Jay Lethal Talks Training AJ Lee & Her Success, ROH-WWE, More
Jay Lethal was a guest this past weekend on Live Audio Wrestling promoting ROH’s return to Toronto on May 4th and 5th. Here are some excerpts from the interview (transcribed by Chris Maffei):
On TNA contacting him about the One Night Only PPVs: “I will admit, they called me for the first one, but I’m under contract with Ring of Honor, so I think they got the hint and I wasn’t called back for any of the other ones. I’m under contract, so there’s nothing I can do anyway.”
On invasion angles: “I think there’s something to be said for that outsider group coming in and trying to ruin everything. That storyline has been around forever; I don’t know if it’s a fallback, like “Well, things are down, we’re not coming up with too many idea. I got it! Let’s do an invasion angle.” Most of the time, the invasion angles are done properly. Until one really, really falls flat and hurts one of the companies, I think that’s probably when they’ll stop doing it, or until they get a better idea. It’s an easy, easy storyline to develop.”
On his character development: “When I sat down and thought about it, I thought “Well, this is kind of what brought me to the dance. This is kind of what put me on the map.” Not saying that my time before TNA with Ring Of Honor didn’t do anything for me; it got me to TNA. I was recognized around the world as this Machismo character, and when you look at the Ring Of Honor product, I just didn’t think that would, for lack of a better term, get over. I didn’t think they would accept it.
“At the time when I was brought back into Ring Of Honor, (Jim) Cornette and I sat down, and he was thinking, “You know, you’ve done this Machismo thing, I think it’s time to let the people see that you’re more than just this imitation, this funny guy. They know you can wrestle, they just haven’t seen it in a long time, so let’s give it to them.” And I agreed.
“It does warm my heart though sometimes, for instance, I wrestled Michael Elgin in New York City and as I climbed to the top for the elbow drop, the whole building started chanting “Macho Man.” And I love that, it was awesome, and so I gave them a little of the Macho Man mannerisms, but then I went right back into it.”
On training AJ Lee/her success in WWE: “In the class, she had the most dedication out of everyone. She was the smallest person, and also there were no other girls in the class, so she had no choice but to train with the other guys. When it comes down to it, I’m very happy for her success, and I’m glad that her storyline has taken off so well. Unfortunately she’s not wrestling, but who knows? That remains to be seen if she’ll get to wrestle, which I know deep down inside that’s what she really wants to do.”
On whether he has aspirations to join WWE: “I’d feel tremendously horrible if I didn’t say that right now I’m very happy where I am, that being Ring Of Honor. But, that being said, everybody who enters the wrestling business from my generation of wrestlers, we have gotten into this business because of the WWF at the time. I think it’d be a dream come true and an honor for everyone from my generation to get to wrestle or to get to be a part of the WWE locker room at some point in their life. And if they tell you that’s not what they want to do, then I’m gonna come out and tell you that they’re lying to your face.”
The audio interview is available here. The LAW can be heard every Sunday night at 11pm EST on TSN 1050 Toronto, The TEAM 1410 in Vancouver and online via www.liveaudiowrestling.com.