Ring of Honor comes to Chicago Ridge, IL this weekend with two shows at the Frontier Fieldhouse. Saturday night ROH presents a live Internet Pay Per View to celebrate their 11th Anniversary with a main even grudge match for the ROH World Championship with challenger Jay Lethal trying to dethrone the violent Kevin Steen. Sunday afternoon ROH will tape their weekly syndicated TV show from the Fieldhouse with wrestling stars Davey Richards, 'The Outlaw' Charlie Haas, The Briscoes, and many more wrestling standouts in action. For more information, go to ROHWrestling.com
Pro Wrestling Examiner continues our exclusive interview with Jay Lethal where he discusses his time in TNA IMPACT Wrestling, a story about CM Punk in ROH and what he wants his legacy to be in Pro Wrestling. Read the Part 1 of this interview in this link.
ROH is now under new ownership with Sinclair Broadcasting Group. You are in a bunch of new markets with TV. What is the difference now because you were in ROH before, went to TNA IMPACT for a few years and now your back with ROH under these new owners? Whats the difference now during your second tenure with ROH?
Lethal: I make this comparison all the time. It’s as if I have gone away, you live at home for years and you got a Mustang. You move away for six years. Your parents get a new engine in the Mustang. And then You come back home, they say the Mustang is in the garage, you get in the Mustang and take it for a drive. Now keep in mind, it’s the same Mustang you had before. You have the same memories in the Mustang, you still remember when you got it. It’s just a new driving forces, it’s the perfect comparison now for me. There are a few faces that I have seen along the way. before I got here. It’s the same ROH just with a new force driving it.
You had a strong run with TNA and you had good feelings towards them but what are your memories of your time in TNA Wrestling?
Lethal: What I look back fondly on is the relationship, and all the memories, the driving on the road. I met someone last week, who I wrestled once, and I will probably will never see him again. With TNA, you develop these bonds and relationships, I mean 6 people piled in a car for a 4 hour road trip. You are in the same hotels all the time. You are in Orlando, filming TV for 6 years straight. I made some great friendships there, that hopefully last a lifetime.That was my favorite part about being there.
Also the fact that they gave me the greatest night of my life. I am only 27. I have never been married. I don’t have any kids. Literally, the greatest night of my life is when I got to wrestle someone I looked up to when I was growing up and that would be Ric Flair. That would be the two things that I’ll never forget. The friendships that I made at TNA, both wrestlers and office people and the greatest night of my life, when I got to wrestle Ric Flair.
Your 27 years old. You got started pretty young and now your still young man but you have spent a considerable amount time in the ring. What are you still aspiring to accomplish in Pro Wrestling?
Lethal: The answer is always the same. I am afraid to set a goal, because I am afraid it won’t come true.My goals were never to get to Ring of Honor or TNA, my goal was to wrestle. It started out as my older brothers loved it, so you do what your brothers love. Then it turns out I started to like Wrestling more than they did. Then I got to TNA, I didn’t thinking I was going to wrestle Kurt Angle, thankfully that happened several times. Then in the blink of an eye, things started to spiral so fast. I never set goal that I want to work with Kevin Nash, then I got to do it. I never said to myself when Ric Flair comes to TNA, I am going to be the man to wrestle him. I never set a goal when I was older that I would be hanging out in a hotel bar with Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan. That just happened without me, praying about it. Just let it happen.
You seem to be a fun loving guy. When you smile , people believe it. So what are some of the most fun experiences you have had in Pro Wrestling?
Lethal: The thing that pops into my head, at TNA we started doing t these vignettes,Paparazzi Idol. Up until then I had tried to be a straightforward type, World Champion. Everybody wants to be Stone Cold bad ass and nobody wants to be the comedy guy. It’s not until much later that you discover that there is spot for everybody, a spot for every type of role. There is a spot for every bodybuilder. Everybody wants to be World Champion, that’s obvious.
But filming those Paparazzi Idols, that was so much fun. Having fun whether it be through comedy or serious wrestling, if you when you leave you didn’t have a good time, then wasting your time. Kevin Nash would say “did you have fun today?”. The goal there was to at the same time entertain the fans and have a great time yourself, because than ultimately it’s fun for everyone.
Earlier this week we spoke with WWE Hall of Famer Greg ‘the Hammer’ Valentine and asked him this question, and it’s somewhat a universal question. It could interesting to get your answer based on where you are in your career especially with this ROH World title match tomorrow night.. What is the defining characteristic of memory that you want to hold onto? What do you want your legacy to be?
Lethal: Wow, mmmm... Up until today I have never been asked that question. And up until today I haven't even thought about it. I am pretty good at the comedy stuff. I am pretty good at going out there, and making the crowd laugh. And I am pretty good at the serious stuff, too. I would like to think that no matter what role I play, that the crowd is thoroughly entertained. I hate to think of it but their some people who think he should ‘just stick to comedy’ or he should to the serious stuff. No matter what the fans should be entertained, no matter what I am doing.
Follow Jay Lethal on Twitter: @TheLethalJay
Follow the Pro Wrestling Examiner: @KevKellam
Jay Lethal challenges Kevin Steen for the ROH World Championship at the ROH 11th Anniversary IPPV airs this Saturday at 7:30pm CST/ 8:30pm EST at the Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago Ridge, IL. You can watch it live at http://www.rohwrestling.com/IPPV. Tickets for tomorrow's show and Sunday's ROH TV tapings can be purchased at http://www.rohwrestling.com/catalog/tickets