2022 has once again proven that Switchblade is one of the best wrestlers in the world at the moment. Just watching some of Jay White‘s best matches makes you see pro-wrestling in a whole different manner, and appreciate the art of being a heel in the modern day.
In his so far short career, he has become a two-time world champion in NJPW, main evented Wrestle Kingdom and become one of the world’s greatest wrestlers. Some of his bouts have become some of the most beloved in history and he continues to improve in the ring to this very day.
Jay White’s best matches against top stars like Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi show just how good he is, not being able just to hang with those stars but to make everything they do seem better and create magic when performing in the ring.
He has competed in every major promotion in the United States since his debut too. Matches in ROH, Impact and even AEW have made him one of the most intriguing stars in wrestling and Jay White is a key selling point of the AEW vs NJPW pay per view Forbidden Door.
In this article, we will go through the greatest Jay White matches of all time and dissect just what makes Switchblade one of the best wrestlers currently alive.
Jay White best matches
10. Jay White vs Tetsuya Naito – Wrestle Kingdom 14
In the first of two huge nights of wrestling, Wrestle Kingdom Day 1 saw Switchblade Jay White’s best matches list kick off with a huge fight against top star Tetsuya Naito.
Battling over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, the winner would go on to face the victor in a match between Kota Ibushi and Kazuchika Okada for both the Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Championships.
Despite putting on a fantastic showing, Jay White fell to Naito, who was in the process of finally being crowned the top star in NJPW. It was not the time for White to be named double champion but his stock would soon build and it would not be long until he would be named as one of the best wrestles in the world and a world champion in his own right.
9. Jay White vs Juice Robinson – G1 Special in San Francisco
Jay White was truly coming into his own in 2018 with his United States Championship reign after beating Kenny Omega for the belt. With every passing match, Jay White’s fights got better and he improved tenfold every time he stepped into the ring.
In the special in the US, he defended his title against New Japan fan-favourite Juice Robinson. Juice had long been close to winning singles gold, and fans were dying to see him defeat White for the title. It was a fantastic instance of a clear face vs a clear heel, with the roles more defined than had been seen for a long time.
Jay White was the most dastardly bad guy we’d seen so far in this match, even going so far to attack legendary commentator Jim Ross at ringside. Luckily karma exists in New Japan as Juice Robinson picked up the win in what we rank as Jay White’s ninth best match of his career.
8. Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada – Wrestle Kingdom 13
Kazuchika Okada had a tough year leading up to 2019, losing his way and his iconic gear after losing the IWGP Heavyweight title to Kenny Omega.
Jay White did his best to take advantage of this when the pair faced off at Wrestle Kingdom 13. White had faced a host of top talent after his return from excursion, but none more so than one of the best of all time in Kazuchika Okada.
Okada returned to his trademark shorts in this match, but this was not enough for him to lose in a shock victory to Jay White. While it was one of Jay White’s best matches, it does not touch the sides on being Okada’s best match and why it is only number 8 on this list.
7. Jay White vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – The New Beginning In Osaka 2019
The biggest shock in New Japan’s recent history came at New Beginning’s in Osaka 2019. Hiroshi Tanahashi had just defeated Kenny Omega to win his last IWGP Heavyweight Championship and looked to be on the way to another legendary title reign.
Meanwhile, Jay White was riding high off a shock win over Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom and had earned himself a match against Tanahashi. He had faced Tanahashi three times prior, with Tanahashi holding the lead with 2 victories to White’s 1.
Jay White used all his skills to antagonise Tanahashi to anger him and get him off his game. This plan worked as Jay White tied the scores at 2-2 by winning his first IWGP Heavyweight Championship in one of his top fights in his career.
6. Jay White vs. Kenny Omega – The New Beginning In Sapporo 2018
Despite only recently returning to NJPW from his excursion in the United States, Jay White came back to Japan and into some main event level matches almost immediately. He first took on Ace of the Universe Hiroshi Tanahashi in a losing effort, before moving on to the top Gaijin in Japan and leader of Bullet Club, Kenny Omega.
Kenny Omega was on the run of his life and putting on some of the best matches the world had ever seen. He did not seem to want to let up when he defended his IWGP United States Championship against Jay White in one of his best matches yet.
Omega had just put on a classic match with Chris Jericho, and nobody pegged him to lose to an up-and-comer like Jay White so soon after. However, White shocked the world and pinned Omega after a Blade Runner to win the championship and put away Omega, in the pairs only encounter in New Japan.
