With multiple companies showing interest in both Jay White and Hikuleo, the pair fought in a ‘Loser Leaves Japan’ match at NJPW New Beginning in Osaka.
The animosity between the two goes back to September 2022 when the Young Gun refused to join White in attacking his brother, Tama Tonga, and instead left Bullet club for his family in Guerillas of Destiny.
At Wrestle Kingdom 17, White defended the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Kazuchika Okada in the main event. Despite his best efforts, The Switchblade could not overcome The Rainmaker and left the Tokyo Dome in defeat.
White later laid the blame for the loss at the feet of Hikuleo, claiming he was the “first domino to fall” in an otherwise dominant year for the Catalyst of Professional Wrestling.
At New Year Dash, White teamed with KENTA, Taiji Ishimori and El Phantasmo to take on Hikuleo, Tama Tonga, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Master Wato.
After losing the multi-person tag match by disqualification, the Bullet Club team continued to assault their opponents, with White focusing his attack on Hikuleo. It was then that the Switchblade vowed to take everything from Hikuleo and challenged him to the ‘Loser Leaves Japan’ match.
With WWE and AEW having shown an interest in both men in recent months, all eyes were on this match at New Beginning and the effect it could have on the future of New Japan.
Who won the ‘Loser Leaves Japan’ match between Jay White and Hikuleo?
The match itself saw Hikuleo use his strength advantage to take control in the early going, throwing White around the ring before things spilled outside where he sent him flying over a barricade into the crowd.
White was able to rally, and rammed the bigger man’s head into the ring apron before tackling him onto a barricade. Back in the ring, White taunted Hikuleo with the Two Sweet gesture but it backfired when he was on the receiving end of massive strikes.
White was able to kick out of a big Powerslam and escaped a Chokeslam before tackling the Young Gun’s knee. He then hit a Complete Shot and Blade Buster but only for a one-count. White relentlessly targeted the knees to keep the big man down and rammed his head repeatedly into the turnbuckle pad.
While the referee was distracted, the Catalyst grabbed a chair and assaulted Hikuleo with it before hitting a huge Kiwi Crusher for a long two-count. White then hit a barrage of hard chops that only enraged Hikuleo who came back with strikes of his own, eventually taking the Switchblade down.
Hikuleo built up more momentum but was put down with a Blade Runner when he tried a Scoop Powerslam. White attempted a second but was met with a huge Powerbomb for a two-count. Hikuleo then picked White up for a Chokeslam, but first he granted a Too Sweet to his former leader before sealing the deal and ending White’s career in Japan.
While Jay White now has to leave Japan, he doesn’t necessarily need to leave New Japan itself. Although it would be difficult to stay in a promotion based in a country he can’t compete in.
On his way out, White gave a fist bump to his longtime rival Hiroshi Tanahashi before leaving with Gedo via the main ramp.