WWE’s Jack Swagger has been riding the biggest wave of his career. Within one week, that wave has risen and crashed hard, with the former World Heavyweight Champion being arrested for DUI and marijuana possession. Swagger has been on a sustained push, joining Dutch Mantel (playing Zeb Coulter) on a crusade to form a better America within the WWE. That push was to culminate against Alberto Del Rio at Wrestlemania 29.
The angle itself has drawn the ire of right-wing pundits, with many claiming that Swagger and Coulter’s “We the people” message and symbolism is a slap at the Tea Party. Some have even suggested that the Zeb Coulter character is carefully named after Ann Coulter. With the mainstream attention it has drawn, many were looking forward to watching the angle play out. Swagger’s arrest could put a serious dent into those plans.
Who could step in an realistically replace Swagger at this point? Here are the main candidates.
Mark Henry – The ‘World’s Strongest Man’ recently returned from injury and has been laying waste to the WWE roster. A former World Heavyweight Champion, Henry could easily lay Swagger out, entering him into the ‘Hall of Pain’ and decide to chase down Del Rio for the title at Wrestlemania 29.
Big Show – While Big Show and Del Rio have seemingly completed their feud, it could be as easy as Big Show beating down Swagger mercilessly, stating that he’s “not done” with Del Rio yet. It would be a cheap out, but Wrestlemania isn’t going to be sold on the World Heavyweight Championship match.
Christian – The former World Heavyweight Champion is ready to return, by all reports. He has a built in history with Del Rio battling over the very same championship that could be utilized to push a quick angle. Christian is also a gem on the microphone and can turn heel on a dime to make the match work and draw heat for the contest.
Chris Jericho – The best candidate to take Swagger’s place and draw immense heat in a short time span. Jericho is on a roll as a face currently, however his past work as a heel definitely sets a standard that he’d be able to get the crowd rallying behind Del Rio. As a Canadian representing ‘North America’ in the same vein as Swagger, Jericho could pull off something akin to the same storyline with ease.
CM Punk – This would be with the thought process that Punk doesn’t get a Triple Threat match with John Cena and The Rock for the WWE Championship and Undertaker isn’t coming back. Punk could go on a tangent, destroy Swagger with the aid of The Shield and state he isn’t going to stop until he unifies the titles. It keeps him firmly entrenched at the top of the card and leads to bigger things down the road.
There’s no question that Swagger’s arrest throws a lot of questions out as to how WWE proceeds. Much like when Rob Van Dam was arrested following his WWE Championship win, the WWE is at a crossroads, especially with trusting Swagger going forward. It could be swift, as soon as this coming Monday on Raw, or it could play out over a few weeks. Either way, the chances of WWE blowing this off and Swagger heading into Wrestlemania against Del Rio seem slim.
Who would you like to see step in and replace Swagger against Del Rio? Do you think the WWE will be pulling Swagger from the card? Sound off in the comments below!
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