Over the last two years, Jack Swagger has fallen so dramatically and thunderously from grace, it’s now almost impossible for many fans to remember he was once a world-title holder.
Yes, Jack Swagger, lowly jobber, once held the World Heavyweight Championship, one of the most prestigious belts in the industry.
Granted, his title reign in mid-2010 didn’t exactly set the world on fire (although he did have some very good matches with Rey Mysterio on television and pay-per-view), but his abysmal treatment since then is still completely mystifying.
Since then, he’s been reduced to a lame lower-card comedy act and, overall, been treated shoddily by the booking team—that is, when they’re not outright ignoring him and leaving him off of Raw or SmackDown. More embarrassing, the likes of Michael Cole and Dolph Ziggler have poked fun at his status as a former World Heavyweight Champion on television, reminding fans of how foolish him ever being champion was in the first place.
Swagger’s treatment is even more puzzling when we consider that, on paper, at least, he’s everything Vince McMahon and WWE could want in a star—he has a tall, muscular physique, a decent amount of personality and solid in-ring skills. Still, the company refuses to do anything meaningful with him.
Per the storyline, Swagger himself has gotten fed up with the badly floundering act—after his short, embarrassing loss to Sheamus, he walked out of the company at last week’s Raw.
By the looks of it, he’s taking a hiatus while WWE attempt to repackage him and salvage his career. He may resurface again on Raw in a few months, or go over to SmackDown for a cleaner slate.
So Jack is taking some time off. But will this help him regain prominence in the company that has treated him as a laughingstock for so long? It’s difficult to say.
On one hand, his career has fallen to such low depths, it’s difficult to see how any new gimmick—even an awful one—could hinder him even more.
At this point, doing anything with Swagger will be a huge improvement, considering he’s been ignored for so long.
The hiatus itself will also be good for the wrestler’s career. The Miz struggled earlier this year, as he slumped down the card amid loss after loss, until he took time off to film The Marine: Homefront for WWE Studios. Upon his return, complete with a new look and attitude, The Miz regained his momentum and is currently going through a career renaissance of sorts.
Sadly, it’s also possible that the damage has already been done to Swagger and nothing can regain his credibility in the eyes of the WWE fans.
In this case, maybe Swagger should step back from the company and assess his options in the industry. TNA, with their well-known fondness for bringing in WWE names, may like to sign him if he became free. He could also follow the lead of MVP, another WWE mid-carder who grew frustrated with the stalling state of his career, and try to revive his career in Japan.
But WWE should at least make the effort to rehab his flagging career. After all, with the depleting state of the roster these days, they can’t afford to lose any more promising young talent leave.