On January 4th in the main event of NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 17 event in the Tokyo Dome, Jay White lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship to Kazuchika Okada, leading to an enraged White calling former Bullet Club member Hikuleo for betraying him. The following day, White would savagely attack Hikuleo, challenging him to a “Loser Leaves Japan” match, prompting speculation regarding both of their futures with the company.
Fightful Select have now provided an update on ‘Switchblade’ Jay White’s NJPW status, revealing that his contract is believed to be up soon and that WWE & AEW are both interested, although WWE are said to be confident they can secure his signature.
“Fightful Select has learned that Switchblade Jay White’s contract is up relatively soon, and is expected to leave New Japan Pro Wrestling, per those in the company. Those that we’ve spoken to believe both WWE and All Elite Wrestling are interested in getting the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, however, WWE sources seemed confident they would land him.”-Fightful
Fightful clarified within their report that this is far from official as of yet, as neither company are able to reach out to White until his deal is up, and until then, there is always the possibility that he re-signs with New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The aforementioned “Loser Leaves Japan” match is scheduled to take place in Osaka on February 11th. White’s opponent, Hikuleo, is also believed to be on WWE’s radar, thus putting the result of the match in doubt. Per Fightful’s report, those on the NJPW roster believe that White desires to remain in the United States for the time being.
White has previously confirmed that WWE were heavily interested in signing him in 2021, whilst he also noted that AEW have never approached him regarding signing with the company full-time, although he did admit that he’s enjoyed working with them thus far.
It was reported several years back that White’s latest NJPW contract is set to keep him with the company until 2025, and that AEW had interest in bringing him in permanently, however, White has since clarified that this is not the case, stating that “them approaching me and some contract I was on, both things 100% false.”
Fightful closed their report by noting that they have reached out to both NJPW and White himself to comment on the matter, although they have yet to hear back from either side.
White is undoubtedly one of the most talented performers of the modern era and thus should he depart NJPW, it would be a major coup for whichever company he lands in. As always, we’ll aim to provide any further updates on Jay White’s contract status as soon as we hear more.