WWE Loses Wrestling's No. 1 Free Agent to AEW Amid Creative Turmoil

All Elite Wrestling (AEW) just landed the top free agent in professional wrestling. At the start of AEW Dynamite, Jay White entered the ring during the Ricky Starks vs. Juice Robinson match. White attacked Starks, joining forces with Robinson, which goes back to their days in the Bullet Club of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Following the segment, Tony Khan confirmed White signed a contract with AEW.

White left New Japan earlier this year, losing a Loser Leaves Japan match and Loser Leaves NJPW match in February. It was reported by Fightful Select in January that White's contract with NJPW was expiring soon, and WWE was showing interest his him. WWE has shown interest in White in the past, but the 30-year-old decided to say in Japan. 

Will Washington of Figthful said some people in WWE were confident they were going to sign White. It's not clear why White signed with AEW over WWE, but WWE is going through its share of creative issues since Vince McMahon took over following the sale of the company. 

Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio shared his thoughts on AEW's new signing. "Well, Jay White is a great wrestler, a great physiological wrestler. I'm surprised because if he's with AEW, he could go back to New Japan in theory, but he lost those matches that said he couldn't. WWE was after him. It was his choice between the two sides, and this was the side he chose. It's a feather in the cap of AEW and Tony Khan. He got the guy. That's a good thing for AEW. Now they have to use him the right way," Meltzer stated, per WrestlingNews.co. 

White is one of the most successful competitors in NJPW history. During his time with the company, White won the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship and the NEVER Openweight Championship making him the first Grand Slam Champion in NJPW history. He has made appearances in AEW, competing against Okada, Adam Cole, and Hangman Page at Forbidden Door last summer. 

"Isn't that the goal? At the end of the day, but really at the beginning of the day, at the beginning of the whole journey, isn't that the goal to get to the top and stuff? If you're going to do that, you have to be aware that people are going to be coming for you," White said in December, per ComicBook.com. "You start off trying to get to the top, you're going after somebody as well. You understand that that's how it works."