Jay Lethal Interview: Being the Face of ROH, Never Being In WWE, TNA Run, & Ric Flair Feud

Jay Lethal spoke with Mike Mooneyham at The Post and Courier. Here are some of the highlights:

Why he hasn’t ever been in WWE:

“It’s funny. When I got into the wrestling business, all I wanted to do was wrestle for WWE. That was a major goal for everyone from my generation. I’m not saying that’s something that I would not want to do, but along the way I sort of re-prioritized some things.”

How he’d feel if he never makes it to WWE:

“With that said, if I never got to work for WWE, I wouldn’t be too upset. I wouldn’t feel that my career wasn’t complete. I think that I’ve made it. And that’s something that a lot of wrestlers struggle with.”

What it was like cutting a promo on Ric Flair:

“It definitely was a highlight of my career … especially at that point. Even today I remember being so nervous because at the time that company (TNA) had never given me the chance to cut a promo in the ring before. Now the first chance I get to do it I’ve got to go in there with Ric Flair. Are you kidding?” I think the coolest part about it to him was that out of all the promos that we cut, nothing was rehearsed. He refuses to go over promos ahead of time. It was all off the cuff. I had to first hear what he was going to say live out there and then react to it. That’s what really caught him off guard.”

A rare line he used on Flair:

“I hit him with one of his lines that he never really used that much. But he did use it way back when. Not many people even remember the line because it wasn’t a famous Ric Flair line. His line was ‘Jumping on is a lot easier than jumping off.’ When I said that, you should have seen his eyes light up. I could tell I caught him off guard for a second, and all he could say was ‘Wow!’”

His release from TNA:

“I never ever really got the full true story. Just one day they called and said they were going to have to release me. I’ve heard several different stories. I heard Dixie’s parents came in and cut the budget and got rid of me. I heard three other stories, but when it comes down to it, I guess Dixie owned the company at the time. Nothing can happen without crossing her desk. So I guess the idea came up to get rid of me, and she signed off on it. I really don’t know what else to say.”

On becoming the face of ROH:

“They say when one door closes, another one opens. I like to think that all that stuff in TNA helped prepare me for what was to come in Ring of Honor. I became the face of the company. I was both Ring of Honor world champion and television champion at the same time, performing sometimes twice on a show. I definitely think that being in the ring with Ric Flair and wrestling Kurt Angle – all those things I got to do in TNA – definitely prepared me for the very stressful role that I was about to embark upon in Ring of Honor. But I was ready for it because of everything that I had been through. I was a hundred percent ready for it.”

“To me becoming the Ring of Honor world champion is the highest honor. That’s like getting the promotion at your job.”

To read the full interview, check out The Post and Courier.