“Switchblade” Jay White is one of the most accomplished wrestlers on the NJPW roster today. His accolades become even more impressive when you take into consideration that he’s only 29 years old. Given his effortless charisma and his incredible in-ring talent, it’s no wonder that Jay White has become one of NJPW’s top stars.
Currently, Jay White is the leader of Bullet Club, one of New Japan’s most successful factions and arguably one of the most influential factions in wrestling history. His rise to the apex of the pro wrestling world happened rather quickly, and it can be hard to keep track of everything he accomplished. Here’s a list of 10 key moments and phases in Jay White’s career to help keep track of the Switchblade’s incredible run so far.
10 Dojo Days
Like many other NJPW wrestlers, Jay trained at the NJPW Dojo. Trainees at the dojo are referred to as Young Lions. On top of a rigorous training routine, they’re responsible for helping set up the ring before shows, helping the ref maintain order during matches, and doing laundry for NJPW wrestlers.
Jay White trained at the NJPW dojo alongside David Finlay, YOH, and his current Bullet Club teammates Juice Robinson and SHO. Their time in the dojo was foundational for all of their careers in NJPW.
9 Excursion In ROH
It’s standard practice for NJPW to send their Young Lions on international excursions to make them more well-rounded wrestlers. Jay White was sent to compete in Ring of Honor in the US. Being from New Zealand, Jay White was actually much farther from home during his time in ROH than he is during his time in Japan. While on his excursion in America, Jay White put on a lot of weight in preparation to move up from the junior heavyweight division and become a heavyweight competitor once he returned to NJPW.
8 The Switchblade Is Born
Typically, an excursion is a very formative time in a wrestler’s career. It’s the time when most New Japan wrestlers polish their in-ring skills and formulate their characters. Jay White was no exception to this. The Switchblade persona was thought up during Jay’s time in ROH and debuted when Jay returned to NJPW. The character is built around the idea that pro wrestling should cut out all of its fluff. This includes fancy, sparkly attire often seen in NJPW, along with flashy high-flying moves. Oftentimes, in Jay’s case, it would mean cutting out “unnecessary” friends as well.
7 Jay White In Chaos
Soon after returning to Japan, Jay White was invited to join Bullet Club by the leader at the time, Kenny Omega. Jay feigned as though he was going to accept the invitation, only to turn on Kenny Omega and completely embarrass him. Instead of Bullet Club, Jay joined Kazuchika Okada’s faction, Chaos.
6 IWGP United States Champion
Soon after embarrassing Kenny Omega by rejecting his invitation to join Bullet Club, Jay faced the Cleaner for his IWGP United States Championship, a newly introduced title still in its inaugural reign under Kenny. Jay White pulled off an incredible upset when he defeated Omega for the title and consequently won his first-ever championship belt.
5 Jay White Joins Bullet Club
What’s ironic is that Jay did end up joining Bullet Club, he just waited until Kenny Omega and the rest of the Elite left. He betrayed Kazuchika and the rest of Chaos, which by itself wouldn’t have been so shocking since Jay was kind of a jerk to his teammates during his entire tenure. What was more heartbreaking was the fact that Gedo, Okada’s former manager, also betrayed Chaos and joined Bullet Club to stay by Jay’s side.
4 IWGP Heavyweight Champion
Jay White shocked the world when he defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, one of the most prestigious titles in the history of professional wrestling. This title reign cemented Jay White as not only one of the most talented wrestlers in NJPW but also one of the company’s top stars.
3 IWGP Intercontinental Champion
One of Jay White’s biggest rivals in NJPW is Tetsuya Naito, leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon. The two of them have an interesting dynamic, to say the least. Both of them have a love for mind games and always try to outdo each other, not just in the ring, but psychologically speaking as well.
Jay White got the best of Naito on September 22, 2018, when he defeated his rival to become IWGP Intercontinental Champion. This wasn’t the end of things for Jay and Naito, however, but rather the beginning of a long-term rivalry.
2 NEVER Openweight Champion
The NEVER Openweight Championship has a reputation for being the center of strong style brawls. It’s been held by some of the toughest men that NJPW has ever seen, including Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, Minoru Suzuki, and Katsuyori Shibata.
At Wrestling Dontaku 2021, Jay White became NEVER Openweight Champion. With this victory, Jay White became the first-ever NJPW Grand Slam Champion. Only one other person has done this since; that wrestler is none other than the Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi
1 The Catalyst Of Professional Wrestling
Presently, Jay White is at the forefront of the Forbidden Door. His unique position as a top star of NJPW and the leader of Bullet Club, combined with the fact that he currently resides in the US, makes him an ideal representative of New Japan for fans of AEW and IMPACT. So far, he’s made a few appearances on AEW television and numerous appearances on IMPACT. The sky is truly the limit for the Switchblade; he’s young, incredibly athletic, and is one of the best storytellers in wrestling today. Only time will tell exactly where his career will take him.