Jay Lethal On Samoa Joe Wanting Him In WWE, ROH Being #2 Promotion In The World

Former Ring of Honor World Champion Jay Lethal was a recent guest on Interactive Wrestling Radio to discuss ROH’s upcoming Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view, his ‘Black Machismo’ Randy Savage tribute gimmick in TNA, working with legends like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair and more. Here are some highlights of what he said about:

ROH Death Before Dishonor on September 22nd:

“It has been announced that it will be myself against Silas Young in a “Last Man Standing” match. This will be my first ever last man standing match! I’m a little excited, a little nervous. It is live on pay-per-view. Everybody always ups their game for pay-per-views. It is just kind of a wrestling tradition.”

Silas Young being underrated:

“100 percent! That is an understatement. He is definately better than he is given credit for. I hadn’t met Silas until my second time back here (ROH). My second run, as they say, in Ring of Honor after I left Impact Wrestling and came back to Ring of Honor, there were faces that I had to learn. Silas Young was one of those guys. In the ring, I’ve got to tell you, he is one of the guys who represents Ring of Honor well. In the ring, he is literally one of the best wrestlers in the world. He plays the role, he plays it right. I just love everything about him… Even that look! He’s got a unique look with that mustache. I love him. Sometimes I think he was born just a little too late. He’d be a millionaire if he was born just a few years earlier. But, I think he is amazing in the ring.”

What sets ROH apart from other companies:

“The fact that there are no pee breaks or filler matches. I think you have to do that to stand out. With Ring of Honor, it isn’t about the bells and whistles. It isn’t about “This wrestler has the coolest entrance” like Bray Wyat, I think he’s got one of the best entrances ever – cool song. Not taking anything away from that aspect of wrestling. You know, we’re (ROH) not pumping money into our entrances like the other companies do. No reason to play to our weakness there. We’ve got to play to our strengths which means we have to focus our product on the in-ring action. We’ve got to do that from the minute each episode begins to the minute each episode ends. It is the one thing the other companies don’t do. Wrestling is called a soap opera.

The last thing you want to see from a show that is new and innovative, the last thing you want to see is someone in the ring with a microphone saying someone stole his girlfriend when they were in the 3rd grade and he’s going to get revenge and the tables will be turned. We think the minute you turn on that program, we’ve got to give you action to hook you and make you want to sit and watch the entire show and not give you that match, that segment, that break that makes you think, “OK, this is my chance to go pee.” We want you to hold your pee until the show is over! (laughs) That’s what helps us stand out above the rest. Also, we have one of the greatest rosters currently going and for years, Ring of Honor has always had one of the best rosters going. The proof is in the pudding because other rosters constantly pluck from the Ring of Honor roster.. For years! For example, look at WWE. Most of their champions and top guys came through Ring of Honor at one point. Those are the key reasons why Ring of Honor is standing out among all the other wrestling companies out there.”

ROH being the #2 wrestling promotion in the world & Global Force’s financial troubles:

“We are, and I consider Ring of Honor the #2 wrestling company in the entire world. Some people might take this the wrong way. Some people might take this out of context. So, if someone hears this, please listen to the whole thing. With the tought process that you are the #2 wrestling company in the world, you really don’t look under you to see what the #3 wrestling company in the world is doing. You look up to see what the #1 wrestling company in the world is doing so that you can better yourself and not work down. That is in no way a knock on TNA, it is just a logical way of thinking. Take out the company names from the equasion.

The #2 doesn’t look at the #3, they look at the company that is in the #1 spot and that is all I’m saying. With that said, I did work for Impact Wrestling at one time. I had a great time there. They gave me one of the greatest days of my life when I wrestled Ric Flair live on pay-per-view. To see that they are going through such hard times, I don’t get joy from this though some people might think that my thought process would be, “Yeah! This is what they get for letting me go!” No, no, no. I made a lot of great friends, a lot of great relationships from working there many of whom are still there. I have some great friends that just joined there. It hurts to see them going through any down or hard times because as we all have learned, the better each wrestling company does, the better the wrestling business as a whole does.”

Samoa Joe saying he wants Jay Lethal in WWE:

“Samoa Joe is a big bully and he just wants me on the same roster he is so I can carry his bags. (laughs) Joe is amazing! I’ve had very, very, very limited conversations with anyone from the WWE. Neither of whcih lead to anything major or with any kind of promise. Mostly because, I’m extremely happy with where I am right now. I think every wrestler has different goals as to what making it is in wrestling and that will make you persue options a little bit more. I’m extreley happy with everything that I have been able to do in wrestling which makes me extremely happy where I am right now which is in Ring of Honor.”

 

Speaking to Randy Savage about his “Black Machismo” Character:

“Unfortunately, I did not ask him too much about it because, and this is an interesting story here. I worked a few shows, I wrestled a few shows for a man named Ed Chuman. Ed Chuman would always tell me, “You know, I’m friends with the Macho Man and his brother Lanny. He’d like you to call him. He saw a few clips on YouTube and he’d like you to call him.” I knew Ed Chuman but I guess I didn’t really trust him. I figured, “Sure, he’s trying to get me on the phone with someone who does a good Randy Savage impression like myself so that I’d ask him a bunch of stupid questions.” So, I didn’t believe him. Everytime I’d get to his show, he’d say, “Hey, Randy Savage said that you didn’t call him. He really wants to talk to you.”

So, during the peak of my Black Machismo gimmick, I got booked on a show for Pro Wrestling Syndicate in a match with Lanny Poffo. At the end of the day, I remember he was talking to my parents, he gave them 2 of his books. I pulled him aside and I said, “I’ve been working for this guy named Ed Chuman. He says he knows you and Macho Man. He says he wants me to call him. I don’t believe him. Is this true?” He said, “Oh yeah, we know Ed. But, I don’t know if Randy told him to call. When I get home, I’ll check.” When he said he knew Ed Chuman, I was kind of like, “Oh no, this could be legit.” Literally, when I got home, the next day in my email was Lanny saying “Yeah, that was Randy. He wants him to call him. Here’s his number.” I call him… Right away, I’m a fan now. I’m a fan getting to call his idol. You could tell I was interrupting him. I’d always call at weird times. He’d always go, “Is that right?” The conversations would only last 2 or 3 minutes and he’d say, “Me and my girl are about to go eat.”

Had I known or believed that Ed Chuman had been telling the truth, I’d have called him a long time ago. But Lanny did tell me, “He is a big fan of your character. He doesn’t watch on TV but somehow he did see some of it on YouTube and he is a big fan of it.” That is as far as it went. So, I never got to talk to him about his thoughts. But, Lanny told me that he actually enjoyed the character.”