5. Jay White vs Will Ospreay – ROH/NJPW War of the Worlds
In a battle of the future stars, Jay White took on Will Ospreay in 2017 at the dual ROH/NJPW pay per view “War of the Worlds”.
The two future IWGP World Heavyweight Champions faced off in the blockbuster card. Will Ospreay was at the peak of his insane high flying while Jay White was the cunning and dishonest heel we all love to hate.
The match pace was incredible with neither men pausing for breath. The match barely lasted 13 minutes but was filled the brim with more action than some 30 minute classics. The two young stars put on one of their best matches yet and re-watching this back makes you yearn for a Wrestle Kingdom main event for these two in the coming years.
4. Jay White vs Kota Ibushi – G1 Climax 29
Ranked as Jay White’s best match by Cagematch.net, the G1 Climax 29 final match was an incredible fight between two greats of New Japan.
The winners of their respective blocks, Jay White and Kota Ibushi, faced off in the final of the tournament for a chance to main event the Tokyo Dome. It was a dream match for many and one that would main event Wrestle Kingdom just months later.
Although Jay White lost the IWGP Heavyweight Title just months prior, he looked every bit of a star in this match and proved that he could be a top star in the company. Jay White slowed the pace down while Ibushi exploded into every move, making a fantastic dynamic between the two which resulted in one of Jay White’s best matches so far.
Being the first match between the two, the atmosphere was electric. Fans didn’t know if they could ever top the bout, although they would later discover that were wrong about that in a huge way.
3. Jay White vs Kazuchika Okada – Dominion 2022
Jay White became a two-time world champion at NJPW Dominion 2022, when he defeated long-time hero of the Japanese fans Kazuchika Okada in a breath-taking bout.
The fight last 35 minutes but felt like it barely went 15. Both men wrestled at a fantastic pace, letting everything breath but with no down time to let the fans lose their concentration.
The pair traded incredible counters, reversals and huge moves to get the crowd shouting loudly (even though that was banned at the time due to the pandemic). They loved Okada and hated White, which the pair leaned into incredibly and made no mistake in letting everyone know who the good guy was in this fight.
In one of Jay White’s greatest matches, and coming up on the top 10 best Okada matches, Jay White managed to take multiple Rainmakers before hitting his signature Blade Runner move, and pinned Okada to win his second IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, just before he wrestled at AEW vs NJPW Forbidden Door.
2. Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii – G1 Climax 30
Just being pipped as the best match in Switchblade’s career so far is his outstanding bout against NJPW legend Tomohiro Ishii.
After being a whisker away from winning the year prior, Jay White had a point to prove when he entered the G1 Climax 30. However, what stood in the way was one of his most intimidating opponents in the Stone Pitbull Tomohiro Ishii.
The stakes were clear – If White defeated Ishii, he would win his block and qualify for the G1 Finals match, against old foe Kota Ibushi. The ball was in his court, but it would take something special to win this one.
Ishii surprised everyone by outlasting all the trickery and wearing down by White, using his size and strength as his advantage. Despite repeated interference by Gedo, Ishii put away Jay White in one of his best matches ever with a brainbuster to ruin any chance of an Ibushi vs White rematch.
1. Jay White vs Kota Ibushi – Wrestle Kingdom 15
The best bout in the career of Jay White so far is his showdown with Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 15. While some may see his G1 Climax fight with the Japanese star as the better of their canon of matches, I simply cannot look past the incredible performance he put on in the main event at the Tokyo Dome.
Jay White won the G1 Climax winners briefcase at NJPW Power Struggle 2019, taking away Ibushi’s chance to main event the Tokyo Dome and battle for the IWGP Heavyweight Championships. Luckily for Kota Ibushi, he won both the Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles from Tetsuya Naito on night one of Wrestle Kingdom, setting up an epic rematch against Switchblade in the main event of night two.
What followed was a 40+ minute masterclass in wrestling from two of the world’s best. The reduced, silent crowd due to the pandemic played into White’s hand, with every comment and obscenity being heard crystal clear, adding a new layer the match that had not been seen before.
It was Jay White’s best match not just because he brought everything he had to the table, but because the hero of the hour Kota Ibushi withstood everything he had and gave it back in spades. The Golden Star picked up the win after 48 incredible minutes to retain his titles and stand atop the NJPW mountain as double champion.