By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 437)
Aired April 4, 2020 in syndication and on SBG regional sports networks, available Mondays on FITE.TV
The standard ROH opening aired… Jay Lethal was shown seated for an interview and said it was so hard to list a couple of matches as his favorites from his ROH run. He said he’s been with the company for a long time. He said his first match with the company was against a legend in Homicide. He also spoke of facing Low Ki, winning the Pure Wrestling Championship and taking it to Japan.
Lethal said Samoa Joe is one of the greatest wrestlers in the world and he got to team with him early in his own ROH run. Lethal said he started a young age and there were times when he felt like he didn’t know what he was doing or that things slipped through the cracks. He said there were times when he felt like he didn’t belong with guys like Daniel Bryan and Nigel McGuinness.
Lethal recalled Dusty Rhodes coming to ROH and how he and others were asked to enter a cage and take the classic Dusty elbows. Lethal spoke about his father being a big fan of Rhodes. Lethal said he called his buddies and played it cool while talking about working with Rhodes, but inside he was beyond excited.
Lethal said his favorite matches if pressed, one of his favorite matches was against Jay Briscoe at Best in the World. He recalled the Murphy Rec Center and how much his father hated the venue. His spoke with him about Homicide destroying him in a match. Lethal thought it was great and assumed his dad thought he was nuts.
ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe vs. ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal match for both titles from Jun 19, 2015 at ROH Best in the World. Truth Martini, Donovan Dijak (Dominik Dijakovic), and J Diesel (Joey Daddiego) were in Lethal’s corner. There were multiple commercial breaks during the match, which Lethal won to become a dual champion.
After the pinfall, they went to a split screen shot. Lethal spoke about how he couldn’t hear anything once the three count happened. He recalled looking at his father and said that if his career had ended there it would have been okay. “It was the greatest night of my life,” Lethal said before they went to another break…
Powell’s POV: I love hearing those stories that Lethal shares about his father being so supportive throughout his career. It’s also cool to hear him speak so fondly about his first ROH World Title reign. That win really elevated him and he had a strong reign as champion.
Lethal spoke of facing AJ Styles. He said people know that he looks up to Ric Flair and Randy Savage as his idols, but people don’t know that he also looked up to Styles. Lethal said he had confidence that he lacked previously when they met again…
Jay Lethal vs. AJ Styles match for the ROH Championship from ROH Final Battle 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 23000 Arena. Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix were in Lethal’s corner. There were multiple commercial breaks that aired during the match, which Lethal won using a cradle piledriver and a Lethal Injection…
Powell’s POV: Styles worked his final date of that ROH run on January 23, 2016. He did some future dates while working for New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of the War of the Worlds tour.
Lethal said he’s been in ROH for a very long time. He said it feels like he’s been there forever, but he’s only 34 years old and he still has a lot of wrestling to do and a lot of memories to make. He wonders if there is someone in the locker room who looks at him the way he looked at all the wrestlers who were in ROH when he started in 2002. He said he never went up to Styles or Joe to tell them that he looked up to them and studied their matches. He said it would be cool once he’s finished to find out that someone was doing something like he was doing in this interview and saying things about him and what it was like to get into the ring with him. “To me, that will make my career 100 percent complete,” Lethal said. Then I can die a happy man”…
Powell’s POV: A good followup to last week’s episode that focused on Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe. For those who don’t know, ROH is running episodes that spotlight some of their wrestlers while they are shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. I applaud them for being one of the few bigger pro wrestling companies to be responsible enough to take this approach.
Lethal has a good story and I enjoyed the stroll down memory lane with a couple of very good matches that are worth revisiting or checking out for the first time. It is a bit strange to see heel Lethal abandoning that character and being himself, though I’m not sure if the sit-down interview was repurposed from something else or shot specifically for this episode. I’d actually like to hear more from the talent and see less of the classic matches, but that’s just my preference.
While I like the two episodes that have aired since they switched to this format, they don’t give me a lot to talk about, so I’m putting the Dot Net Members’ exclusive ROH Wrestling audio review on hold for the time being. It will definitely return once ROH gets back to a more traditional format, but I will continue to run these written reviews each week. Be safe.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Jake Barnett co-hosting the Boom and Dot Net Weekly combo show. Jason and Jake discuss Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy, Alberto Del Rio being accused of sexual assault, WWE's IC Title tournament, Mike Tyson appearing at AEW Double Or Nothing, Undertaker's Last Ride documentary, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV thoughts, and more...