This weekend Ring of Honor Wrestling takes over the Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago Ridge, IL for two days of pure wrestling action. Saturday night ROH celebrates their 11th Anniversary with a live Internet Pay Per View card headlined by ROH World Champion Kevin Steen defending against former TNA IMPACT star Jay Lethal. You can order the Pay Per View through ROHWrestling.com. Sunday afternoon at 2pm, ROH will be back at the Fieldhouse to tape ROH TV for their weekly syndicated TV show through the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. For tickets to both shows, go to ROHWrestling.com
Tomorrow night’s main event match is built on bitter hatred between both men, with the ROH World title on the line as the prize. It’s sure to be a thriller in the Second City. Pro Wrestling Examiner spoke with Jay Lethal this week about this title shot against Steen, his career, his days in TNA Wrestling, and much more.
This is a big match for you and it’s sure to bring up some new feelings in you. How do you feel going into the match for the ROH World Championship?
Lethal: I am little nervous. Mainly due this opportunity for me, it’s a big opportunity for anybody to be the number 1 guy in the company, a World Champion. It’s one of the highest opportunities that one can be given.
You have issues with Kevin Steen, explain how this match came together and how it differs from other matches in your career?
Lehtal: The difference between this feud or story line or whatever you want to call it, the fact that once again this one gives me the chance to become the number one guy in the company, the face of the company, the champion. When you say the words, ‘the SuperBowl’, you automatically think of the last ones who won it, they are the number 1 team. I got a chance to be the number 1 guy.
This match came about when I wrestled Kevin Steen in my hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey. and near the end of the match, or near the end of what became the match, we started wrestling on the outside of the ring. We got a little close to my parents, and Kevin Steen actually spit on my Mom and needless to say it . Needless to say, the match didn’t come to finish after that, it turned into a fight. Then I had to go through a long process to get a rematch with Kevin, because Kevin Steen signed some agreement saying that he never wanted to wrestle me again. And rightly so, I never wanted to wrestle him again. It’s only because he’s the ROH World Champion, that I want to go through with this. That’s how it all came to this weekend.
How do you feel going into the ring with a wrestler that did that your Mother?
Lethal: My ultimate revenge is to dethrone the champion. It’s only way I can gain any bit of satisfaction, other than flying my Mom to Chicago and after the match, having her spit on him. It’s to take what he hold so dear, which is that ROH World Championship. He loves the fact that he’s the number 1 guy, he loves the fact that he’s the champion. The champion calls the shots. I mean the company caters to the World Champion, and he’s in such a great position. I need to remove that.
Explain the danger of Kevin Steen. He has gained a reputation for being outwardly reckless and brutal in his matches, especially since winning the ROH World title.
Lethal: He’s known for doing whatever it takes to win. He had this match called Ladder War with a fellow Ring of Honor guy named El Generico, where literally they did things to their bodies where I sat back and said I could never do that to myself or someone else. He wrestles Davey Richards. Davey Richards wears a mouthpiece, like you would any sport. Near the end of the match, before Kevin beat Davey Richards, he put Richard’s mouthpiece in his own mouth. He’s not all there. He’s sick.
In Pro Wrestling, you have to live on the edge to deliver the best match for the fans. What should fans expect in this match at the 11th Anniversary Match on IPPV?
Lehtal: I sometimes say it’s the biggest nights of my life, it’s one of the biggest nights of my life. I am so torn. I have never had to be the number 1 guy in any promotion I have worked for. Ift’s unbelievable to be the face of a company, and I have that opportunity. I ask fans if you ever seen a Jay Lethal match before, I beg you to compare to the match I am gonna have this weekend. I challenge you to see the difference. I am going to fight harder and faster than I ever have before. I think it will be a night and day difference when you put this match next to any other match I have ever had in my life,.
Chicago is very special for ROH. Ring of Honor held their first Wrestlemania weekend shows here, several past big ROH talents are from the area, and some of the best ROH shows in the history of the company has been held there. How do you feel about that history and feeling when you come
Lethal: For me personally, this building (Frontier Fieldhouse) and wrestling in Chicago all together is amazing. The number 1 moment that sticks out, is CM Punk’s last match for Ring of Honor which just so happened to be in Chicago. I remember being in the locker room, and it was such an emotional time. It was in the home of CM Punk, and Ring of Honor is where he started. He loved Ring of Honor so much and I could remember him getting so emotional before when his music, and he went through the curtain.
And someone pointed this out to me, that as long as (Ring of Honor) has been performing in Chicago, the Ring of Honor World Championship has never changed hands in Chicago. So I am also looking to make history.
It’s time for a change
Lethal: Oh, definitely!
Read part 2 of this interview where Lethal shares memories from his days in TNA IMPACT Wrestling, how his match against Kevin Steen will be the best of his career, and much more. Click here to read Part 2 of this Pro Wrestling Examiner Exclusive interview.
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