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Jay White explains how he got into wrestling after winning free tickets to WWE WrestleMania 27

New Japan Pro Wrestling star Jay White appeared on Chris Van Vliet’s “INSIGHT” podcast this week.

White told the story of winning free tickets to WrestleMania 27 which lead to him wanting to become a wrestler:

“I think it was just being young and having that belief in myself.  I actually won a competition on the radio for tickets and flights that were all paid for to go to WrestleMania.  I won that when I was 18.  I just finished school.  It was WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta and that got me back into wrestling.  I thought if I was fortunate to win this, why not become a wrestler?  From there, it kind of felt like it was meant to be, so I did everything I felt I needed to, but there was never a blueprint, it wasn’t a guarantee.  For me, I thought that I knew, and I was right to get out of New Zealand.  There was no wrestling scene there.”

White talking about how he won the tickets:

“Out of school, I went straight into the New Zealand army.  I did the pre-training, but I left before I completed that, so I didn’t know what I was doing.  I got a job laboring for a friend’s father who had a construction company.  I heard on the radio that there was a competition and the winner would go to WrestleMania all paid for.  I had to call up, and you had to debate with another person.  They would just tell you if you were for or against it, and on the spot, you had to win the debate.  The topic they gave us was ‘chick-flicks were the best thing in the world.’  They said I was for it and the other person was against it.  I managed to talk about how there were vouchers on the back of receipts for Video Easy (video store) and you can get chick-flicks 2 for 1.  They appreciated my sales pitch and I was the draw.  They did the debates multiple times a day for two weeks, everyone goes in the draw.  At 8 in the morning a couple weeks later, my phone started calling and I answered it and won.  It was crazy.”

On signing with New Japan:

“I met Finn Balor about a year into it.  I started in January 2013 and we brought him over to do some of our shows in February 2014.  I think the way that he puts it, because he didn’t see me wrestle that much, what impressed him was that I was doing all the other jobs.  I was building the ring with a broken thumb, I had a cast on, and Finn knew that I wanted it.  So he spoke to the New Japan system, mentioned me, spoke to the right people, and I landed in Japan on January 1st 2015.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Also, be sure to subscribe to “Insight with Chris Van Vliet” on your mobile device by clicking here if you have an iOS device or here on your Android device.


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