With many young talents from NXT making their debut in recent months, many in the WWE Universe have overlooked the return of an established superstar with a monstrous chip on his shoulder.
After a lengthy losing streak, former World Heavyweight champion Jack Swagger took some time off in order to turn things around. And since returning on SmackDown last week, he has made no secret of the fact that he intends for things to be different this time.
He took a step in the right direction on SmackDown when he defeated fan favorite Kofi Kingston. His winning ways then continued on Raw when he defeated long-time nemesis Santino Marella in convincing fashion with his patented ankle lock, now dubbed the Patriot Act.
It had long been rumored that the company was going to repackage the All-American American, possibly even making him the individual to end United States champion Antonio Cesaro’s title reign.
A showdown between the condescending European and Swagger would be interesting, but with Swagger’s newfound intensity and familiar attitude, it seems unlikely that Swagger would make a face turn to take down Cesaro.
Many thought that Swagger would at least be physically repackaged but were somewhat disappointed when he returned with slightly longer hair and a scruffy beard. His ring attire, attitude and move set were all exactly the same.
Since making his main roster debut in September 2008, big things have always been expected of Swagger. He wasted little time in making an impact, winning the ECW title from Matt Hardy in January 2009, before moving to Raw in June after losing the belt to Christian.
Swagger then won the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania XXVI and later defeated Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight title in March 2010.
But since losing that title to Rey Mysterio in June 2010, Swagger had seemed to lose his foothold in the WWE talent ladder. Yes, he did have a reign with the U.S. title in that time, but he also languished as a lackey for Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero, which finally led to him being written off of television until something better came along.
The company seems to feel that this is the time for Swagger to make a triumphant return. Nevertheless, with the current influx of talent coming from NXT and an already established feud between Alberto Del Rio and the Big Show, it is somewhat confusing as to why the company is having him come back to a World title picture that is murky at best.
A program with Cesaro would have made a lot of sense, as the Swiss superstar is currently without a consistent opponent, battling random superstars week to week.
Both Cesaro and Swagger are accomplished mat wrestlers with excellent technical skills. They would likely bring out the best in each other.
But for the time being, it seems as if he will repeatedly try to become a participant in the upcoming Elimination Chamber. Though it seems as if he will eventually be added to the match, it is unlikely that he will win.
Swagger is a world-class performer, but his current role is not the one that his fans had hoped for.
Instead of coming back to finally get a taste of glory, it seems as if Swagger will continue to struggle to get ahead.
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