“I Was Drinking Way Too Much” – AEW Star On Being Burnt Out In WWE

Jericho Appreciation Society Chris Jericho Jake Hager Anna Jay Matt Menard Angelo Parker Sammy Guevara Tay Melo Daniel Garcia AEW Dynamite

Long before he was a member of the Jericho Appreciation Society on AEW programming, Jake Hager competed as Jack Swagger in WWE. After first signing a developmental deal with the sports entertainment giant in 2006, he debuted on television in 2008 and went on to become World Heavyweight Champion in 2010.

The star’s main event status in the company was short-lived, however, and he lost the title to Rey Mysterio after just 79 days. In the years to follow, he formed an alliance with Dolph Ziggler and later was part of the Real Americans alongside Claudio Castagnoli, known at that time as Cesaro. After a number of mid-card feuds – most notably one with Miro, then known as Rusev – Hager was released from his WWE contract in March of 2017.

Speaking to his former Real Americans manager on Story Time with Dutch Mantell, Jake Hager opened up about his time in WWE, saying that it was “burning him out” to the point that he began drinking to excess.

“It was at a point for me where I was kind of burned out from the road, it was nine years at that time of pretty much non-stop. My son was eight at the time, half of his life I was gone and so I had developed habits, I was drinking way too much, drinking every day and I really could not stop. So MMA was great for me to get back to the hard training and I felt like get back to who I was.” (h/t Sportskeeda)

AEW’s Jake Hager On One WWE Talent Being “Blacklisted”

Elsewhere on the podcast, Hager spoke about WWE’s aversion to their talent trying to unionize. In fact, he claims that any discussion of contracts between talent or talk of unions was grounds for being blacklisted from the company.

“While I was there, that was like the four-letter that you never [don’t say it] yeah. They were like, ‘don’t talk about your contract and don’t talk about anything having to do with a union.’ Otherwise, you’ll get blacklisted.” (h/t Sportskeeda)

Hager went on to say that he had seen someone blacklisted who tried to “get people together,” although he stated he couldn’t remember exactly who it was.

The Jericho Appreciation Society member was last in action against Ricky Starks on the January 18th episode of Dynamite. Starks has been embroiled in a feud with Chris Jericho in recent weeks, and even handed the Demo God a shocking defeat on January 4th.