Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Jake Hager On Junior dos Santos: ‘That Guy’s Gonna Be A Pro Wrestling Champion One Day’

Jake Hager made a successful jump from the wrestling world to the MMA arena, and he continues to compete in both sports. In a recent interview, the AEW star expressed his confidence that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos can similarly thrive in the squared circle.

Hager has faced JDS twice on AEW programming; they were on opposite sides of a six-man tag team bout on the October 15 Rampage, and they also clashed in the Minneapolis Street Fight at the Full Gear pay-per-view. Dos Santos hasn’t appeared on AEW TV since this loss, but Hager still thinks “Cigano” has a bright future as a wrestler.

During an appearance on AEW Unrestricted, Hager reflected on his feud with JDS and American Top Team; he specifically praised the UFC standout and complimented Dan Lambert’s promo skills.

“It was really cool to be a part of that angle, kind of pulling a rabbit out of our hat each week, testing the limits and seeing what we could do,” sais Hager. “The Minneapolis Street Fight came together because it’s known in all the streets as the deadliest of street fights, and this was the only place this angle could culminate at. No, it was really cool to be a part of, like Dan Lambert on the mic is absolutely pure magic, so fun to work with. Junior dos Santos, oh man, that guy’s gonna be a pro wrestling champion one day. He like really wants it and really loves the sport, you can tell, and those guys are so eager to learn and like do this stuff.”

As for the Street Fight itself, Hager made it clear that this bout was the latest example of the way the Inner Circle tells its stories and puts its matches together.

“It was cool how that match just came together and we kinda always, with the Inner Circle, we kinda just go off in our little world and tell our stories that way, and it seems to work well for us,” said Hager.

Speaking of the storytelling in this high-profile bout, Hager was asked about the involvement of Baron Von Raschke, who helped the powerhouse’s wife, Catalina when Ethan Page yelled at her. The wrestling legend locked his classic Claw on “All Ego” to protect Catalina, and during the interview, Hager wanted to make it known that he would have defended his wife if he didn’t have his hands full with the ongoing match.

“You know just so we’re clear, too, I am full enough of a man to defend my wife’s honor,” said Hager. “I can do that, but thank you, Baron.”

Hager continues to shine as a member of the Inner Circle, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he faces “Cigano” in the squared circle again anytime soon.