Jake Hager

American professional wrestler and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter

Donald Jacob "Jake" Hager Jr. (born March 24, 1982)[3] is an American professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist. He currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Hager has previously worked for the WWE under the ring name Jack Swagger and Lucha Underground as Jake Strong.

Jake Hager
Hager in 2014
Birth nameDonald Jacob Hager Jr.
Born (1982-03-24) March 24, 1982 (age 42)[1]
Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.[2]
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma
Spouse(s)
Catalina White (m. 2010)
Children2
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Jack Swagger
Jake Hager[3]
Jake Strong
Billed height6 ft 7 in (201 cm)[4]
Billed weight275 lb (125 kg)[4]
Billed fromPerry, Oklahoma[4]
Trained byDeep South Wrestling[3]
DebutSeptember 7, 2006[3]
Mixed martial arts career
Nickname(s)Rock Hard[5]
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)[6]
Weight254 lb (115 kg; 18 st 2 lb)[6]
DivisionHeavyweight (206–265 lbs)[7]
Reach81 in (206 cm)
StyleWrestling
Fighting out ofTampa, Florida, United States
WrestlingNCAA Division I All-American[8]
Mixed martial arts record
Total4
Wins3
By submission2
By decision1
Losses0
No contests1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

During his time with WWE, he won the World Heavyweight Championship, the United States Championship and the ECW Championship once each, as well as the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI in 2010. He was the last holder of the Lucha Underground Championship and the Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods Championship .

Career change

Early career change

Hager was recruited to the University of Oklahoma as a two-sport athlete, playing as a defensive tackle in football and a heavyweight wrestler.[3] During his junior year, he met Jim Ross, who was then World Wrestling Entertainment's Head of Talent Relations, and Ross encouraged Hager to contact him after graduating.[9] In 2006, as an All-American wrestler, he set the single season record for most pins at 30, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance.[9]

World Wrestling Entertainment (2006-2019) change

Developmental territories (2006-2008) change

In 2006, Hager had a WWE tryout in Deep South Wrestling, and in September 2006, Hager made his in-ring debut for Deep South Wrestling defeating Antonio Mestre in a dark match.[3][9] He competed mainly in dark matches, before being moved to Ohio Valley Wrestling in January 2007.[10] He started for OVW, by defeating Atlas DaBone, and in the following months began a rivalry with K.C. James[11][12][13] Hager began teaming with a multitude of opponents to feud with James and his tag team partner Cassidy James.[14][15]

In August 2007, Hager went back to Florida Championship Wrestling, where he began a rivalry with TJ Wilson.[3][16][17] On February 15, 2008, Hager defeated Ted DiBiase, Jr. in Tampa, Florida at the Florida State Fair to become the first-ever FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion.[18] Earlier in the night, DiBiase and Hager were the final two men remaining in a 23-man battle royal to determine the two championship contenders.[19]

On March 22, 2008, Hager went against the FCW Southern Heavyweight Champion Heath Miller, in New Port Richey, Florida, to determine the true Heavyweight Champion.[20] Both titles were on the line and Hager defeated Miller to become the undisputed heavyweight champion in Florida Championship Wrestling.[18][20]

His first loss came in the form of a Raw dark match, at the TV taping on August 18, 2008 when he lost to William Regal.[21]

ECW brand (2008-2009) change

On September 9, 2008, Hager made his start on the ECW brand under the ring name Jack Swagger, winning a match against a local wrestler.[22] He quickly made himself a villain when he did not let the referee hold up his arm after the win, and later started a rivalry with Tommy Dreamer by attacking him after Dreamer had saved Chase Stevens from Mike Knox.[23] He later defeated Dreamer in a wrestling match[24] and an "All American Challenge" competition.[25] After weeks of fighting, the two ended their rivalry in an Extreme Rules match, which Swagger won to extend his undefeated streak.[26] He then set his sights on Matt Hardy's ECW Championship, and was named the number one contender on the December 30, 2008 edition of ECW.[27] On the January 13, 2009 episode of ECW, Swagger defeated Hardy to win the ECW Championship, which is his first title in WWE."ECW Spoilers from Sioux City featuring Matt Hardy vs. Swagger for the title". The Wrestling Observer. 2009-01-12. Archived from the original on 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2009-01-13.</ref> His undefeated streak in singles matches ended on the February 3 episode of ECW, when he lost to Finlay.

World Heavyweight Championship run and SmackDown (2010) change

On the March 1 episode of Raw, Swagger beat Santino Marella to wrestle in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI.[28] At WrestleMania, Swagger won the Money in the Bank ladder match, winning a contract for any WWE world championship that he could use at any time over the next year.[29] On the episode of Raw after WrestleMania, Swagger tried to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on John Cena, but changed his mind when he saw that Cena was not hurt enough for Swagger to beat. As the match had never started, Swagger kept the contract for use at a future date.[30]

Swagger cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during the SmackDown taping on March 30, 2010, after the World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho had been speared by Edge.[31] Swagger went on to defeat Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.[31][32] after his championship win, Swagger changed into a more serious Swagger which was different from his last persona, where he was known for doing pushups and beating his chest during his ring entrance. He defended his championship against Edge and Jericho in a triple threat match on the April 16 episode of SmackDown, and against Randy Orton in an Extreme Rules match[broken anchor] at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view.[33] At Over the Limit, Swagger kept the title against The Big Show by disqualifying himself.[34] At the Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view on June 20, he lost the championship to Rey Mysterio in a fatal four-way match[broken anchor], which also had CM Punk and The Big Show.[35]

In wrestling change

  • Finishing and signature moves
  • As Jack Swagger
  • As Jake Hager

Championships and accomplishments change

Amateur wrestling change

Professional wrestling change

References change

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  2. "Jack Hager Interview". KRFF. Retrieved February 14, 2021. 1:00 onwards, Swagger says, "I was born in 82 at Fargo Hospital..."
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  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Jack Swagger bio". WWE. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
  5. "Jake Hager's Bellator MMA bio". Bellator MMA. Archived from the original on 2022-04-12. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Jake".
  7. Raimondi, Marc (November 13, 2017). "Bellator signs former WWE champion, college wrestling standout Jake Hager". MMAFighting.com. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  8. "Oklahoma All-American Signs With Bellator". intermatwrestle.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2021. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Stewart, Brent (2009-01-24). "Critically lauded film, 'The Wrestler,' brings sports entertainment to renewed popularity". TheSouthern.com. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
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  13. "May 2, 2007 – OVW TV Tapings". Online World Of Wrestling. 2007-05-02. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  14. "May 9, 2007 – OVW TV Tapings". Online World Of Wrestling. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
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Other websites change