Jack Swagger on AEW 'Dynamite': Jake Hager, Former WWE Champion, Comments on Surprise Debut on TNT

Former WWE champion Jack Swagger shocked wrestling fans Wednesday night by making a surprise debut on the premiere edition of All Elite Wrestling's AEW: Dynamite on TNT.

Going by his real name, Jake Hager, the wrestler and mixed-martial-artist crashed the ring following the main event, attacking members of The Elite—the Young Bucks and Cody—and Dustin Rhodes.

Hager aligned himself with AEW World Champion Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevera and the tag team of Santana and Ortiz in the show-closing beatdown.

Jake Hager has arrived to #AEW and has made a statement! #AEWDynamite pic.twitter.com/BEF08qcJi8

— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) October 3, 2019

Hager, 37, is a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, having wrestled in WWE—AEW's prime competitor—as Jack Swagger between 2006 and 2017.

Hager left WWE to pursue a career in mixed martial arts (MMA) and signed with the Bellator promotion in November 2017. He is undefeated in Bellator competition—winning his first two fights in the heavyweight division in January and May this year. He is next expected to fight Anthony Garett at Bellator 231 on October 25.

Following Hager's surprise appearance on Dynamite, the athlete commented on Twitter: "They all fall down........ #RIPJackswagger".

In another tweet, he posted a video toasting his memorable debut with a glass of champagne with his wife Catalina.

The first episode of Dynamite, which went head-to-head with WWE's NXT on USA Network, also featured Riho defeating Nyla Rose to become the first AEW Women's World Champion, Pac defeating "Hangman" Adam Page, and Cody defeating Sammy Guevera in the opening contest.

The Young Bucks' Matt Jackson tweeted after the premiere episode: "Head pounding. Body aching. Mentally drained. Let's do it again next week."

Head pounding. Body aching. Mentally drained. Let’s do it again next week. #AEWDynamite

— The Young Bucks® (@MattJackson13) October 3, 2019

Comedians Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes appeared in the front row of the audience Wednesday night, promoting the new Jay and Silent Bob Reboot movie, which co-stars AEW's Chris Jericho.

Smith tweeted: "Look at the pure joy on my face! I had a true blast at #AEWDynamite tonight! Big thanks to our #JayAndSilentBobRebootco-star @IAmJericho for having us at the @AEWrestling television premiere! Hope you're all celebrating by cracking open bottles of the Bubbly!"

Look at the pure joy on my face! I had a true blast at #AEWDynamite tonight! Big thanks to our #JayAndSilentBobReboot co-star @IAmJericho for having us at the @AEWrestling television premiere! Hope you’re all celebrating by cracking open bottles of the Bubbly! https://t.co/o5GwlxQr3w

— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) October 3, 2019

Wednesday's premiere episode of Dynamite marked the first time wrestling has aired on TNT since 2001, when World Championship Wrestling (WCW) ended its run on the cable network.

All Elite Wrestling was formed in January by Tony Khan, who is the son of billionaire Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan. He is co-owner of the Jaguars and English soccer team Fulham F.C.

Tony Khan is the founder and president of AEW, with Cody, the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega serving as executive vice presidents. Brandi Rhodes serves as chief brand officer.