What's next for Jay White?
After Wrestle Kingdom, Jay White is believed to be the next contender for IWGP Heavyweight title. Can he defeat Tanahashi and what does future hold for Switchblade?
Jay White made a big statement at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Beating Okada (who returned to the "Rainmaker" gimmick) in Tokyo Dome is definitely the biggest success of his career. Well, at least so far, because we already know that Switchblade will face Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight championship. White had an amazing 2018 and I got a feeling that 2019 could be even better.
His return at 2017's Power Struggle was heavily promoted, and, despite his mediocre match against Tanahashi at WK 12, White quickly took the IWGP US title from Kenny Omega and became one of the most important gaijins in New Japan. Of course NJ had bigger plans for Omega than just holding the US title, but still - beating the Cleaner three months after coming back to Japan was a big signal.
New Japan believed in White since the beginning of his excursion comeback. And, most importantly, there's not a sign of them changing their mind - they really think that White is the next big thing for the federation. And now, with Omega's very possible departure from NJ and the rest of the Elite leaving, they desperately need new gaijin talents that can be at the very least in upper mid-card.
When we're looking at the other non-Japanese wrestlers: Robinson, Beretta, even Ospreay - we don't see anyone who would be a legitimate contender for the main title. Sure, both Robinson and Ospreay are mid-card champions (and Beretta will take on Juice for his US title), but can they jump higher, straight to the main events? And, on the other hand, we have a guy that was very high in the last two WK's card.
I know it might be a bold statement, but I really think that Jay White is going to be this year's G1 Climax winner. At this very moment, we don't have anyone that is booked so well and promoted so much, we simply don't have any other option right now.
He won't become IWGP Heavyweight champion in Osaka and in my opinion, he will be crowned in 2020. Wrestle Kingdom 14? Very possible, especially with Tanahashi breaking the "G1 winner's curse" this year and defeating the reigning champion at WK.
Let's take a look at Kenny Omega, who is probably the best comparison to White. He won the title in 2018, almost two years after his G1 victory. Gedo won't make any quick decisions and with Climax being the most prestigious tournaments in pro wrestling, Switchblade doesn't need the title in this year. Well, maybe it would make sense, but... it's not NJ's style of booking.
So - what's next for Jay White? IWGP Heavyweight Championship is the distant future, and G1 is much, much more realistic Let me tell you more - I'd bet my money on Switchblade main eventing the next Wrestle Kingdom as the Climax winner.
He won't beat Tanahashi at New Beginning and I don't think he'll get a title shot on Dominion. Scenario for 2019 is pretty simple - big match, maybe even rematch with Okada in June, and then G1 victory in August. January and boom! - third WK in a row, this time finally main eventing. Who is going to be his rival? I'll try to answer this question soon!