Tony Khan and AEW had their eye on former World Champion long before promotion’s debut

Tony Khan’s promotion AEW was reportedly interested in signing a former World Champion even before the company came into existence.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Tony Khan’s promotion was interested in signing the current New Japan Pro Wrestling star Jay White in 2018.

White’s current contract with NJPW is reportedly set to expire and there are already reports of him being linked to a potential move outside of Japan. Interestingly, the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion is set to compete in a ‘Loser Leaves Japan’ Match in February.

“Fightful reported that Jay White’s contract is coming due and that both AEW and WWE are interested in him. White currently lives in Orlando. He has a loser leaves town match with Hikuleo set for the 2/11 show in Osaka.” said Dave Meltzer.

Meltzer explained how there were talks about signing The Switchblade in 2018 while AEW was being formed.

“In 2018, when AEW was being formed, White was asked his contract status since he was a guy that there was interest in, since he was very good and people in AEW worked with him in New Japan and ROH. At the time White said he was under contract for seven more years. Obviously, that time frame doesn’t add up if he’s available now. The story reported that WWE was the favorite to get him but it wasn’t a done deal, and technically neither side are as of yet unable to legally approach him.” said Dave Meltzer (H/T: ITR Wrestling)

Could Jay White leave NJPW in 2023 and sign with Tony Khan’s promotion AEW?

Jay White recently lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship to Kazuchika Okada in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 17. This was White’s first reign with the title, which he successfully defended at the AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door show.

In the aftermath of the grand show at the Tokyo Dome, White competed at the NJPW New Year’s Dash in a multi-man tag team match. Post-match, the leader of the Bullet Club attacked Hikuelo for betraying him and the Club before challenging him to a ‘Loser Leaves Japan’ Match.

White has already appeared on AEW, where he shared the screen with The Young Bucks and former Bullet Club member Adam Cole. Switchblade could potentially leave NJPW and the Bullet Club to sign a US-based promotion that could very well turn out to be Tony Khan’s Jacksonville-based company.

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Edited by Gurjyot Singh Dadial

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