Jake Hager, fka WWE’s Jack Swagger, made a surprise appearance on the first episode of AEW Dynamite and has been the muscle for Chris Jericho’s heel faction, the Inner Circle, ever since. Hager’s return to televised wrestling didn’t mean he put his MMA career on hold, however, and it turns out the worlds of All Elite Wrestling and Bellator will collide at Hager’s next fight.
According to ESPN, “Three of Hager’s stablemates from AEW’s Inner Circle faction will be in attendance to show their support for the 2-0 MMA fighter… Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz will all be on hand in the arena and might get into the cage with Hager for a post-fight photo op.”
If Hager loses, this could be a very bad and/or hilarious look for the Inner Circle, but, like Hager’s previous MMA opponents, Anthony Garrett isn’t exactly Daniel Cormier. In the words of Bloody Elbow, “Garrett isn’t quite the same sort of imposing figure as Hager. He actually lost his last fight because he was unable to get off the floor following a referee standup… and he was the one on top.”
This doesn’t seem like the worst way for AEW to get their name out and show some of their wrestlers to a new audience, though it’s possible the Inner Circle could be portrayed less like non-wrestling celebrity guests and more like WWE wrestlers at sports games on Fox.