Donald Wood sent this in.
My name is Donald Wood from Ring Rust Radio. We had Ring of Honor Star JAY LETHAL on the show this week, and it was a great episode with plenty of exclusive content.
YouTube interview: https://youtu.be/0_vfIyBzdk8
Ring Rust Radio: Your champion vs. champion match against Jay Briscoe was something pretty unique that isn’t seen much in wrestling anymore, but perhaps not coincidentally WWE is having a champion vs. champion match between Seth Rollins and John Cena at SummerSlam, which a lot of fans believe was inspired by ROH. With that in mind, how much of an influence do you believe ROH and what you guys do has on a big company like WWE?
Jay Lethal: I just happen to think its total coincidence. In wrestling, you’re constantly trying to do what’s never been done or what hasn’t been done in a really long time. I can only remember such an event happening and the one that comes to mind is Warrior and Hogan, intercontinental title and world title. That was our mindset, and I’m sure it’s their mindset too. To say that we inspired their story line, if I could find out that it was 100% true, I would be so honored. Man what an honor to say you did something that inspired the number one wrestling company in the world. Especially since for years they have done things that have inspired other wrestling promotions.
Ring Rust Radio: I saw you did an interview with Sports Illustrated to promote Field of Honor this Saturday in Brooklyn. ESPN also announced they would be at WWE’s SummerSlam on Sunday, so this is certainly a big weekend for wrestling with these major outlets covering the events. Does it surprise you that these major media publications are beginning to cover pro wrestling more and what do you think the future holds for these outlets promoting wrestling?
Jay Lethal: It was very shocking to me. That is a true testament to where wrestling is at this point and time. This really is a great time for professional wrestling. I lot of great talents are out there and a lot of different options which also helps wrestling too. I got to say being the Ring of Honor world champion, what a time it is to be the champion in this tremendous wrestling period. It really is a boom period and it’s amazing. ESPN and Sports Illustrated covering wrestling, I’m almost at a loss of words because I can’t believe its happening. It took so long to get here. I can’t think of a more perfect time to be the number one guy in Ring of Honor.
Ring Rust Radio: We’ve always said you’re a complete package. You’re one of the best in the business inside the ring working matches, but also working the mic. In your opinion, which is more important to a wrestler’s success and is there an aspect of your game you’re still trying to improve at?
Jay Lethal: Is there an aspect of my game that I am still trying to improve at? If you ask any good wrestler that, their answer should always be, “I am still trying to improve on everything”. There is always room to improve. The moment you feel like you are good on this, so now let me work on this, that’s the start of any wrestlers’ downfall. Any performer or professional athlete stops and focuses on something else that’s the bad way to go about it. I am still working on everything I can, especially my in ring work. I love being on the mic and am still trying to improve on that but I wish I could do something more with my in ring work. Even though I think it’s good, I wish I could just make it a little bit better. Which do I think is more important, the in ring work or mic work? If I had to force myself to pick one, I would pick mic skills. When I was growing up, a man I looked up to and eventually go to work with was Ric Flair. He was hands down the greatest on the mic. I feel like a lot of people possibly watched Ric Flair matches because he was so good at getting you to want to see those matches. On the same token, his in ring work was so great it would make you want to watch again.
Ring Rust Radio: Ring of Honor has found serious success in recent months, and the company has hitched their wagon to you at this crucial time. What is the pressure like for you knowing you are the face of ROH for the foreseeable future?
Jay Lethal: I hope this doesn’t sound too cocky, but I don’t feel any pressure in that aspect. To use your words, I feel like if ROH hitched their wagon to me, it’s because they are enjoying, like, agree, and approve of everything I am doing. If I didn’t remain to just do what I am doing, then I feel that could have some negative impact. I am in the spot I am in because I deserve it and work hard and have been doing something the company likes. Just keep doing what I am doing and the company will keep liking it and happy that they put me in that spot. I don’t feel any pressure in that aspect because I will just keep doing what I have been doing. No need for the extra pressure or to make it more interesting, just keep doing what I have been doing and everything should be good, that’s my logic