Jay Lethal is one of the hottest prospects in wrestling. He has already established himself as one of the top stars of professional wrestling not signed to WWE. Last month, he ended a 427-day reign as Ring Of Honor World Champion. The only names who have had longer reigns as ROH World Champion are Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), Nigel McGuiness and Samoa Joe. That is a prestigious list to be in.
Last month at Death Before Dishonor XIV, Lethal lost the title to Bullet club member Adam Cole, who became a two-time world champion. Lethal spoke to SI.com recently and when asked who he would really like to wrestle, he said Y2J – Chris Jericho:
“Chris Jericho is someone I would love to wrestle. He’s aged like a fine wine. He’d make a good tag team partner and opponent, and hopefully, I get to step in the ring with him before he stops wrestling. One of the biggest motivators I had as champion was being the champion of this locker room – it’s literally the best locker room in the world. I had to top what happened before in my matches, which is an impossible feat – imagine trying to follow the Young Bucks? That’s the biggest motivator. As good as I thought that match was, I wanted to go out and top it. That chip is still on my shoulder. Even before I won any title in Ring of Honor, that mentality was still the same—‘I’ve got the Young Bucks on the show, or Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley, or Kyle O’Reilly’—and I’m a competitor and love healthy competition. You can’t fake the spirit of competition, and we’re all trying to out-do everyone in the locker. Competition is real in professional wrestling.”
Lethal also spoke about what he called the peak of his title reign when he defended the ROH World Championship and TV title at the All-Star Extravaganza PPV:
“Yes, there was one moment in particular. I defended both belts, the World title and Television championship, on the same night at All Star Extravaganza against Bobby Fish and then later against Kyle O’Reilly. My God, how much faith do you have to have in your employee to deliver two times in one night? To me, there was no bigger honor than having their stamp of approval that, ‘This guy can get the job done and deliver exactly what we need.’ That was definitely the highest point of my title reign. Mick Foley had a lot of words of support for me. Foley always supports people who work hard. I saw him at an independent show when I wrestled Tommaso Ciampa, and he raved about that match”