I was a huge Kenny Omega fan. Especially once he came to Bullet Club as “The Cleaner.” He was cool, he was bad ass, he was cocky, he was arrogant, and my god can he wrestle! He and The Young Bucks started calling themselves “The Elite” and I was on board with that too. At times they were a little silly, a little goofy, but to me it was just their arrogance. They were so good that they could act like idiots and still win championships with relative ease. I just decided to forget about Kenny wrestling a blowup doll, and a little girl. This was New Japan that was some other stupid company…so what? Then little by little I started to learn that I shouldn’t have dismissed that stuff. From his comedy matches with Yano (one during the G1 tournament no less!) to dressing up like a Disney Princess and kissing his tag partner Marty Scurll (yeah, yeah, I know it was Halloween) Kenny started showing me that silliness and over the top comedy was something he is still very willing, and perhaps even exited, to do. I once discussed this with him on Twitter and Omega told me flat out that he has never, and shall never “forsake” any style of wrestling, confirming to me that goofiness and silliness is still something that’s a big part of what he does. There is no doubt that he’s one of the best bell to bell “wrestlers” in the world, but for this journalist/wrestling snob, his desire and passion to clown way too much keeps me from keeping him at the top of my favorite wrestlers list. I don’t hate Kenny Omega, but he disappoints, and sometimes frustrates me.
Enter Jay White…his look and style instantly reminded me of Omega but that’s not to say he’s a Kenny Omega rip off. Not at all. Jay White simply has phenomenal wrestling skills, and a look that reminds you of Omega’s. I do not believe that Jay was even inspired by Omega (I could be wrong, I’ve never asked him) I just think he is who he is, and the comparisons to Omega are just that. What I like about White more is that he doesn’t have the goofy past, and so far has shown no signs of wanting to be a comedy/silly worker in or out of the ring at all. The Omega comparisons have increased since New Japan revealed that he was the wrestler behind the “Switchblade” gimmick, likely because White’s hair was wet down, and he wore a leather jacket.
White is only 25 years old and went through the NJPW Young Lion Dojo program which many agree is the best and most difficult training in all of professional wrestling. White came to the Young Lion program after teaming with Prince Devitt in a match. Devitt told White to keep in touch, and shortly after White was contacted by Bad Luck Fale due to Devitt’s recommendation, and was invited to join the Young Lion Program. White was a standout in his class, and after completing the program went on “excursion”(NJPW send their Young Lions to other countries after graduation to gain even more experience) to Ring of Honor where he went undefeated for quite some time. White also worked for the U.K. standout promotion “Revolution Pro Wrestling” where he was also a top star, as well as Pro Wrestling Gruella where he got experience working a heel that will likely help him in his “Switchblade” gimmick in New Japan.
What this writer hopes to see from “Switchblade” Jay White is what I’ve always wanted to see from Kenny Omega. That is a serious, hard hitting, no nonsense, wrestler that is out to get to the top of the business. When New Japan brought White back from excursion with the Switchblade gimmick that they teased for weeks before the reveal, and then had him challenge, and attack, the “Ace” of their company Hiroshi Tanahashi, the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, I got very excited. For a returning Young Lion to come back to the company and receive a title match on Wrestle Kingdom (New Japan’s biggest show of the year) is a sign that the company sees White as a very big deal. It’s a good sign that everyone needs to pay attention to this kid, Switchblade Jay White. Oh, and remember who told you to get on his bandwagon when he was just a “Young Lion”….Wrestling Done Right!