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Amid Jay White Free-Agent Rumors, Is It Better to Sign With WWE or AEW Right Now?

Erik BeastonJanuary 11, 2023

There is heavy interest in New Japan star Jay White, whose contract is up soon.
There is heavy interest in New Japan star Jay White, whose contract is up soon.Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Former IWGP world heavyweight champion "Switchblade" Jay White's contract with New Japan Pro-Wrestling runs out "relatively soon" and he is believed to be heading stateside, according to a report by Fightful Select's Sean Ross Sapp.

There is said to be strong interest in the Bullet Club leader from both WWE and All Elite Wrestling, with the 30-year-old previously confirming the former in a 2021 interview with Sapp.

White is an immensely talented in-ring competitor whose presence would help both of the United States' major wrestling promotions. Taking into consideration the current landscape of the industry, though, which option best suits him at this point in time?


The Case For and Against WWE

White is an international attraction, and WWE needs all of the star power it can get right now.

With injuries plaguing some top names and the daily grind of building from within, someone like the NJPW star bolstering the Raw, SmackDown or NXT roster would be a godsend.

That White is the current Bullet Club leader and WWE is home to several high-profile members of the NJPW roster means the company even has ready-made storylines available while easing Switchblade onto its TV.

Programs with AJ Styles upon his return from a broken ankle, The O.C.'s Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, and Finn Bรกlor could keep the New Zealander busy while Triple H and WWE Creative figure out where it wants to go with the star.

Switchblade Jay White @JayWhiteNZ

I am the Prize.<br>A modern day Johnny Dillinger.<br>The Apple of their eyes.<br>-<br> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SwitchbladeEra?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SwitchbladeEra</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Catalyst?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Catalyst</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JAY1?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JAY1</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ToJAYshow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ToJAYshow</a>๐Ÿ“บ๐Ÿ—ก<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/%E3%82%B8%E3%82%A7%E3%82%A4%E3%83%9B%E3%83%AF%E3%82%A4%E3%83%88?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ใ‚ธใ‚งใ‚คใƒ›ใƒฏใ‚คใƒˆ</a><br>-<br>๐Ÿ“ท - <a href="https://twitter.com/siroiro19?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@siroiro19</a> <a href="https://t.co/TMDZzOtrnr">pic.twitter.com/TMDZzOtrnr</a>

White has proved himself in the ring against top stars from around the world, including Kazuchika Okada, Adam Cole, "Hangman" Adam Page, Kenny Omega and Hiroshi Tanahashi, so there's no reason to believe he could not have the same level of success against stars such as Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes and even Roman Reigns.

He would have those matches on the biggest stages, in the most prestigious settings, and also the opportunity to build his legacy as one of the best of his generation.

The problem is the uncertainty surrounding WWE right now, with Vince McMahon returning to the company to perpetrate a sale, according to Lauren Thomas of The Wall Street Journal.

Until the future of the company is known and understood, it would be difficult to imagine anyone investing their future there.


Why AEW Makes Most Sense

Yes, AEW has its own issues, most notably a bloated roster of talent that already is not used to its fullest potential. Stars are left on the sidelines or as an afterthought on YouTube shows such as Dark and Dark Elevation.

With that said, there is at least stability in AEW. Wrestlers know who owns the company and what its immediate future looks like. They know that a fan, who genuinely cares about his talent, is at the helm and will at least do what he can to do right by them.

Perhaps more importantly, Khan and AEW have exhibited a certain reverence for New Japan Pro-Wrestling that WWE has not. Stars who have come to the promotion from that company have been treated like the big deals they are.

B/R Wrestling @BRWrestling

JAY WHITE in <a href="https://twitter.com/AEW?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AEW</a> <br><br>Forbidden Door is open. <a href="https://t.co/tErAceDcCO">pic.twitter.com/tErAceDcCO</a>

That the AEW executive vice presidents of the company have spent huge chunks of time in Japan and respect the culture and history of NJPW would mean White would be treated as a top-tier talent right away and be embraced by the smart fanbase, too.

His in-ring style would fit either promotion, but we know Switchblade could have bangers with just about anyone on the AEW roster at any time.

Again, there is always the risk that he will be lost in the shuffle, forced to take a backseat to other stars who have Khan's attention at that time, but White is a big enough star in NJPW right now that it would be hard to shuffle him into the background for any reason.

WWE could use him most, and there would be more potential for career growth, but considering everything is (or is not) happening there right now, AEW is the safest and most logical choice for Switchblade.


White will next appear at NJPW New Year Dash on Thursday, when he will battle Hikuleo in a Loser Leaves Japan match, which only intensifies rumors of his departure.