At this time last year, Jack Swagger was an afterthought in WWE. His only appearances on television were as comedy fodder for Santino Marella, which is an entertaining gig, but not one that most fans like me wanted to see him in. He got his big break at WrestleMania, winning Money in the Bank and cashing it in, in what was then record time two days later (five days later in storyline) on Smackdown.
Despite his new found main event status, he still had growing pains, and he wasn’t treated like a real World Champion. Despite that fact, he was pretty much treated well by the bookers. Yeah, he lost a lot of matches to main eventers, but he was always given time to work on SmackDown. At one point, he was given his own mascot, the hilarious yet too-short lived Soaring Eagle.
Yep, in true cynical smart fan fashion, there were those amongst the diverse throng of opinions in cyberspace who were disappointed that Swagger was “taking a step down” and not getting a better match for WrestleMania. With all due respect, those people don’t know what they’re talking about. Cole/Lawler is a top three feud going into WrestleMania, and while that may not sound like a big deal given its between two announcers, well, fan reactions are always off the charts for both Cole and Lawler, two of the most over personalities in WWE right now. If you’re going to be inserted into any feud, this is the one to latch onto. Yeah, The Rock is currently melting faces involved with John Cena and The Miz, but that’s a full boat already. However, Cole and Lawler? Yeah, that ship’s still boarding.
Being paired with Cole provides for plenty of opportunities for Swagger to get over with WWE crowds. For one, Cole is a heat magnet the likes that don’t exist in the company outside of Vickie Guerrero. If any of that association causes a better crowd reaction for Swagger, then it’s a win right there. Two, there’s the possibility of Swagger and Cole being featured in awkward training montage segments, which I personally and wholeheartedly approve of. Third, Swagger is only the trainer for Cole in this situation. He’s in a situation where he doesn’t have to wrestle and is not the one jobbing. Four, if he does wrestle in the lead up to the big event, it’ll most likely be against Lawler, who at 62, is still one of the elite workers not only on the WWE roster, but in the entire USA.
Jack Swagger is in the right place at the right time. Being Michael Cole‘s trainer right now will do more for him and his character than going into Money in the Bank cold, winning it and becoming a shock Champion last year ever did. For those who are discouraged by this, don’t be. Swagger is going to be fine, and you could argue that he’s got the most to gain out of anyone else on this card. Trust me, that’s not a bad place to be.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.
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