Jay White on NJPW, The Forbidden Door, His Favorite Matches, Betting On Yourself
Jay White (@JayWhiteNZ) is a professional wrestler currently signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling. He joins Chris Van Vliet at the NJPW Dojo in Los Angeles to talk about his upcoming match with The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels, growing up in New Zealand, how winning a trip to WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta made him want to become a pro wrestler, moving to England to go to wrestling school, getting signed by NJPW, working for Ring Of Honor, his favorite matches, the best advice he's ever received and much more!
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Jay White is a professional wrestler currently signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling. He joins Chris Van Vliet at the NJPW Dojo in Los Angeles to talk about his upcoming match with The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels, growing up in New Zealand, how winning a trip to WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta made him want to become a pro wrestler, moving to England to go to wrestling school, getting signed by NJPW, working for Ring Of Honor, his favorite matches, the best advice he's ever received and much more!
“Yeah it has been, It kind of took over since I left New Zealand in 2012. I didn’t start training until the beginning of 2013, but since then it has kind of consumed my life in great ways. It’s given me a lot of opportunities and I have done alright with it over the last 7 or 8 years. I managed to accomplish quite a bit in that time.”
“It’s both. I think you are going to require some luck in terms of meeting the right people and being in the right place at the right time. But also it’s arguable whether that is luck or not, because you have to put yourself in those positions. That’s the kind of advice I give to younger talent, you have to put yourself in those positions, you can’t go there expecting it. You have to be in it to win it as the cliché saying goes. It’s going to shows, whether you are on the show or not, there might be an opportunity there. You may meet the right people, so put yourself in the right position.”
“All the lessons cross over into life. You’ve got to be prepared for every opportunity, especially in something like wrestling, or just trying to work to any kind of goal that requires time and effort. You’ve just got to be prepared.”
“I think it was just being young and having that belief in myself. I have said this story a few times, I actually won a competition on the radio for tickets, flights all paid for to go to WrestleMania. I won that when I was 18, I just finished school. It was WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta and that got me back into wrestling. I thought if I was fortunate to win this, why not become a wrestler? From there, it kind of felt like it was meant to be, so I did everything I felt like I needed to. But there was never a blueprint, it wasn’t a guarantee. For me, I thought that I knew, and I was right to get out of New Zealand, there was no wrestling scene there.”
“I couldn’t work in America because of the visa situation, but I could work in the UK. The way I thought about it, I had no knowledge of the independents, was that the states in the number one place, the UK is the little brother in terms of opportunities, so it went from there.”
“Out of school I went straight into the New Zealand army. I did the pre-training, but I left before I completed that, so I didn’t know what I was doing. I got a job labouring for a friend’s father who had a construction company. I heard on the radio that there was a competition on the winner would go to WrestleMania all paid for. I had to call up, and you had to debate with another person. They would just tell you if you were for or against it, and on the spot you had to win the debate. The topic they gave us was ‘chick-flicks were the best thing in the world.’ They said I was for it and the other person was against it. I managed to talk about how there were vouchers on the back of receipts for Video Easy [New Zealand’s version of Blockbuster] and you can get chick-flicks 2 for 1. They appreciated my sales pitch and I was in the draw. They did the debates multiple times a day for 2 weeks, everyone goes in the draw. At 8 in the morning a couple of weeks later, my phone starts calling and I answered it and won, it was crazy.”
“Honestly I think I was too dumb to know any better. I just had this really stupid belief in myself and that it was went to be. After years of not being into it and then winning that competition, it was like it was meant to be and this is what I’m going to do now. It was a young and dumb belief, now I would be like this is not possible. I didn’t tell my parents at the time that wrestling was what I was going to do, I just went to England and started from scratch. I just got in contact with a wrestling school, stayed in a student house with 3 other guys and eventually paid 3 months in advance so I could stay somewhere while I got my start. The first time I told my mom was right before my debut, I had to tell somebody at some point. I didn’t want to tell someone that I am training and then it all goes to sh*t.”
“I picked it up pretty quick. At my first training session I said that I hadn’t trained anywhere else before, which they found hard to believe. I’m not trying to big myself up too much, but like I could see people running ropes on tv and I could do it. Playing sports and the coordination helped me pick up things pretty quickly.”
“I met Finn Balor about a year into it. I started in January 2013 and we brought him over to do some of our shows in February 2014. I think the way that he puts it, because he didn’t see me wrestle that much, what impressed him was that I was doing all the other jobs. I was building the ring with a broken thumb, I had a cast on, and Finn knew that I wanted it. So he spoke to the New Japan system, mentioned me, spoke to the right people, and I landed in Japan on January 1st 2015.”
“When I was first in the Dojo, I was with Sho and Yoh, who didn’t really speak any English. They didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Japanese, so it was tricky to begin with, a lot of hand gestures used. When I first got there, I couldn’t communicate with the guys in the Dojo at all, you just try and find items or use your phone and translate. Luckily some of the older guys knew some English, so there would always be somebody who knew some broken English some of the time. Sho and Yoh learned some English and I learned some Japanese, so we kind of communicated.”
“The first time going there, I got to watch a show in 2015 before I did the jobs there. Seeing that for the first time, I didn’t know too much about New Japan, I didn’t do too much research at all. Just seeing it from a beginning stage, it takes your breath away more than if I was prepared. I had no expectations but it was awe inspiring. The big difference to me was experiencing that crowd, because I am mainly used to the WWE crowds. Going there and experiencing that Japanese crowd, you can feel the difference and how they are feeling about it.”
“I’ve just tried to get leaner over time. There have been times where I have tried to put on size while going away on excursions. To be honest, at times I didn’t have an accurate idea of how I was looking. I think it was late 2018 where I realized it was time to lean down. I just feel more comfortable at a lighter weight and it’s better for training as well.”
“People call him ‘The Fallen Angel,’ but recently I have been calling him ‘The Fallen, Forgotten, Failing Angel.’ Because with Chris, it could be coming to an end, but I’m giving him an opportunity to see if he can spark something and get his name out there again. A guy like him needs one opportunity and he can get his career going again.”
“I think I have mixed it up with most of them. There is no one that I am particularly after in New Japan Strong, because everybody is after me. That’s why I put the challenge out there to New Japan Strong, maybe somebody from Ring of Honor will come across, maybe AEW, maybe IMPACT. There’s the forbidden door but I have my own open door.”
"Custom suits, meeting Finn Balor and Tanahashi so I can beat him."
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