Backstage Update On When and Why Jay White Decided To Join AEW

Jay White with the IWGP World Heavyweight Title

On the April 5th episode of AEW Dynamite, Jay White ran down the ramp just seconds into the show, putting an end to speculation about his future.

The show had been due to open with a match between Ricky Starks and Juice Robinson. However, just as Starks was getting to the ring, Jay White’s music hit and he attacked Starks before hugging Robinson.

Shortly after the shock appearance, Tony Khan announced that White had now signed with the company.

The signing caught many by surprise as White had been heavily linked with a move to the sports entertainment giant. It had been reported that the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion had been negotiating with both WWE and AEW, with the former increasingly confident of securing the deal. However, talk of White heading to WWE cooled significantly in recent days with a report stating that there was “no mention” of him internally over WrestleMania weekend.

Did Vince McMahon’s Return Impact Deal For Jay White?

A new report from Fightful Select has now attempted to shed some more light on when and how the deal to take Switchblade to AEW was done. Fightful note that WWE was aware before WrestleMania that White wouldn’t be coming in, despite initially being confident of securing his signature.

William Regal and Triple H were both said to have shown an interest but one WWE higher-up stated that the company “failed to communicate properly along the process.” They added that White joining AEW could have been impacted by Vince McMahon’s return and a lack of recent main roster hires.

At one stage, tentative creative plans were drawn up for White, and as recently as a week ago, some within the company believed he would still sign.