WWE Superstar Jack Swagger is the All-American American, and he’s also this week’s guest on Turnbuckle Weekly with Chuck Carroll.
Don’t let WWE’s decision to have Jack Swagger be managed by Zeb Colter fool you. He’s quite the linguist. And I’ve got 15 minutes of tape to prove it (hopefully you’ll listen).
He’ll be wrestling at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta on RAW this Monday. And although he plays a serious character on camera, during the course of our conversation I found out he’s quite the funny guy. He referenced at least one line from Super Troopers and admitted to having his butt cheeks tremble during a Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania.
Last Monday The Rock made a surprise return to WWE Raw when he confronted the Russian machine of Rusev and his beautiful, but venom-tongued manager, Lana. Swagger said The Rock’s return was a closely guarded secret and that many of the wrestlers in the locker room didn’t even know he was going to be there.
“It’s just awesome how we can be the longest running TV show in history, but we keep the fans on the edge of their seats,” Swagger said.
Swagger, whose real name is Jake Hager, is from Oklahoma, where “Dr. Death” Steve William and Danny Hodge were household names. A true Sooner, he was a two-sport athlete at the University of Oklahoma, wrestling and playing football. He devoted all of his efforts to wresting as a sophomore and the 6-foot-7 standout earned All-American honors, which would later become a trademark in WWE.
During his time in Norman, he met WWE Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross, who is a noted Sooner super fan. The relationship would eventually help pave the way for his entrance into the world of sports entertainment, but it was far different than the one shared by Good Ole’ JR and some other players on the football team.
I’ve been told by Washington Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams that Ross would be more fired up than anyone for gameday. Though far shorter and inferior in size, Ross would essentially cut a promo to pump up Williams, telling him he was a beast and how the Sooners were going to open a can of whoop ass.
The only thing is, Ross’ enthusiasm caused Williams to pump the brakes a little bit. Like, calm down man!
Swagger laughed when I relayed that story and said he hadn’t seen anything quite like that, but confirmed Ross, without fail, is on the sideline every week wearing his back hat.
Listen to the full interview, and you’ll hear Swagger go in depth on his WrestleMania backside memories and get the full story of Trent Williams and Jim Ross.
We also talked about:
– The Rock returning to WWE
– Zeb Colter’s influence on his career
– Zeb Colter’s eclectic taste in music
– How the Monday Night Wars sucked him in
– Which sports create the best pro wrestlers (spoiler: Zeb Coulter’s answer is hilarious)
– Brutality of Hell in a Cell and Money in the Bank ladder matches
And here are a few quotes to wet your appetite:
The Rock’s return
That’s the beauty of the WWE, especially Monday Night RAW and all of our live events. As a fan you never know what we’re going to give you and a lot of the boys in the locker room didn’t even know about that. It’s just awesome how we can be the longest running TV show in history, but we keep the fans on the edge of their seats and never really can get fully comfortable because when you do, we’re going to throw The Rock at your in Brooklyn, New York against Rusev and Lana. (Note: Swagger joked he thinks he got a bigger pop than the Rock when he faced Rusev at SummerSlam)
Monday Night Wars
What really sucked me into sports entertainment was the Monday Night Wars. The clash between the two companies. The Rock and Stone Cold on top of their games. It was just like every week having to raise the bar, because you never knew what the competition was going to give. It was very exciting and one of the best periods, I think, in sports entertainment.
Money in the Bank ladder match
I always find it fun. When you’re up on that ladder in front of 80,000 people like I was at WrestleMania 26, it feels like 200,000 people and it feels like you’re 100 feet in the air. I’m not going to lie to you… you’re butt cheeks will pucker a little bit.
The full interview can be heard at the top of the page and is more than worth your time.
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @TheChuckCarroll.