension (professional wrestling), The Ascension. As a result of the win, Swagger qualified for the Royal Rumble match itself during the main show; entering as the 24th entrant, only to be quickly eliminated by Brock Lesnar lasting only 16 seconds. At Roadblock, Swagger would be defeated by Chris Jericho. At WrestleMania 32, Swagger would compete in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, which was won by Baron Corbin. On the June 6 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger faced long-time rival Rusev in Swagger's home state of Oklahoma in a losing effort via count-out. After the match, Swagger attacked Rusev before leading the crowd in a "We the People" chant. On the July 4 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger was part of the main-event, where he teamed with "Team USA", which consisted of himself, Big Show, Kane (wrestler), Kane, Apollo Crews, Mark Henry, Zack Ryder and the Dudley Boyz, in a 16-man elimination tag team match, in which their team was victorious over "The Multinational Alliance", which consisted of Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto (wrestler), Kalisto and Hunico, Sin Cara). In the 2016 WWE draft, Swagger was drafted to the ''Raw'' brand. On the September 12 episode of ''Raw'', Swagger faced Jinder Mahal in a losing effort. After the match, Tom Phillips (wrestling), Tom Phillips revealed to Swagger that his "''Raw'' contract" expired soon, in which Swagger ignored Phillips and walked away. The following night, he switched brands on ''SmackDown'', interrupting Baron Corbin and stating that he has signed exclusively to the brand. Swagger defeated Corbin on the October 4 episode of ''SmackDown'' after the referee thought he submitted when he was actually trying to reach the bottom rope. Corbin would then defeat Swagger twice, at the No Mercy (2016), No Mercy pay-per-view and again on the October 18 episode of ''SmackDown'', ending the feud, this would be Swagger's last televised match in WWE. On March 1, 2017, Hager announced on Chael Sonnen's podcast that he had requested his release from WWE. Two days later, WWE issued a statement saying that Hager had not been granted his release. This was in response to Hager already having been announced for an independent date. Finally, on March 13, 2017 it was announced that WWE had officially granted Hager his release.


Independent circuit (2017–2019)

Hager returned to professional wrestling on the independent circuit in 2017. He announced (using his Jack Swagger ring name) that he would be joining the House of Hardcore 2017 Australian tour. The Australia tour consisted of four events between June 16 and 24, 2017. In February 2018, Hager joined 5 Star Wrestling and won the heavyweight title, defeating John Morrison (wrestler), John Morrison. The promotion closed in March 2018 with Hager being the second and final champion. On April 20, 2018 Hager defeated Montel Vontavious Porter, MVP to become the Imperial Wrestling Revolution champion. On November 24, 2018, Hager unsuccessfully challenged Nick Aldis for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleCade: SuperShow


Lucha Underground (2018)

On the second episode of Lucha Underground (season 4), season 4 of ''Lucha Underground'' on June 20, 2018, Hager made his debut as a heel. Under the name of "The Savage" Jake Strong, he joined Infamous Inc. with Sammy Guevara and Big Bad Steve, facing the Trios Champions The Mack, Son of Havoc and Killshot. After his team lost, Strong attacked every member, including Infamous Inc manager, Famous B. Strong then started a feud with Drago (wrestler), Drago and Aerostar (wrestler), Aerostar, defeating both in singles matches and in a handicap Nunchaku match. On October 17, Strong won a 7-man battle royal by last eliminating Dante Fox (wrestler), AR Fox and that same night, he defeated Johnny Mundo. The next week, Strong won a seven-to-seven survive elimination match to win the Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods Championship. On the final day of Ultima Lucha Cuatro, which was also the final episode of season 4, Strong cashed his Gift of the Gods Championship on Pentagon Jr., Pentagon Dark, who had just defeated Martin Casaus, Marty Martinez to win the Lucha Underground Championship, and proceeded to defeat Pentagon Dark to become the new Lucha Underground Champion. No season 5 of ''Lucha Underground'' was ever produced, and, after several years of uncertainty regarding the future of ''Lucha Underground'', Vampiro, who acted as narrator on the series, confirmed in 2020 that ''Lucha Underground'' had been discontinued. This therefore made Strong the final Lucha Underground Champion.


Major League Wrestling (2018)

On May 3, 2018, Hager made his Major League Wrestling debut against Jeff Cobb.


All Elite Wrestling (2019–present)

On October 2, 2019, Hager debuted in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) on the inaugural episode of ''All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite, Dynamite'', aligning himself with , Santana and Ortiz, and Sammy Guevara by helping them take out The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Cody, and Dustin Rhodes in the aftermath of the main event. Led by Jericho, he subsequently formed a new faction with Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz called The Inner Circle. His in-ring debut match for AEW occurred on February 29, 2020 at AEW Revolution, Revolution, where he defeated Dustin Rhodes. On March 25, 2020 episode of ''Dynamite'', Jon Moxley attacked Hager after a match with Chico Adams. Following this, on the March 31, 2020 episode of ''AEW Dark'', Hager attacked Moxley as revenge. The rivalry resulted in an Professional wrestling match types#Empty Arena match, Empty Arena Professional wrestling match types#No Disqualification match, No Holds Barred match for the AEW World Championship at April 15, 2020 episode of ''Dynamite'', which Hager lost to Moxley, marking his first loss in AEW.


