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Breathing in the Cutthroat Era…
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Jay White (born 9 October 1992) is a New Zealand professional wrestler, currently signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), with occasional appearances with Ring of Honor (ROH) and Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro/RPW).

White first traveled to England to start his training to become a professional wrestler, coming under the tutelage of The UK Kid and making his debut for Kid's promotion Varsity Pro Wrestling in February 2013. He would make his way through the British independent circuit for companies such as VPW and All Star Wrestling, before a tag team match in 2014 saw him paired up with Prince Devitt, who was so impressed with him that he put in a word for him with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, beginning a turn of events where Devitt, Bad Luck Fale, and Shinsuke Nakamura would all facilitate White being brought into the NJPW dojo as a young boy.

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Going through the dojo starting in 2015, he spent a year and a half there before the company sent him out on foreign excursions, where he began becoming a regular rising star with ROH and RevPro. During this time he became best known as one of the prospects that Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin were actively helping bring forward through the business, eventually joining them in a collective known as Search & Destroy which frequently butted heads with the ROH members of Bullet Club.

Finally, in late 2017, NJPW saw vignettes aired for a mysterious dark character called "Switchblade". This turned out to be the returning Jay White, with "Switchblade" as his new motif and nickname in a deliberately Darker and Edgier persona. Instantly marking his intention to make NJPW "his kingdom", he first challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in 2018, coming up short. However, this only reinvigorated his drive, which Kenny Omega, and the rest of NJPW, found out the hard way, starting when Omega attempted to invite White to join Bullet Club only to be introduced to a downward spiral which saw White capture Omega's IWGP United States Championship, later overtake Omega's position in Bullet Club as part of a long-running scheme, and finally take the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Tanahashi, making White the fourth youngest IWGP Heavyweight Champion of all time.

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"Trope with the Switchblade!":

  • All Part of the Show: One of Jay's biggest hidden talents as a performer is his ability to play off accidents and work them into the story of whatever was supposed to be happening with an ease and aptitude that most guys don't have at his age. For a shining example, look at what happened at the G1 Special in San Francisco, where he threw Juice Robinson at the barricade and accidentally knocked over Jim Ross. Instead of panicking, Jay immediately started exploiting it and the commentators' reactions for heel heat like it was all a planned spot, and as a result, he turned what could have been a match-derailing botch into a well-timed Kick the Dog moment that set up the final stretch and Juice's victory perfectly.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Bullet Club seem to have been this for awhile, from the Young Bucks and company being the first people to give him a hard time on his excursion to his expert manipulation of Kenny Omega and mutual hatred with Hangman Page upon his return. Strangely notable is that this seems to be exclusive to The Elite contingent, as he has never spoken disrespectfully of the Tongans, and Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale have even both expressed interest in having him join them. Might have to do with Fale being partly responsible for him getting into Japan, which he has noted.
    • Being the all-beloved heroic ace of the rebirth of New Japan especially in the post-Antonio Inoki era, Hiroshi Tanahashi is the man he first sought to dethrone and the man who he styled himself pretty much as a direct opposite of from the very beginning of his return from excursion.
    • While he and Kazuchika Okada are stablemates at the moment in CHAOS, White made it very clear from the start he intended to come after Okada when the time came. Since beating the Rainmaker in the first main event of the 28th G1 Climax, White has become more open about his intentions to reshape CHAOS, even claiming that the stable, including Okada himself, belongs to him now.
    • The three above all played out to their logical conclusion in October 2018, with White defecting from CHAOS to join Bullet Club OG with an attack having laid out both Okada and Tanahashi at King of Pro Wrestling, as well as calling out BC Elite for being "ripoff shit", all the while taking Gedo and Jado with him.
    • Former good friends David Finlay and Juice Robinson, who graduated in the same class from the NJPW Dojo, now both hate his guts. Aside from Jay being 10-1 against David in singles competition dating back to their Young Boy days, Jay never said a thing to either man about becoming Switchblade or joining CHAOS, then proceeded to completely brush them off even after the fact. When Juice beat him for the United States Championship in San Francisco in 2018, the loss sent him into a rage in the post-match interview.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Putting "Switchblade" in front of his name makes it sound infinitely cooler.
