Jake Hager debuted in AEW on the inaugural episode of Dynamite, aligning himself with Chris Jericho, Santana and Ortiz, and Sammy Guevara, thus forming The Inner Circle. A year later, Hager is still going strong despite losing five of the fifteen matches he has wrestled in the promotion to date.
Hager’s WWE departure in 2017 allowed him to sign with Bellator MMA the same year. The former World Champion currently boasts of a 3-0 record in Bellator.
Hager is currently working a busy schedule in the business. Not only does he have to work AEW tapings twice a week, but he also prepares for his upcoming fight against Brandon Calton at Bellator 250.
Giancarlo Aulino of BarnBurner recently caught up with Hager during the Bellator 250 Virtual Media Day.
The proud Inner Circle stablemate noted that AEW has complimented their schedule with his busy routine, most notably giving him sufficient time for workout and conditioning during the two days of taping every alternate week.
“We film twice a week with AEW every other week, so I have ten days off in between, that is usually the schedule until like bigger things come on, which there’s nothing bigger than AEW and Bellator right now (laughs). So I really consider the filming days with AEW as my rest days and then once I’m home,I really like as soon as I’m home on a Thursday or a Friday, I already have practices scheduled and I’ll go Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday-Tuesday, and then I’ll fly out again Wednesday to go film.”
“It’s worked pretty well. AEW has definitely understood you know during those rest day that I’m really pushing it and really working hard and I think they have done a great job to help compliment their schedule with mine and allow me to get the time to work out even on those rest days a little bit and like a run, some kind of conditioning and it really has and will show in this fight.”
Hager didn’t shy away from saying how CEO Tony Khan has helped him adjust the schedule for his upcoming fight at Bellator 250. He revealed to have notified AEW well ahead of time regarding his October 29th bout.
The heavyweight wrestler praised Khan’s leadership and credited AEW’s light filming schedule as compared to the brutal grind in WWE.
“Well the number one difference is the schedule. AEW films weekly television shows, so it’s about 60-70 dates a year with the pay-per-views, maybe a little bit less…maybe a little bit more. At WWE, we were running over 200 dates a year, so at times I’m only home 36 hours. It really is like a complete different schedule where even if I am able to train on those five days that I’m on the road, it’s not the same…it’s not consistent, I don’t have a coach and some kind of like congruent plan going on.”
“The conversation with Tony like any conversation is very easy, he’s a great guy. I think his leadership really trickles down. He wants good people to work at AEW, so like talking to him is like sitting here talking with you guys (the media) right now, it’s very casual. He’s a very big sports guy. I think that’s why you see so many wrestlers happy to be at AEW because he treats us like athletes and it really shows in our work that we’re more than happy to show him how much we appreciate that.”
Hopefully, Hager will find a spot on the AEW Full Gear card once he’s through with Bellator 250.