While WWE debates the future of Jack Swagger, one WWE Hall of Famer says that the troubled Superstar "owes it to himself, his family, the fans and his company” to not let something like last week’s DUI arrest happen again.
In his latest blog post on JRsBBQ.com, Jim Ross says that he will not turn his back on his fellow Oklahoman, even though he has been criticized for that stance. Ross says that support is rooted in his days as WWE’s vice president of talent relations, where he always believed that terminating a wrestler should only come when all other options have been weighed:
At some point, if one cannot solve a problem, then one must eliminate said problem. But I’ve always felt compelled that one should exhaust all reasonable remedies to solve an issue before saying adios to any talent.
But Ross also points out that his feelings do not mean that a blind eye should be turned toward talent misbehavior:
I'd like to think that back in the day that I was a 'player’s coach.' But that doesn’t mean that repeat offenders or those who are so defiant and that resist positive changes in their lives need to be kept around.
Swagger was arrested on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession last Tuesday in Mississippi shortly after leaving the SmackDown taping in Biloxi. The arrest came two days after Swagger won the contenders’ match at Elimination Chamber and grabbed a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship title at April’s WrestleMania 29.
Swagger’s arrest comes in the midst of a controversial storyline in which he and his manager, Zeb Colter, are railing against the United States’ immigration policy. The storyline has drawn the ire of conservatives nationwide who claim that WWE is making fun of the Tea Party movement.
WWE released a statement to TMZ.com after the arrest saying, "Mr. Swagger is responsible for his own personal actions.” The company reportedly is mulling options on how to handle the Swagger situation.
In his blog post, Ross does not mention the specific charges against Swagger, referring to them only as “some misdemeanors.” He says he is still waiting for “all the info to roll in from Mississippi” regarding the arrest.
He adds, though, that the situation was "ill-advised and should never have happened, no matter how badly timed it is perceived by some."
Almost two years ago, Ross and Swagger were involved in the storyline feud between announcers Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
Swagger, who was training Cole for a WrestleMania 27 match against Lawler, attacked Ross in the ring after Ross had come down to confront Cole. Swagger put his Ankle Lock finisher on Ross, who frantically tried to tap out before Lawler came in to rescue him.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.