Jay White Says NJPW 'Drove Away' Recent WWE Signing

JONAH turned heads on December 19 when he made his return to WWE on "Raw." The 34-year-old Australian was making a splash on the indie scene as of late following his WWE release in August 2021. In 2022 alone, JONAH competed in over 40 matches for New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He also took part in the 2022 G1 Climax tournament where he scored a major upset victory over Kazuchika Okada.


Okada was able to get his win back over JONAH in October, which marked JONAH's last NJPW appearance before joining WWE again. Now, Okada's current rival, IWGP World Champion Jay White, has some choice words for why he believes NJPW "drove away" JONAH.

"All of a sudden, for the first time in a decade, Okada decides that he doesn't want to defend his right to challenge. And look what happened? JONAH isn't here anymore," White said in an interview posted on NJPW's website. "Okada and NJPW drove away a tremendous star in JONAH because they were so concerned with making everything easy for Okada. New Japan has to protect him at all corners. This is what I've been trying to say, and nobody listens. Just like two years ago when I said nobody wanted the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships unified. I was right then and I'm right now."


White is scheduled to defend his IWGP World Championship against Okada in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4. It will mark their fifth singles match since 2018 as part of their long-standing rivalry that ramped up again in 2022 when White beat Okada to win the title before AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.