Chris Jericho offhandedly discussed on an episode of AEW Dynamite back in April 2021 that Jake Hager had conserved his life in Abu Dhabi back in 2012. Up up until just recently, the previous AEW Champion hadn't discussed what he meant by that remark. However in a brand-new episode of Talk Is Jericho that featured the members of the Jericho Appreciation Society, he lastly spilled the beans.
Back in 2012, both Jericho and Hager (then going by Jack Swagger) were wrestling for the WWE when the business took a trip to Abu Dhabi for a week of shows. He recalled the wrestlers heading out one night to clubs when an impolite guy began troubling individuals. Jericho eventually responded by giving him a hip check, which led to the man challenging the wrestlers with his own group of men, focussing his aggravation on Jericho.
" He goes 'My father owns 27% of this business," Jericho stated (h/t Wrestling Inc.). "And I'm putting a bounty on your head. In the next 24 hours, you are going to be killed and I'm gonna pay them $7 million.'".
Jericho thought about fighting back by slipping his key in-between his fingers and throwing punches. However Hager talked him out of it, understanding how quickly it might escalate.
" I remember Jake going, 'Don't do it man. This is the wild west. They will kill you here. They'll f-- ing string you up, they'll hang you.' The only factor I didn't take a wild swing with my stupid secret was since Jake informed me not to.If had actually not told me not to fight this man, I would have [fought] him, and who knows what would have occurred, so therefore, in professional wrestling logic, Jake Hager conserved my life!" Jericho said.
Hager arrived on the premiere episode of AEW Dynamite and right away aligned himself with Jericho as a member of The Inner Circle. When the group split following Jericho's heel turn, Hager did the same. The JAS ended up beating the Blackpool Combat Club, Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz in a wild Anarchy in the Arena match at Double or Nothing when Hager and Jericho both caused Danielson to pass out in the ring.