Mixed martial arts career


Bellator MMA (2017–present)

On November 13, 2017, Hager announced that he had signed to fight for
Bellator MMA Bellator MMA (formally Bellator Fighting Championships) is an American mixed martial arts promotion (entertainment), promotion founded in 2008 and based in Santa Monica, California owned and operated as a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. It is one of the ...
as part of their heavyweight division. On December 3, 2018, it was announced that Hager would be making his debut against J.W. Kiser at Bellator MMA in 2019#Bellator 214, Bellator 214. Hager won the fight via submission at 2:09 of the first round. In Hager's second fight with the promotion, he faced T.J. Jones on May 11, 2019 at Bellator MMA in 2019#Bellator 221, Bellator 221. He again won the fight via an arm-triangle choke in the first round. Controversy surrounded the bout, however, when Hager held on to the choke for several seconds after Jones had tapped. This caused an obviously displeased referee Mike Beltran to have to physically pull Hager off of Jones and the arena audience loudly booed Hager. For his third fight with the promotion, Hager faced Anthony Garrett at Bellator MMA in 2019#Bellator 231, Bellator 231 on October 25, 2019. The bout ended in a no contest early into the first round after Hager landed two unintentional groin strikes to Garrett, the latter one rendering Garrett unable to continue. Hager faced Brandon Calton at Bellator MMA in 2020#Bellator 250, Bellator 250 on October 29, 2020. He won the bout via split decision.


Mixed martial arts record

, - , Win , align=center, 3–0 (1) , Brandon Calton , Decision (split) , Bellator MMA in 2020#Bellator 250, Bellator 250 , , align=center, 3 , align=center, 5:00 , Uncasville, Connecticut, United States , , - , NC , align=center, 2–0 (1) , Anthony Garrett , NC (accidental groin strikes) , Bellator MMA in 2019#Bellator 231, Bellator 231 , , align=center, 1 , align=center, 1:56 , Uncasville, Connecticut, United States , , - , Win , align=center, 2–0 , T.J. Jones , Submission (arm-triangle choke) , Bellator MMA in 2019#Bellator 221, Bellator 221 , , align=center, 1 , align=center, 2:36 , Rosemont, Illinois, United States , , - , Win , align=center, 1–0 , J.W. Kiser , Submission (arm-triangle choke) , Bellator MMA in 2019#Bellator 214, Bellator 214 , , align=center, 1 , align=center, 2:09 , Inglewood, California, United States , , -


Personal life

Hager resides in Tampa, Florida. He married Catalina White in December 2010. The couple have two children. In March 2019, Hager released the first issue of his biographical comic book series, ''You Don't Know Jack: The Jake Hager Story'', through publisher Squared Circle Comics. On February 19, 2013, Hager was arrested in Gulfport, Mississippi, after a ''WWE SmackDown, SmackDown'' taping. He was charged with driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. Hager was released from custody after the arrest and was ordered to appear in court on March 12, 2013. He was then scheduled to stand trial on June 25, 2013, in Mississippi. The marijuana charge was dismissed after he was fined $500, and sentenced to six months probation with his two-day jail sentence being suspended.


Championships and accomplishments


Amateur wrestling

* National Collegiate Athletic Association ** University of Oklahoma single-season record for most pins in the weight class (30) ** 2006 Collegiate All-American


Professional wrestling

* 5 Star Wrestling ** 5 Star Wrestling#Championships and Accomplishments, 5 Star Wrestling Championship (1 time) * All Elite Wrestling ** AEW Dynamite Awards, Dynamite Award (2 times) *** "Bleacher Report PPV Moment of the Year" (AEW Dynamite Awards#2021, 2021) – Stadium Stampede match (The Elite (professional wrestling), The Elite vs. The Inner Circle) – AEW Double or Nothing, Double or Nothing (May 23) *** "Biggest Beatdown" (AEW Dynamite Awards#2021, 2021) – The Inner Circle jumping Orange Cassidy – ''AEW Dynamite, Dynamite'' (June 10) * All Star Wrestling ** All Star Wrestling Heavyweight Championship (1 time) * ''The Baltimore Sun'' ** Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2010) * Florida Championship Wrestling ** FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship (FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship#Title history, 1 time) ** FCW Southern Heavyweight Championship (FCW Southern Heavyweight Championship#title history, 1 time) * Imperial Wrestling Revolution **IWR Heavyweight Championship (1 time) * Lucha Underground **Lucha Underground Championship (List of Lucha Underground Champions, 1 time) **Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods Championship (1 time) *Northeast Wrestling **Northeast Wrestling Heavyweight Championship, NEW Heavyweight Championship (1 time) *Pennsylvania Premiere Wrestling **PPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time) * ''Pro Wrestling Illustrated'' ** Ranked No. 18 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the ''Pro Wrestling Illustrated#PWI 500, PWI 500'' in 2009 *World Class Revolution **WCR Heavyweight Championship (1 time) *WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE ** ECW World Heavyweight Championship, ECW Championship (List of ECW World Heavyweight Champions, 1 time) ** World Heavyweight Championship (WWE), World Heavyweight Championship (List of World Heavyweight Champions (WWE), 1 time) ** WWE United States Championship (List of WWE United States Champions, 1 time) ** Money in the Bank ladder match, Money in the Bank (Money in the Bank ladder match#February–April, 2010) ** Bragging Rights (2010), Bragging Rights Trophy (2010) – with Team SmackDown (Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Alberto Del Rio, Edge (wrestler), Edge and Tyler Reks)


See also

* List of current Bellator fighters


References


External links

*
Bellator profile
* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Hager, Jake 1982 births All Elite Wrestling personnel American male professional wrestlers American male sport wrestlers American sportspeople convicted of crimes Bellator male fighters ECW Heavyweight Champions/ECW World Heavyweight Champions Heavyweight mixed martial artists Living people Mixed martial artists from Oklahoma NWA/WCW/WWE United States Heavyweight Champions Oklahoma Sooners football players Oklahoma Sooners wrestlers People from Perry, Oklahoma Professional wrestlers from Oklahoma