Jay White says he’s trying to save New Japan Pro-Wrestling from Kazuchika Okada.
At NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17, White will defend the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Okada, a six-time world champion who is widely viewed as one of the faces of the company. White previously beat Okada to win the gold at NJPW Dominion on June 12, 2022.
In an interview with NJPW’s website, White looked back on his past with Okada, as the interviewer noted that they have been connected since White joined CHAOS in 2018. “Switchblade” noted that, regarding their feud, everything turned out just the way he said it would.
“I think it’s beautiful. Like you said, on day three after my first match back I joined CHAOS, and you should go and look at some of the things I said that day,” White said. “Look at how everything turned out. Didn’t they go exactly as I said they would?”
White went on to describe how Okada wants to take the title back from him and reestablish himself as the face of NJPW, but he won’t let that happen. The champion stated that he won’t allow Okada to win and drag the company backwards.
“I sat there and I said I would be coming for him, and I did. I came from him and took everything from him,” he said. “Now he wants to try and turn the tables, take everything back from me, but I’m not going to let him. I won’t let him drag NJPW backwards- that’s what an NJPW led by Okada is. He hasn’t led NJPW, only held it back.”
“Switchblade” then detailed how he believes Okada has been unfairly portrayed as a hero throughout the COVOD-19 pandemic, as he didn’t defend the title shot he gained by winning the G1 Climax. White noted that Okada drove JONAH out of NJPW and cost the company a big star in the process.
“During the whole pandemic they tried to paint him like that, but he doesn’t even have the balls, the integrity, the courage to defend his right to challenge me from the G1,” White said. “All of a sudden, for the first time in a decade, Okada decides that he doesn’t want to defend his right to challenge. And look what happened? JONAH isn’t here anymore. Okada and NJPW drove away a tremendous star in JONAH because they were so concerned with making everything easy for Okada.
“New Japan has to protect him at all corners. This is what I’ve been trying to say, and nobody listens. Just like two years ago when I said nobody wanted the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships unified. I was right then and I’m right now.”
When asked whether he feels that Okada leading NJPW is “damaging”, White emphasized that he is trying to save the company from the former champion. He claimed that Okada is the villain in this story. He then made it clear that his vision for NJPW is quite different than what the company had been under Okada.
“Listen, I am trying to save NJPW from Okada, for all of us,” White said. “New Japan will paint him as the hero all they want, but trust me- he is the villain here. I am the hero. You’ve seen what a New Japan led by Okada would be. It would be other wrestlers coming to New Japan, facing Okada in no stakes matches like I said, with a crowd quietly clapping along. What Okada wants is a New Japan where nobody speaks up, nobody speaks their mind, and nobody questions anything. That’s what I want to save us all from.”
WrestleZone will have coverage of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4.
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