  • Batman Gambit: Post-Wrestle Kingdom 12, Switchblade has quickly established this as his modus operandi. He knew that the main-eventers like Okada and Omega didn't take him all that seriously, thanks to his relatively unproven status, so he took advantage of their egos to worm his way into Okada's faction and detonate the building tensions within Bullet Club by beating Omega for the IWGP U.S. title. He often favors the perspective that his victories over high-caliber opponents (especially major stars like Omega) prove his skill level to be above where his opponent thinks he is moreso than above where his opponent is.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Bullet Club OG, he effectively forms a three-headed monster with Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga, all three being masterminds in some form or another regarding the actions that brought them together in 2018. While he is being positioned as the clear ace of the group, Tama and Fale are the ones heavily coordinating their moves, similar to the relationship between AJ Styles and Karl Anderson before The Elite pulled their coup in 2016. He was later solidified as a more definitive Big Bad when Tama officially announced him as the fifth leader of Bullet Club, though with Tama clarifying that the "leader" is more of a frontman targeting the company's top prize on behalf of the Club rather than an absolute commander who tells everyone what to do, the Tongans still very much hold an important degree of power.
  • Cassandra Truth: Played with. One of his seeming pet peeves and advantages at the same time is how often people didn't take him seriously when he said he was gonna do something. He would not hesitate to throw it in his victims' face whenever he completed a promise. It took him taking the IWGP US Championship from Omega, coming after Okada when the time was right, destroying Omega's version of the Bullet Club, and ultimately beating Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 13 for the entire company to take notice and see that the Switchblade is in fact deadly serious about everything he says. Finally averted when he challenged Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Title the very next month; by that point it was stated by commentators that him becoming the new champion felt inevitable.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Ends his promos by telling whoever he's addressing, "You will breathe with the Switchblade."
    • Since joining the Bullet Club, he's taken to declaring things he's part of "RRREEEEEEEEEEAL" and making a gun gesture to the camera, a deliberate Call-Back to the group's original leader, Prince Devitt.
  • Darker and Edgier: His mannerisms and fashion sense had largely developed into their own during his time as the youthful and exuberant Weapon of Choice, but only gained more of a determined, threatening edge with his turn into the Switchblade.
  • Delinquent Hair: Had a mohawk as a Young Lion, and by the time he came back as Switchblade, he grew out the hair on the sides while letting the mohawk grow long enough to create a fringe.
  • Devil in Plain Sight:
    • Made his intentions perfectly clear from the very beginning of his return from excursion; he wants to become the man in NJPW. He also despises the way NJPW's stables encourage complacency in their members. This is why he rejected Kenny Omega's offer to join Bullet Club, and why his first day as a member of CHAOS had him instantly warn Kazuchika Okada that they will be crossing paths as enemies when the time fits, IWGP title or not.
    • He ended up making good on his promise at the very start of the 2018 G1 Climax tour, where the first main event of a G1 tour show was him vs. Okada and he proceeded to cheat viciously in order to beat Okada and then declared himself the new leader of CHAOS, even going so far as to call Okada "[his] Rainmaker" now. As the tour went on and he competed in tag team matches alongside other CHAOS members in between his actual block matches, he did nothing almost every time his partners were pinned or in a submission, preferring to let them fail to prove his point that his ways were better.
    • Hiroshi Tanahashi. Bullet Club's Elite contingent. His own CHAOS teammates. Tanahashi's friends. Even Suzuki-gun during the G1 Climax. He antagonized all of them through the first nine months of 2018. The only NJPW wrestlers he didn't speak any disrespect towards in that time? The Tongan members of Bullet Club. Going even further is the night Kenny Omega tried to induct him into Bullet Club before he even joined CHAOS (see Foreshadowing below).
  • The Dog Bites Back: When Jay was a Young Lion, the Bullet Club (specifically Bullet Club Elite) harassed and tormented him at every turn. Now that he's returned as Switchblade, he intends to get his payback by destroying them.
  • Evil Virtues: Despite being very much a despicable manipulative jerk, Jay White does have his sense of virtues. Namely, a very roundabout form of honesty contained in his schemes. Examples below:
    • He put on the Bullet Club shirt and did the Too Sweet before attacking Kenny Omega at New Year Dash 2018, then stated at the press conference the following day that he was joining CHAOS as a means to an end to help him destroy the Bullet Club that seemingly worshiped Omega. Further interviews and statements indicated that his entire beef with the Bullet Club was focused squarely on the Elite faction, and he actually had some sly respect for the "BCOG" members, specifically Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga. By the end of the year, Omega's entire Elite contingent which had taken over Bullet Club was now excised from the stable and seemingly on their way out of NJPW altogether, and he would step in as the new proper leader of Bullet Club with the support of Fale and Tama.
