Perhaps it shouldn't come as much of a surprise considering he's been virtually invisible on WWE TV since well before the brand split, but Jack Swagger has spoken with WWE management to request his release from the company.
The former WWE world champion was a guest on one of MMA star and analyst Chael Sonnen's two podcasts - Beyond The Fight - in which he spoke at length about his decision to leave the promotion he has worked for since 2006, where he began in their developmental system. S
wagger had this to say:
"As of yesterday, Chael, I asked for my release from WWE. It’s still kind of an ongoing process right now. Basically it came down to contract negotiations and we were way off. They didn’t value me at what I thought I was valued at so... this was a business decision. They weren’t giving me the opportunity to make the full amount of income I could for my family so, when you put it like that, it’s time to go."
Swagger (real name; Jake Hager) revealed that his plan is to pursue wrestling opportunities elsewhere while he's also considering giving mixed martial arts a shot. As far as wrestling, TNA will obviously be looking for talent considering the mass exodus they are currently suffering from, and his style could probably fit in well in New Japan as well, where as other high profile indies such as PWG, Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground don't feel like the right fit for a man of Swagger's persona and skillset.
When it comes to MMA, at 34 years of age Swagger would be getting started pretty late, but he's no CM Punk; his impressive wrestling background could provide a very solid base for an MMA career. While attending the University of Oklahoma, Swagger was a two-time All-American and in 2006 set a record for most pins in a season with thirty. Perhaps even more notable is that he owns a victory over Cain Velasquez, a man who went on to become one of the greatest UFC heavyweights of all-time and was the man to dethrone Brock Lesnar, defeating him for the championship in October, 2010.
You can check out the full interview HERE.
We'll keep you updated with details on this story as they continue to emerge.