Tony Khan On When Jake Hager Was Signed And His Role In AEW

Last night’s premiere episode of AEW Dynamite ended with the destructive appearance of Jake Hager, formerly known as Jack Swagger in WWE and Jack Strong on Lucha Underground. Although questions remain for next week, Jake looks to be part of a Chris Jericho-led heel stable that also includes Sammy Guevara and the former LAX, Santana and Ortiz. At the media scrum after the show, AEW President Tony Khan was asked about Hager, and revealed that they’ve been keeping his signing under wraps for a while now.

You know what’s really pretty cool about secret-keeping is Jake’s been signed for like, a really long time. Jake’s been signed to us for like, a really long time. And Jake can clearly keep a secret, and so can we. We did a good job of keeping that one under. But it’s been for quite a while now. Before All Out, Jake was signed.

Khan then went on to address how AEW will accommodate Hager’s MMA work.

For him to do his training, it’s something we’re going to have to account for. So he moved his camp to accommodate this, but he’s also still in training and he’s in a good schedule with that. But the AEW schedule, with working Wednesdays, allows him to make Wednesday the off-day and then Thursday, kind of—Wednesday, Thursday. So he can train, Friday to Tuesday. That’s what Jake’s doing right now. And Jake’s a machine. And as you saw at the end, I think he got a great reaction. For him to come in, he’s different than a lot of the high flying wrestlers we have. He’s a power house. I think he came in and it was really exciting. I thought the stable, we’re gonna learn more about.

At that point it became clear that Proud Secret Keeper Khan had spilled the beans about those guys being a stable, and he did his best to handle that reveal delicately:

They came and they looked really good together, didn’t they? They seemed to have really good chemistry. It could be. It looked like a stable to me. The way they walked, the way they talked, the way they acted. They seemed like guys with a plan.

Hager may not be the most exciting get for every wrestling fan, but it will be interesting to see how AEW uses him and the rest of Jericho’s team going forward.