    • He warned Okada that he would not fall in line as another one of Okada's boys, that his joining CHAOS was to help himself, and that he would in fact come after Okada when the time was right. Not only did he in fact come after Okada, he stole CHAOS's legendary managers and his influence may have caused a darkening turn in a few of its main wrestlers, given Chuckie T's madness, Will Ospreay's more vicious and grounded offense, and Tomohiro Ishii's refusal to play nice with NJPW's home team members. And as far as the time being right? He beat Okada in a clean finish at Wrestle Kingdom 13.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Suddenly, the shining young upstart who came up through the dojo, who was best friends with David Finlay Jr., who the Motor City Machine Guns saw as having potential to carry their vision of great exciting wrestling into the future, was gone, replaced by a gothic madman with dreams of taking over NJPW.
  • Fanboy: Unlike the rest of CHAOS, who he often denigrated and tried to manipulate into fulfilling his own personal agenda, Jay displayed tremendous respect for the unshakable and always forward-charging badass Tomohiro Ishii. He was practically cheerleading when Ishii came right at Kenny Omega and declared his intentions to make good on the IWGP Heavyweight Championship shot that he earned by being the first man to beat Kenny in the 28th G1, even stating that Ishii was the example he was trying to get the others to be like. Subverted as he convinced Gedo and Jado to join him in betraying the entire stable to take part in the rebuilding of the villainous Bullet Club, then confirmed that his respect to Ishii was not that genuine by referring to the Stone Pitbull as an "old fuck" after winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
  • Finishing Move: Alex Shelley's Shellshock, now called Blade Runner.
  • Foreshadowing: At New Year Dash 2018, Kenny Omega tried to invite The Switchblade into Bullet Club by presenting him with a BC shirt. He put on the shirt, he did the Too Sweet (before Omega convinced him to put it down and hug him instead), and he hit the Blade Runner on Omega as well as escaped Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi's attempted run-in all while wearing the shirt, before finally taking it off and doing a throat-slash gesture clearly aimed at Kenny and his supporters. Immediately in the aftermath, Jay actually advertised his own "Switch Blade" version of a Bullet Club T-shirt on Pro Wrestling Tees, before suddenly discontinuing it shortly after he joined CHAOS; however, with CHAOS being a face-leaning tweener group while Jay was a treacherous heel, Jay making it clear he wasn't there to serve Okada but himself, and the Bullet Club OGs making fun of how "the wrong guy tried to recruit him", the symbolism of a possible future presented by his brief relationship with BC shirts continued to rent space in fans' heads.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: None of CHAOS were ever his true friends. They were either shocked and appalled at his success, confused at trying to figure him out, or paid him no mind whatsoever until it was time to work with him. Given the surrounding tropes, this is no surprise at all. This was in fact justified by his treachery in fall 2018; he was obviously far more comfortable around Gedo following the latter's betrayal of Okada for him, as well as Jado and the members of Bullet Club OG following his and Gedo and Jado's complete defection to that group, than he ever was during any part of his time around the other members of CHAOS.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He started with NJPW as part of its "young boy/young lion" initiative, which means his first year or so with the company saw him doing errands for the established talent while occasionally serving as a generic black-trunked jobber. Such an earnest young man was he that when he was sent on excursion, The Motor City Machine Guns made him part of their uprising face project Search & Destroy. Then he came back to NJPW as the deliberately edgy and ambitious Switchblade, who within 15 months went from a try-hard kid in over his head to a devastating mastermind who managed to conquer New Japan wholesale while replacing a man known as "The Best Bout Machine" as the leader of Bullet Club. Then again, given that his inroad to NJPW started when he impressed Prince Devitt in a UK tag match and Devitt proceeded to get him in touch with Bad Luck Fale all just months before Devitt left the company, it was clear that Devitt had him pegged for this level of success and made sure he factored into Bullet Club's agenda before most people even knew who he was.
  • Genre Savvy: In regards to kayfabe, he understands completely that the goal of a professional wrestling match is to win. He pointedly does not care about "putting on a great performance for the fans" and often chastises his babyface opponents for doing so, stating that they're wearing out their energy, focusing on the wrong aspect of the sport by doing so, and in the process making things easier for him. He even states that his match with Okada being the shortest legitimately competitive Wrestle Kingdom match Okada's had since returning from excursion in 2012 was actually a good thing because (A) it means it took him far less time to beat Okada than it took Okada to beat Naito, Omega, Tanahashi, etc., and (B) he was that much more fresh than the already-aged Tanahashi heading into their tag match the following night, enabling him to win, make his challenge for Tanahashi's title, and then assault Tanahashi easily in the aftermath.
