Jake Hager Says John Cena Shot Down Dropping the WWE Championship to Him

Jake Hager, formerly known as Jack Swagger, won the Money in the Bank contract at WrestleMania XXVI and promptly cashed-in on then-World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho just a few days later. Swagger's lone run as world champion in WWE proved to be unmemorable, as he dropped the title a mere 79 days later to Rey Mysterio following a feud with Big Show on SmackDown. But Hager revealed in a new interview on Talk Is Jericho that his cash-in was supposed to be very different.

The night before he used the briefcase on Jericho, Swagger attacked then-WWE Champion John Cena on Raw and attempted to take his title only for Cena to thwart the attempt. Hager claimed the reason he didn't cash-in on Cena was that the 16-time world champion refused to lose to him.

"I had a little inclination, but I had no idea what was going to happen. The night before, I teased it on Raw. I hit Cena with the briefcase, I snuck up on him when he had one of his brilliant promo segments. Later, come to find out, he refused to do the job for me for the [WWE] Championship. We won't talk about that," Hager said (h/t Fightful) before sarcastically calling Cena "The most unselfish top man in the business."

We may never know why Cena shot down the idea, though this was the same year where he infamously campaigned for the ending of SummerSlam to be changed to he could defeat The Nexus. And while various attempts were made over the years, the only man to successfully cash-in and defeat Cena for a world championship was Edge back in 2006.

Cena has not appeared on WWE television since losing the Firefly Fun House Match against Bray Wyatt back at WrestleMania 36. He appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon back in late September and clarified that, while his acting career continues to take off, his WWE career isn't over.

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"I have a very young audience in WWE, a lot of kids and families. And as my in-ring career with WWE is not as active, although not over, I wanted to continue to send messaging to those younger viewers (with his new children's book, Elbow Grease: Fast Friends)."

Hager currently wrestles for All Elite Wrestling and competes in Bellator MMA.