Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thoughts on Jack Swagger

Unless you've been away from your phone, computer, Twitter etc. in the last few hours, you probably know by now that Jack Swagger was arrested last night after the Smackdown taping in Mississippi. He was arrested for DUI and marijuana possession. It should be noted that Swagger was under the influence of marijuana, not alcohol. That doesn't change the fact that what Swagger did was absolutely stupid for somebody in his position.

Swagger was put in possibly the biggest position of his WWE career. He had just won the Elimination Chamber match on Sunday to earn a World Title shot at Wrestlemania. To me, that is bigger than him winning the World Title in 2010. Swagger gets the chance to be in a Title match at Wrestlemania. If you would have told me Jack Swagger was going to be in a Title match at Mania two months ago, I would've assumed you were talking about the United States Title. I would have never guessed that Swagger was going to receive the push that he did.

But to the WWE's credit, they have gotten people talking about Jack Swagger's new gimmick. Whether you like Swagger and the gimmick or not, people are talking about it. Yes, it draws a fine line when looking at political issues like immigration. Some may go as far as to call the gimmick racist. I like it because it's different. We haven't seen a character like this in the WWE for quite some time. And pairing Swagger with Dutch Mantel, or Zeb Colter whatever you want to call him, was a smart move. He's honestly getting this gimmick over more than Swagger is. Swagger was never very strong on the mic, and giving him a mouth piece to get over was a smart move. I always thought Swagger was a mis-used talent. He could have had a mega face push after Wrestlemania 27 by turning on Michael Cole, but that didn't happen. While some may not like Swagger, I always thought there was potential with him. And this gimmick was helping him. They had people on Fox News and other Tea Party people talking about it. To the WWE, any press not involving death or drug use is good in their eyes.

Unfortunately for Jack Swagger, he might have blown the biggest opportunity he's had in his wrestling career. And that wrestling career, at least in the WWE, may now be over. It is a difficult situation the WWE finds themselves in. Do they bail on Swagger that quickly after having him win the Elimination Chamber? From a storyline perspective, having Swagger lose his spot in a throw away match renders the Chamber itself useless. The WWE definitely has possibilities when it comes to replacing Swagger. The first name that comes to mind is Mark Henry. Many people thought Henry was going to win the Chamber match as it was. He has been a dominant force since returning from injury. Henry could easily take out Swagger and force him out of action. If you want to punish Swagger, keeping him off of Wrestlemania would be a good way to do it.

There's always the possibility that they could hotshot Dolph Ziggler into the World Title picture. Ziggler has the Money in the Bank briefcase in his back pocket. Randy Orton has proven that he is still over enough with the crowd that he would fit in. Of course, the irony of Randy Orton getting a World Title match because Jack Swagger was arrested for marijuana possession is hilarious. Again though, the problem is how to write Jack Swagger out of the Wrestlemania picture if the WWE decides to go that route. It is a difficult decision the WWE finds itself in. Do they release Swagger altogether? I think the gimmick is working enough that there is an argument to keep him around. Or could Zeb dump Swagger, and then bring someone else into the gimmick? The problem is, no one that would be considered is ready for a World Title match at Wrestlemania.

That is why I think the WWE will stay the course with Jack Swagger headed into Wrestlemania. When Rob Van Dam was arrested for marijuana possession, he lost the WWE and ECW Title right away. There's no reason the WWE just can't have Swagger lose at Wrestlemania, which I think was probably the plan all along. But does the WWE really let Swagger off the hook with no penalty? What happens when another talent gets arrested? The WWE can't tolerate this behavior, especially with the PG product they have nowadays.

Jack Swagger has put the WWE in a huge conundrum heading into the most important time of the year for them. Swagger has a hot gimmick working for him and it has people talking. You can tell Vince and Company have put a lot of time into this gimmick and they want it to get over. You know deep down Vince wants to keep this gimmick going. But will he be forced to pull the plug from the people around him and his sponsors? If Vince had his way, he would want to stay the course. There has to be some sort of punishment levied on Swagger. There is no doubt about that. But with the gimmick Swagger has going, I think the WWE will take any backlash they receive in stride and keep Swagger in the World Title Match at Wrestlemania. It may not be the right decision, but when has the WWE always been known to make the right decision anyways?

All I know is that even if Swagger stays in the World Title Match, his career with the WWE is probably won't last long after Wrestlemania. And if it does, it will probably be nothing more than a mid card career at best.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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