  • Hate Sink: Since his return from excursion and adopting the Switchblade gimmick, Jay has become one of NJPW's most despised heels. During his match with Juice Robinson for the U.S. title at the 2018 G1 Special in San Francisco, Jay repeatedly stepped on Juice's broken hand prompting a loud "FUCK YOU SWITCHBLADE!" chant from the crowd. He would top this by cheating his way to victory over Okada and Tanahashi in the 28th G1 Climax, loudly boasting that he was now the leader of CHAOS and NJPW's Ace respectively and earning loud boos from the crowd. It got to the point that when he faced Minoru Suzuki, who is the last person in NJPW's roster that could be classified as a babyface, the crowd was firmly on Suzuki's side.
  • Hero Killer: His second major event singles match since returning to NJPW saw him beat Kenny Omega for the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight title, followed up by victories over both Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi at the G1 Climax albeit thanks to cheating tactics. Then at Wrestle Kingdom 13, he topped that by beating Okada again, this time completely clean. And then he topped that by defeating Tanahashi yet again at New Beginning in Osaka 2019 to become the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. To summarize, in less than a year since his debut, Jay has held victories over three of NJPW's top stars on his way to capturing NJPW’s top belt. Even more impressive would be the significance of all of those victories:
    • The Omega victory was the lynchpin that kicked off the Bullet Club Civil War which saw Bullet Club's Elite faction divide themselves to the point they were clearly no longer fit for the overall ethos of Bullet Club as a stable. This ultimately empowered Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, and the other core/"OG" members of Bullet Club to eject The Elite, paving the way for Jay White to take the helm and become BC's leader and for The Elite, including Omega, to eventually leave NJPW.
    • The Tanahashi and Okada victories at the G1 Climax enabled White to compete for the Wrestle Kingdom Contract even after coming up short in the tournament itself, as well as spurred Gedo, Jado, and another member to be revealed to ultimately join White in betraying Chaos and ushering in the "CutThroat Era" of the Bullet Club.
    • White's actions in his defection to Bullet Club caused CHAOS and the main NJPW unit to actually start getting along in friendly combinations, not the least of which being Okada and Tanahashi teaming up for the first time ever in a series of tag matches against White and his new cohorts. Bullet Club would go on to win every single time, thus cutting down the entire idea of Okada and Tanahashi as a "Dream Team". Despite having taken on a more or less freewheeling, "no-pressure" persona after losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Omega, Okada was clearly becoming more and more frustrated with his "former teammate".
    • And despite Okada completely ditching the stress-free balloon-popping persona and returning to his classic standard Rainmaker form, the Okada victory at Wrestle Kingdom still happened, again, completely clean. With this and yet another tag team victory over the Ace and Rainmaker at New Year Dash, he cemented himself as the absolute top contender for Tanahashi's newly-won IWGP Heavyweight title. All in the span of a single year.
    • Only a month later, he won the title from Tanahashi in his first challenge with another entirely clean finish, cementing his new era over all of pro wrestling and completely validating both Gedo's decision to abandon Okada in favor of becoming White's new manager, and Bullet Club's decision to oust The Elite and anoint him as the true successor to Prince Devitt and AJ Styles.
  • Knife Nut: His vignettes and screen videos show him repeatedly stabbing and slicing through objects like papers on the wall, mysterious books, and red ropes assembled in the style of infrared security lasers, with a trusty switchblade. He even has a switchblade pendant around his neck. Chuckie T would nickname him "Knife Pervert" because of this during his brief time in CHAOS.
  • Manipulative Bastard: One of his goals of ambition seems to involve either collapsing or transforming the stables in the company's Mob War. Aside from detonating the powder-keg of Bullet Club, he occasionally tried to pit CHAOS members in internal competition against each other when he was with them and even lauded his former best friend David Finlay for coming after him without Juice Robinson in tow, hinting that even Taguchi Japan isn't safe. On the other hand, he seems to dislike fighting his stablemates in matches where there's nothing on the line, if his reaction to being in an all-CHAOS tag match during the 2018 G1 tour is anything to go by.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His Red Baron is "The Switchblade". Switchblade knives are considered to be so dangerous they're illegal in many places including Jay's native New Zealand. Meaning he's literally branded himself an outlaw who likes to play with knives.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Started wearing leather jackets without shirts during his year on excursion, they became long enough to properly fit the trope when he came back as Switchblade.
