WWE | Pro Wrestling

Face Turn is Latest Effort to Find Relevance for Jack Swagger

Several weeks ago, I wrote about how I did not see the Rusev anti-American storyline going anywhere because WWE did not have anyone on their roster who steps into the fair-haired Captain America role so desperately needed to make that story work.

One name I immediately scratched off that potential foe list was Jack Swagger, the “Real-American.” First, Swagger was a heel. Second, he has been pushing the all-American shtick for so long that it seemed almost forced. Third, he had Zeb Colter as his manager, whose Tea Party-like persona and Yosemite Sam mustache made him the perfect varmint.

I stand corrected. WWE apparently has decided to take Colter’s anti-immigration rants and aim them squarely at Rusev and his henchwoman Lana. Last Monday night, he and Swagger came out as growing tired of Rusev and Lana’s constant downing of American values and took matters into their own hands.

We now have a rebirth of those classic USA-vs.-Russia programs that were so prevalent in pro wrestling back in the 1970s and 1980s.

We also have the latest effort by WWE to get Swagger some much-needed and long-awaited traction by making him the all-American hero.

Will it work? At this stage, it’s hard to say. Unless WWE has a magic potion we do not know about that will give Swagger some ring personality, it will not.

Swagger comes across as a cocky jock bully, the type who used to force his way into line in front of you in the cafeteria or movie theater and dare you to stop him. He has very good wrestling skills, but he always has been terrible on the microphone, and that kept him from ever really building a rapport with the WWE Universe.

Plus, he has had more lives in WWE than a cat. Every time he seemed to be on a downslide, WWE did everything they could think of to prop him up.

They gave him the World Heavyweight championship title. The fans yawned more than booed.

They made him Michael Cole’s chief trainer for that stupid WrestleMania match with Jerry Lawler. That fell flat.

They paired him with Dolph Ziggler and made Vickie Guerrero his mouthpiece. That fell even flatter.

He even stayed away from WWE for several months. No one missed him.

They appeared to strike gold when they brought Colter’s character in to be his manager and even made him the top contender for Sheamus’ World Heavyweight Championship. But Swagger torpedoed that by his own hand when he got arrested on DUI and pot charges.

They brought in Cesaro to tag with him. But just like what happened with Ziggler, Swagger’s tag partner generated far more interest that Swagger.

If Swagger were a cat, he would be down to three more lives. And his seventh life apparently is going to be as the Midwestern-born Golden Boy who rides in to save America from this latest incarnation of the Red Menace.

Inject Jack Swagger with some personality, and this finally might be the move WWE makes to keep his career from landing in the litter box.

Bill Atkinson is a frequent contributor to Camel Clutch Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.

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