WWE brings its ‘Swagger’ back to Hartford


Dec. 26, 2013
Jack Swagger is seen here with his manager Zeb Colter. Swagger and his tag team partner Antonio Cesaro will be in Hartford, Conn., on Dec. 27.
Photo courtesy of WWE Inc.
By Carley Dangona

carley@thereminder.com

HARTFORD, Conn. – The superstars and divas of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) will once again descend upon the XL Center for the Holiday Tour on Dec. 27.

Jack Swagger, one half of The Real Americans, will compete in a steel cage match with partner Antonio Cesaro for the Tag Team Championships against titleholders Goldust and Cody Rhodes, sons of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes.

Reminder Publications caught up with Swagger the week before the show.

“The tag division is the hottest one right now,” Swagger said. “It’s unbelievable match after unbelievable match. There’s an unspoken competition in the dressing room. We all want to win and ultimately be the best. It brings out the best in each of us.”

Born Jacob Hager Jr., Swagger has wrestled since he was 5 – he’s now 31. He stands at 6 feet 7 inches, is a former All-American athlete who first signed with WWE in 2006 after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Swagger has held the ECW Championship, the World Heavyweight Champion and the United States Championship, but never the tag titles.

Swagger, a dual athlete in football and wrestling, stated that growing up in Perry, Okla., influenced his decision to wrestle full-time. “That town does everything in support of the sport,” he said.

After joining the WWE, Swagger had three straight months of loses and he took time off to refocus. He came back under the tutelage of Zeb Colter, who formerly wrestled as Dutch Mantel.

The story line for their new tag team had a message promoting transparency, fairness and a country free from illegal immigrants. The tag duo debuted in July. Cesaro, a Swiss wrestler, was welcomed by Colter because he had gone through the proper channels to enter the United States.

“It’s a fun character that I can do a lot with,” Swagger commented, adding that he explores the government, culture and the environment within the scope of his character.

In February, political commentator Glenn Beck criticized the WWE angle claiming that it “demonized” the Tea Party.

In an unprecedented move, the WWE had Colter and Swagger break character in a video response, where they explained that sports entertainment used real-life scenarios to create relevant, engaging storylines for fans. They invited Beck to appear on “Raw,” – one of the WWE television shows – but he refused.

Swagger addressed the controversy, explaining that sports entertainment differs from professional wrestling in its theatrical aspect. The wrestlers are actors playing characters, using current events as part of their roles.

“It’s a different time. Seventy-five percent of the roster has college degrees. It was an idiotic and ill-informed comment [on Beck’s part],” he said.

He also shared his appreciation for the opportunity to work with Colter.

“He has an astronomical amount of knowledge and wisdom about the business that very few people have and an endless amount of jokes – it’s amazing,” Swagger said.

As for the upcoming match – “We’re going to impose our will,” he said.

For more information about Swagger, visit www.wwe.com or follow him on Twitter @RealJackSwagger.

Other superstars scheduled to appear at the event include Randy Orton, John Cena, The Big Show and Rey Mysterio. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the XL Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford, Conn. For ticket information, go to www.xlcenter.com.


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