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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Jagger's Friday Mailbag - 7/28/2023

    Man, these are the dog days right now. We’re about halfway through the college offseason. Worlds are still a while away. Our favorite baseball teams stink. (We’ll get to plenty of baseball talk later) It’s hot out. Twitter, which is my entire livelihood in the wrestling industry, is now called X. You know, it’s hot out, too. So what better way to cool down than read the mailbag on a nice, cool, toilet seat! The first order of business is to pretend I’m Gable Steveson. 

    If you’re Gable Steveson, what do you do over the next year to balance WWE and prepare for the 2024 Olympics and possible college? Earl Diesel 

    Alright, let’s just break down the whole Gable thing because it truly is a unique situation. Here’s a guy who is a generational talent who left the college and freestyle fans wanting so much more for the fame and fortune of WWE like his idol, Brock Lesnar. But you have to remember that Brock left pro wrestling after a few years while being the top guy because he realized he wanted to do other things while he was still young. He knew he had the rest of his life to go back and now he’s out there every week at 46 years old. I’m not even that old and I wrestled with Abe Lincoln. So what was the rush? Well, two college titles and Olympic gold would probably have you thinking about your next move and maybe accomplishing that dream. So he goes. Leaving a year of college and another Olympic run that would actually come a year earlier now because of the ‘rona on the table. 

    Now, nearly two years have passed and Gable is back in the news. Is he making his WWE debut? No, he’s coming back to make a world team. That’s awesome! Then he easily makes said world team. Fair enough. He’s still got it. But then things get crazy when he says he might return for one last ride in college. Ok then. Well, if your plan is to stick with this through another Olympic run then I suppose you can sneak in half a college season while you’re training. Not to mention getting paid some nice cheddar along the way. 

    Then things really go bonkers as Gable starts showing up on WWE television with their NXT brand. Say what? So now the arguably most talented current American wrestler is starting his WWE career while teasing a return to college and being the current 125kg rep for Belgrade. 

    So what does it all mean? I don’t think anyone really knows what it means. I will say that what you saw on TV this week has nothing to do with what his immediate future holds. Gable was never going to announce on WWE TV that he was returning to college wrestling. What we do know is that he makes his debut in the squared circle this weekend. We also know that he will be in Belgrade in September. We don’t know if he will return to college, but he has nearly five months to make that decision anyway. We also don’t know how much allowance WWE will give him in these future endeavors? They’ve made quite an investment in him already, so I assume they don’t want him bouncing back and forth between worked wrestling and shoot wrestling for too long. 

    If you want to see Gable in the ring then watch the Great American Bash this weekend. If you want to see Gable on the mat then tune into Flo come September. Beyond that is anyone’s guess. My guess is that if he takes gold this year then he makes an Olympic run and walks away for good. I don’t see the college thing happening.

    What’s the best Jersey musician/Jersey wrestler comparison you can think of, and why? Kevin Claunch, Michigan Man 

    Burroughs is easily Springsteen. Both are not only the best to come out of the state but the best in the world at what they do for an extended period of time. Steve Mocco can be Frank Sinatra. The two Hudson County products are fascinating individuals and people tell stories about them that have become legend. Gene Mills can be Frankie Valli. 

    Who do you think were the most impressive wrestlers at Fargo and who were your breakout athletes? SAB 

    I admittedly didn’t follow Fargo like some others, but I enjoyed some of the big guys. Connor Mirasola, oh look, he’s going to Penn State. Glad they’re finally getting some great recruits. For the young guys, Dreshaun Ross is the next two-sport star from Iowa and Mocco Jr. (Michael) will be fun to follow. 

    Barbie or Oppenheimer? Mickadelphia 

    Haven’t seen either yet! I may go See Barbie this weekend if Lady Jagger wants to go. Just need to dye my jorts pink and I’m ready to go. Ok, let’s get into the baseball for a minute. 

    Daniel Vogelbach will need something to do during the Winter. How many matches would he win for Rutgers at heavyweight? Indiana Mat 

    Why would he need something to do during Winter? Because he won’t be in the playoffs? There are no playoffs during Winter. You blew your entire burn. Here’s a better question. Will you be alive when the Cubbies win their next title in 2124? 

    Should the Red Sox be buyers or sellers at the deadline? Mark Rhino 

    Eh, that’s a tough one. You’re a game and a half out of the wild card at press time, so you are absolutely in the hunt. But are you a championship team? Who exactly are you selling? You aren’t rebuilding right now to the point of tearing it down. Do you send a message to the spoiled Boston fans that you aren’t trying to win this year? They’d be throwing their Dalbec jerseys into the harbor! The toughest part of this time of year is being within range of a playoff spot yet knowing that you probably won’t make it and really not likely to win it all. But the Phillies proved last year that you just need to get in and anything can happen. My verdict: light buyers and heavy on infield defense practice because that team can’t catch. 

    Are you willing to adopt Cincinnati for the rest of the season since the Metropolitans are dead in the water? Jon Lareau 

    I don’t know. Maybe. Definitely, if they face any of the teams that I really don’t like. Tampa Bay has long been my fallback team, but not sure I like them much anymore. I could see myself backing Baltimore. Or I could just not watch the playoffs and go on with my life. I am happy that the Reds are back. America’s oldest team should be a top franchise. So should Baltimore. Let’s bring back the 70’s when these teams were juggernauts. 

    How are you staying cool through this heat wave? Fantasy College Wrestling

    By reading the FCW year in review of course! Or whatever you are calling it. If you’re jonesing for some college wrestling info, my man TD has you covered right here. I hope Earl tagged the link right there or I’m gonna look like a bozo. 

    As for the heat? I admit it’s been pretty bad lately. But when I’m out there sweating and ready to pass out, I just remember that I did four years of high school wrestling nearly 30 years ago. Everything else is gravy. Two years of middle school wrestling made JT Realmuto a great baseball player and it made Jagger great at drilling holes in stone when it’s triple-digit outs. Have a good weekend, all. I’ll be soaking in an ice barrel.

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