Jake Hager has been in the industry since 2006 and he spent quite a bit of his pro wrestling career in WWE. His amateur wrestling career garnered him a contract with WWE the minute he graduated from the University of Oklahoma, and the rest, as they say, is history. He wrestled for WWE until 2017.
It was during AEW’s Unrestricted Podcast, that Hager went into detail about what one of the biggest legends in the industry told him back when Hager was in WWE most recently. He also went into how AEW differs from WWE as far as how the ideas that talent comes up with in AEW is dealt with by Khan and company. He said:
“Undertaker pulled me aside. I did something which he didn’t like. So he made a point to tell me about it, but it was a good talk. He pulled me aside and he was like, ‘this job is only worth it if you’re on top, as far as financially. In the middle and down at the bottom there’s a lot of scrapping. You’re away on the road too much. You need to be on top for it to be worth it.’
I always took that as a grain of salt, like where I needed to be at and how to really value myself as an individual. Because when you’re being a pro wrestler, you really have to know what your value is so you can know what to ask for and what not to ask for. That speech from him put it into perspective a little bit more.
One of the great things about AEW, instead of fighting you about ideas they give you resources to make your ideas happen and to do them the right way so they come across and they’re great. We had lots of resources to play with. And we came there and we were like, ‘oh we can kind of do what we want. Let’s see what we can do.’ It was a lot of fun to put together. One of my proudest moments is the Stadium Stampede and it always will be.”
The Undertaker is known as a locker room leader in WWE and his above comments that he imparted to Hager back then prove just that. Interestingly enough, when The Miz was infamously kicked out of the locker room when he first got into the business, or soon after, it was The Undertaker that got him back in after The Miz impressed him. Now how’s that for clout, eh?
H/T Wrestling Inc.