Jay White's future is in question after dropping a "Loser leaves Japan" match to Hikuleo at NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka.
Hikuleo defeated White by pinfall with a chokeslam at Saturday's show, seemingly ending White's run as part of NJPW's main unit. White is still scheduled to face Eddie Kingston at next Saturday's Battle in the Valley pay-per-view in San Jose, California.
A report last month indicated that White was expected to leave NJPW when his contract expired, which was believed to be "relatively soon."
Prior to the chokeslam and pin, Hikuleo and White executed the "too sweet" gesture, a callback to Hikuleo's time as part of Bullet Club with White, as the two were frequent tag partners on NJPW Strong.
On his way out of the arena, White gave a fist bump to NJPW stalwart Hiroshi Tanahashi as Tana provided commentary for the event.
White issued the Loser leaves Japan challenge to Hikuleo at New Year Dash last month, a day after he lost the IWGP World Heavyweight title to Kazuchika Okada in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 17.
In his NJPW career, White became the first grand slam champion in NJPW history, capturing four different singles titles -- the IWGP Heavyweight title, IWGP Intercontinental title, IWGP United States title, plus the NEVER Openweight title. Hiroshi Tanahashi is the only other NJPW wrestler to accomplish the feat.
In all, White held the top title in NJPW twice -- the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP World Heavyweight titles, in addition to holding the NEVER, IC, and US titles one time each.
White's loss came four years to the day of his IWGP Heavyweight Championship win at The New Beginning in Osaka 2019.
Photo Credit: NJPW
Courtesy of Wrestling Observer