  • Power Stable:
    • Search & Destroy in ROH, with notable members including The Motor City Machine Guns, Jonathan Gresham, and Lio Rush.
    • CHAOS initially in NJPW, with Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Will Ospreay, and Toru Yano being its most important members.
    • He and Gedo betrayed CHAOS to join Bullet Club OG, including Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Taiji Ishimori, among others.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Issued an absolutely blistering one towards Hangman Page at the Strong Style Evolved press conference, calling out the ridiculous overblown drama going on with Hangman and Bullet Club and turning Page's WWE-esque questionable Worked Shoot about White's schedule as US Champion right on its head using entirely kayfabe-relevant content.
  • Red Baron: Switchblade, Weapon of Choice, Knife Pervert.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • It's been discussed that White has almost deliberately styled himself as this to Tanahashi, becoming an "Anti-Ace" in a sense. While Switchblade and Tanahashi are both very showy and confident in their demeanors as well as fairly independent even when working in groups, Tanahashi is an All-Loving Hero and values the ideals of Japanese fighting spirit and truly fair and honorable competition which have defined NJPW. White, on the other hand, is treacherously ambitious, does not care for Japan's tropes of honor, hates wrestling fans, and fully intends to reshape the company into his image even down to how its factions operate and compete. To a lesser extent, much of this also applies to his relationship to Okada within the CHAOS stable.
    • Another interesting example is between White and Kenny Omega. Like The Cleaner before him, The Switchblade is a gothic-styled maniac with visions of grandeur for NJPW and pro-wrestling in general with himself as the center of the change, both brought into Bullet Club to fill a hole that was presented by the exodus of the previous leader. Aside from that, however, the two couldn't be more different. Omega is a blatantly flashy and hard-striking wrestler who seems to be more interested in using his wrestling to preach a message of progressive motion and thought, while White is a precise and calculating attacker whose every action is focused around doing what it takes to win. Also, where Omega and The Young Bucks would flamboyantly declare that their vision is grand and good while routinely engaging in morally questionable actions only to seemingly forget their own culpability when things come back to haunt them, White has no qualms about pronouncing his villainous ambitions and then motioning towards the best way to carry them through.
      • Ironically, from the Bullet Club perspective, this would make Omega the Shadow Archetype to White, just as he was to his predecessors Devitt and Styles. Omega's ideology and the inconsistent actions of his Elite introduced a dysfunctional element to BC that almost saw the whole group itself collapse in division, whereas White's complete unashamed villainy aligned far better to the core values of The Club as a violent brotherhood of men aiming for the top at all costs akin to The nWo and very quickly pushed The Club to reestablish its dominance. Given that Devitt and Fale were responsible for bringing White into NJPW in the first place while Omega was one of BC's first-year enemies before he became a member, this doesn't come off as surprising at all in hindsight.
  • Sigil Spam: His new primary logo, the five tallies in claw style and blood red, is all over his gear and frequently shows up as a tron graphic. His newer red ensemble gear has an alternate, more clean and simplistic looking set of tallies in black.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: His usual way of speaking before he heads into a fight.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: His usual way of speaking during and after fights.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: His relationship to CHAOS when he was a member, especially when it came to Okada, Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero, Sho and Yoh), and Yoshi-Hashi. He made sure that they hated and distrusted him from the start. Makes it all the more impressive that he still pulled the fast one on them that he did.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Played this role to perfection within CHAOS, even becoming The Corrupter towards Gedo and Jado as he jumped ship to Bullet Club and took the legends with him.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Has deliberately invoked this trope in his rise to the top. He started calling himself Switchblade, dressing like a shadow Dante, and speaking of grandiose agendas, well aware that the likes of Okada, Omega, and Tanahashi didn't take this nearly as seriously from an unproven upstart as they would from each other. He's gotten major victories over all three men, snatched a championship from Omega's inaugural run, and planted serious question marks into the future of Okada's group. Despite this, he was the one who fell prey to this trope when it came to Juice Robinson, who ended up beating him for the same title despite an injured left hand at the 2018 G1 Special in San Francisco.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and David Finlay were the closest of friends as young boys, but then he told Finlay nothing about becoming Switchblade or his plans to join CHAOS. And he, Gedo, and Jado definitely didn't say anything to anyone else in CHAOS about their plans to switch out on them for Bullet Club OG.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Literally has dark blue highlights towards the ends of his hair.
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