Jay White is All Elite after officially joining AEW.
The former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion received the special Tony Khan welcome after making his surprise debut on the April 5th edition of Dynamite.
White made a surprise appearance at the UBS Arena in New York. During Ricky Starks’ entrance to the ring, White joined Juice Robinson in attacking him before taking Starks out with his signature move, the Bladerunner. The move to AEW comes after months of speculation regarding his future.
After losing a Loser Leaves Japan to his former Bullet Club stablemate, Hikuleo at NJPW The New Beginning In Osaka 2023 speculation surrounding his future was rife. Then at NJPW Battle In The Valley, he lost a Loser Leaves NJPW to Eddie Kingston and it was clear he was Connecticut or Jacksonville bound.
Both companies reportedly had an interest in signing White. At one point it looked like the sports entertainment-focused promotion might be his next wrestling destination due to the NJPW situation and the fact he is unable to wrestle for the promotion. However, the Switchblade chose to go All Elite Wrestling despite their working relationship with the Japanese promotion.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer confirmed White did indeed have a choice between the two promotions before choosing to become All Elite:
“I’m surprised because if he’s with AEW, he could go back to New Japan in theory, but he lost those matches that said he couldn’t. WWE was after him. It was his choice between the two sides, and this was the side he chose.
It’s a feather in the cap of AEW and Tony Khan – he got the guy. That’s a good thing for AEW, now they have to use him the right way.”
Jay White Has Previously Appeared For AEW
During the run-up to the inter-promotional pay-per-view Forbidden Door, White appeared several times on Dynamite and Rampage. His first appearance occurred on Dynamite when he assisted Adam Cole and The Young Bucks beat down Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero.
While then interrupted Khan and NJPW President Takami Ohbari’s announcement of Forbidden Door, claiming the event would be all about The Undisputed Elite and the Bullet Club. Following the confirmation of the show, it was declared White would defend the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Cole, Adam Hangman Page and Kazuchika Okada.