Jay White: “I Didn’t Even Know What A Young Lion Was”

"Switchblade" Jay White
"Switchblade" Jay White

“Switchblade” Jay White has a chance to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship next month. White will challenge Hiroshi Tanahashi for the title at the New Beginning in Osaka on February 11th. He recently took part in an interview with Chris Jericho on “Talk is Jericho.”

On the show, White talked about how in 2014 when he was recruited to NJPW by Fergal Devitt and Bad Luck Fale, he wasn’t that familiar with the promotion.

“Looking back, I really should have looked into the workings of New Japan,” White said on the show. “I was more trying technically wrestling wise trying to be as good as I can. I had no knowledge of the background of the company really.”

White would continue to say that once he met Devitt and Fale, he began watching their matches more.

“I didn’t know what a young lion or young boy was,” White continued. “I really had no information on what I was coming over to do, am I training? Am I Wrestling? Are we getting paid? I had no idea.”

Despite not knowing what he was in for, White thrived in the dojo system. After spending 2015 as a young lion, White was sent on an excursion to Ring of Honor in 2016. He returned at Power Struggle that November, challenging Tanahashi to a match at the Tokyo Dome. Tanahashi got the win that night. White then avenged the loss in the G1 last summer, however. The rubber match was won by Tanahashi at King of Pro Wrestling.

With White now the official leader of Bullet Club, he has a chance to bring the IWGP Heavyweight Championship back to the faction if he can beat Tanahashi in their 4th ever meeting on February 11th.

NJPW Upcoming Matches

New Beginning in Sapporo Night 1
2/2/19
Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
Hokkai Kitayell

  1. Ren Narita vs. Yuya Uemura
  2. Toa Henare & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida
  3. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask  vs. Taka Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka (Suzuki-Gun)
  4. Ryusuke Taguchi, YOSHI-HASHI, Togi Makabe, Toru Yano & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori (Bullet Club)
  5. Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI (LIJ) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & Taichi (Suzuki-Gun)
  6. SANADA (LIJ) vs. Minoru Suzuki.(Suzuki-Gun)
  7. Zack Sabre Jr (Suzuki-Gun) vs. EVIL (LIJ)
  8. Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White & Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club)

New Beginning in Sapporo Night 2
2/3/19
Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center
Hokkai Kitayell

  1. Toa Henare vs. Yota Tsuji
  2. Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask vs. Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino
  3. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ren Narita vs. Taka Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka (Suzuki-Gun)
  4. Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, Toru Yano & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori (Bullet Club)
  5. Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White, Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club)
  6. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
    Shingo Takagi & BUSHI (c) (LIJ) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado (Suzuki-Gun)
  7. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
    SANADA & EVIL (c) (LIJ) vs. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr (Suzuki-Gun)
  8. IWGP Intercontinental Championship
    Tetsuya Naito (c) (LIJ) vs. Taichi (Suzuki-Gun)

New Beginning In Osaka
2/11/19
Osaka Prefectural Gym
Osaka, Japan

  1. Jushin Liger, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka (Suzuki-Gun)
  2. SANADA & EVIL (LIJ) vs. Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida.
  3. Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI (LIJ) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & Taichi (Suzuki-Gun)
  4. YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma vs. Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club)
  5. Toru Yano & Togi Makabe vs. Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (Bullet Club)
  6. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
    Taiji Ishimori (c) (Bullet Club) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi.
  7. Kazuchika Okada vs. Bad Luck Fale
  8. IWGP Heavyweight Championship
    Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Jay White