Jay White recently made his AEW debut, siding with Adam and The Elite. He attacked the Best Friends, and defeated Trent Baretta on AEW Rampage in his AEW match ever.
Switchblade is a huge star in Japan, but may be unfamiliar to fans of pro wrestling in the UK or the United States. So who is Jay White?
In this article, we’ll talk you through who is Jay White. We’ll analyse his career, from his early beginnings in the UK to his rise to superstardom in New Japan, and all the way up to his long awaited AEW debut. There are big things in store for Switchblade in AEW, and it all started when a fan from New Zealand got a shot at the NJPW Dojo.
Who is Jay White?
Beginnings in New Japan
Jay White is a New Zealand Professional wrestler who recently made his AEW debut. He appeared for the first time in AEW on the 9th of February 2022 edition of AEW Dynamite. On the show he aligned himself with Adam Cole and the rest of The Elite.
Jay White is 29 years of age, and is a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion. He is one of eight Gaijin (Non-Japanese) wrestlers to win the famous Championship, and the first Kiwi World Champion is history. He won the Championship aged just 27, defeating Japanese legend Hiroshi Tanahashi for the Championship in 2019.
Jay White was brought in to NJPW as a “Young Lion”, or trainee, in 2016. He was discovered by Prince Devitt (WWE’s Finn Balor), when he and fellow New Zealander Bad Luck Fale helped him get an offer with NJPW and sort out issues with his visa. To this day the Jay White Finn Balor relationship remains strong, with both men being leaders of Bullet Club.
He started out in New Japan, as Young Lions do, by losing most of his matches. However, he soon started to pick up wins, including against Bullet Club leader and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Kenny Omega. This was his biggest victory to date and a sign of things yet come for the young Jay White.
However, he soon went out on excursion from Japan, to ply his trade in the United States with Ring of Honor. Young Lions in Japan, after training at the New Japan Dojo, often get sent around the world to improve their wrestling skills and more importantly, to help develop their characters.
Jay White in Ring of Honor
In Ring of Honor, Jay White found his personality and developed what would become the “Switchblade” gimmick. He teamed with Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin (also known as the Motor City Machine Guns” in a stable named “Search and Destroy”. During this time he developed his character of the brutal yet intelligent man known as Switchblade. It went a long way to explain to the audience just who is Jay White.
They defeated some top stars in ROH like Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, whilst White also went to a time-limit draw with ROH Hall of Famer Jay Briscoe.
His biggest moment in ROH came against then-ROH Champion Christopher Daniels. White won a battle royal to a shot at the Ring of Honor championship, which was held by AEW’s Christopher Daniels. However, White was unsuccessful, and his run with ROH would end after a year when he returned to NJPW as “Switchblade” Jay White.
Return to NJPW
Jay White returned to NJPW after months of vignettes hyping the mysterious “Switchblade”. He eventually returned to Japan by attacking IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, challenging him for a match at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
Tanahashi would defeat the young star, but his stock was on the rise and on the radar of all the fans of New Japan. White had offers to join the Bullet Club from Kenny Omega, but instead attacked the Canadian, joining CHAOS instead.
On the 28th January 2018, at New Beginning in Sapporo, White defeated Omega to become the second ever IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion in the title’s history. He would later go on to defend the title against another future AEW Champion, defeated Adam Page at NJPW Strong Style Evolved Event in Long Beach, California. He eventually lost the Championship to Juice Robinson before moving up the card.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion
At Wrestle Kingdom 13, Jay White picked up a huge victory against former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. Okada is one of the greatest Japanese wrestlers of all time, and a victory over him could make any wrestler a made man overnight. Who is Jay White was truly answered that night, as the dark genius who toppled Okada.
However, Jay White did not stop there. At The New Beginning at Osaka, he defeated IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi to win his first, and so far only, World Championship in NJPW. At just 27 years old, he was one of the youngest winners of the belts and was the first New Zealander to hold the coveted Championship.
He would lose the title just 54 days later to old foe Kazuchika Okada, at the G1 Supercard on April 6th. He didn’t manage any defences of the Championship, but put himself on a short list of winners of the illustrious championship.
Jay White had some more blockbuster matches in NJPW since then, but none more so than against Kota Ibushi. He faced Ibushi on Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 15, with the pair main event the Tokyo Dome in a match for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. The match went nearly 50 minutes and was voted one of the greatest Wrestle Kingdom matches of all time.
Kota Ibushi would beat Jay White, and it would be the last big match he had in NJPW due to the pandemic. He was stuck in the US since then, performing on New Japan Strong and also making occasional appearances on IMPACT Wrestling.
Jay White in AEW
Jay White made his AEW debut on the 9th of February 2022, on an episode of AEW Dynamite. He first appeared when The Elite attacked Trent Baretta and Rocky Romero during a backstage interview. The Bucks were beating the pair down, before Switchblade revealed himself and seemingly aligned himself with The Elite.
There are a number of dream matches for Jay White in AEW. A rematch against Kenny Omega when the former AEW Champion returns from injury seems top of the list, as well as matches against Bryan Danielson, Adam Page and CM Punk.
Well, I hope that covers the question “who is Jay White”. The Bullet Club leader is looking to make a splash in AEW and doesn’t care who he pisses off to do it. Click below to read more or comment what you think about Switchblade Jay White.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.