This time last month Jay White was getting ready to headline Madison Square Garden, defending his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against the New Japan Cup winner, Kazuchika Okada.
Fast forward one short month, ‘Switchblade’ has lost his big, shiny, new title and seems to have had the metaphorical rug cut from under him. When White captured the title in a shock win against Tanahashi, back on the 11th of February at NJPW New Beginning, it seemed to be the start of a meteoric push that, almost, came from nowhere. After winning the US Title and having an underwhelming reign in terms of booking, but excellent in-ring work, the wrestling world was shocked.
I, for one, was delighted. I am a huge fan of Jay White’s work. He’s fantastic in the ring, and oozes charisma in a company that is already stacked in that regard. Yet he manages to stand out. So whilst I am partial to the work of The Rainmaker- I was disappointed when he lost at MSG. So…what’s next for the young New Zealander?
The simple answer is; a lot. Aged only 26 he still has at least a decade left within the wrestling business in terms of an in-ring competitor, and has already done so much inside the squared circle. The fact he is already, now, a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and United States Champion speaks volumes about what the booking team of New Japan think of him. And the fact he was trusted to main-event one of the biggest joint shows in New Japan and Ring of Honor history certainly helps matters. However, the main focus now should be what he’s in charge of. Namely, Bullet Club.
Despite losing all members of The Elite during the last few months of 2018 and early 2019, Bullet Club has had a revival of their original motto in a way; upstart gaijins who mess about, cause trouble and generally cheat to win which angers the crowd. And Jay White is the main aspect of that new style. Whilst he has the OG’s of Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale and Tanga Loa by his side White is, and rightly so, the main aspect of the group. White has attracted a new fanbase towards the Japanese promotion that he has cultivated from his time away over the past few years.
Tama Tonga has made no bones about it. Switchblade Jay White IS the future of New Japan Pro Wrestling. And as long as he has his Bullet Club boys by his side. The future of wrestling as a whole, and not just Japan, may have some Switchblade influence.
You can find me on Twitter @mciverthemark. Thanks for reading.