The latest major free agency saga came to an official end last night, when former IWGP World Champion ‘Switchblade’ Jay White officially signed with All Elite Wrestling.
Since White’s NJPW departure in February, many were speculating where White would end up, be it WWE or AEW, with some in WWE reportedly confident that they could land him.
However, that obviously didn’t end up being the case, with him debuting on last night’s AEW Dynamite show to help Juice Robinson lay out Ricky Starks.
Fightful Select (subscription required) has provided more information on White’s AEW signing, noting that he has signed a multi-year deal with the company.
Fightful has learned that the deal was in place ahead of WrestleMania 39, and WWE sources were aware by then that he would not be coming into the company.
WWE’s interest in signing White dates back to around Wrestle Kingdom, when Fightful learned that WWE had interest in signing him. In the following weeks, the company were ‘confident’ they’d be able to sign him. Somewhere along the way, Fightful was told that Triple H and William Regal both had interest in him.
However, WWE higher ups said that the company ‘failed to communicate properly along the process’, before noting that AEW signing him over WWE may have been to do with Vince McMahon’s return, and the lack of main roster hires that have been made since then.
White had communications with both WWE and AEW, with WWE even making tentative creative plans for him.
While higher ups in WWE knew that time was ticking on getting a deal done, there were some within the company as late as last week that were hoping they would still land him.
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