Hiroshi Tanahashi’s latest reign with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship is over after he lost to ‘Switchblade’ Jay White at the NJPW The New Beginning show in Osaka.
White targeted Tanahashi’s legs throughout the match, and is now the second non-Japanese wrestler to hold the belt in the last 12 months after Kenny Omega’s nearly 7-month reign from June 2018 to January 2019.
Jay White has been antagonising Tanahashi ever since he won the belt at Wrestle Kingdom 13, and won when he countered Tanahashi’s High Fly Flow slash into a Blade Runner to become the 68th IWGP Champion in the company’s history.
White cut the following promo after the match (thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription):
“I just beat Tanahashi again. I am the champion in spite of each and every one of you. I said at a press conference I would take this and I would spit on your face and that’s exactly what I’m doing when I have this belt. I don’t play by your rules, I don’t show heart and compassion like Tana. It doesn’t matter, because I am the real IWGP Heavyweight Champion. I do not do this for any of you, I do this for me, I do this for Gedo, I do this for the Cutthroat Era Bullet Club. It is a new dawn, a new age, a new beginning. And Tana and all of you can only breathe with The Switchblade. Welcome to my new era.”
Charming. He then tweeted this:
I told you. #BreathewiththeSwitchblade
— Switchblade (@JayWhiteNZ) February 11, 2019