NJPW superstar Jay White was recently interviewed by Sports Illustrated to talk all things pro-wrestling. Highlights can be found below.
On beating Shingo Takagi, Kazuchika Okada, and Jay White three matches in a row in the G1:
You just said it right there, beating those three guys in a row. I plan to prove that I’m better than everybody else in it, whether that be A Block or B Block. But the best part was our reunion with Okada in Kobe, beating him in the same arena where Gedo and I changed the entire landscape of pro wrestling two years ago.
How he feels about the G1 taking place in the fall instead of the summer due to COVID-19:
I’ve never dreamed of winning; I just plan to each year that I’m in it. So I’ve planned to since my first G1 in 2018, and my earliest memory of it was being ringside as a Young Boy in 2015. And the timing does slightly feel strange, seeing as there’s going to be much less time between the end of the G1 and Wrestle Kingdom, but not in terms of it not being in the summer. It’s actually a lot better as it’s not nearly as hot as it usually is. Another thing that’s better this year is that we only have the singles matches, which makes it less taxing on the body, instead of having to do tag matches in between the singles. This year, we have the time off to recover.
On his time away from wrestling due to the pandemic:
I live in the United States, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get to California at that time. I don’t know if you’d consider it a takeaway or not, but during it I just made sure to make the most of the time off and look after my body, seeing as that’s the longest time off that I’ll ever have, assuming we don’t have to deal with such extreme circumstances again.
On his support for Black Lives Matter:
Me letting people know I care isn’t the important part, doing the right thing is. The idea came from simply feeling the need to do something to help, no matter how small it is, and the need to do what’s right. It’s not complicated—Black lives matter, and the fact that people try to argue that just shows you the injustice and racial issues that we are surrounded by today. That statement, Black lives matter, can’t and should never be argued.
His thoughts on this year’s NBA Playoffs:
My pick all along has been the Lakers. I’d like LeBron to get another ring, as people are constantly looking for excuses to discredit his greatness. Once the Clippers were out, though, I would have been OK with any of the final four teams winning. The Nuggets had been the most exciting to watch and deserved it, Boston winning with their young leaders in Tatum and Brown would have been great, and of course the Heat winning behind Jimmy Butler would be just as good.
Feeling ready to be heavyweight champion once again:
For others it may be that way. For me, I already know that. I’m way past being ready. I carry this company with or without the championships, having them just makes it that much sweeter when I can see the pain in everybody else’s faces when they see me holding them up. And I will get back to that place.