While many wrestlers are looking for greener pastures, Jay Lethal is perfectly happy in Ring of Honor.
The current ROH Champion has been a staple in the company since 2011, when he returned after a six-year stay in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. Lethal won the ROH World Title this past June, defeating Dalton Castle to begin his second reign as champion. The past November, Lethal signed a new deal with the company, keeping him in the organization for the foreseeable future. His contract was set to expire at the end of the year.
Speaking to Scott Fishman at TV Insider, Lethal discussed re-signing with ROH.
“I’m sure every wrestler on our roster would say this, but I love Ring of Honor,” Lethal said. “The company has given me so much. The company is putting all their stock in me to represent them both in and out of the ring. They did that two times. When I have an idea about wrestling, they seem to stop everything to listen to my idea. Even if they don’t use my idea, the fact they stop everything to listen to really ponder about it. Nine times out of 10 they do allow me to run with my ideas. There is nothing better than that. I think it’s a dream situation for every wrestler."
Lethal continued, “I also think it’s how you see what a wrestler can do. When a wrestler comes up with an idea and you allow them to run with it, they are going to try and put their heart and soul into the idea. That’s because it came from them and they want to prove they has good ideas. That’s what you get to see what a wrestler is made of. So, re-signing was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made in my life.”
In the same interview, Lethal discussed how ROH is able to restock the cupboard when talent leaves. Ring of Honor is expected to lose Cody, the Young Bucks, Hangman Page, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels at the end of the year as their contracts will expire. Losing top talent is nothing new for ROH, who have seen stars like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and more come and go over the years.
“Think about how many times Ring of Honor has gone through a rebuilding phase,” he said. “It seems like they never exit that. With Ring of Honor becoming a destination for other wrestlers to come to, it’s not an independent promotion anymore. It’s a destination spot for wrestlers all over the world. Think about all the people who have come through. Many of them have become champions in other companies. Think about if you ran a promotion, how do you pick up and carry on after you lose an AJ Styles or a Samoa Joe? How do you pick up and go on after you lose a Bryan Danielson, CM Punk or Adam Cole? You just do it.
“You don’t try to replace those guys, but pick up and move on because those guys are irreplaceable," Lethal stated. "The winning formula is you don’t try to replace them. You just have to pick up and move on and add another piece to the end of the puzzle…It’s going to hurt and impact us a lot. Most of these guys were in the main event. It’s going to be a hit, but we are going to do what Ring of Honor always does and carry on. We always produce one of the best wrestling products out there.”
Lethal successfully defended his ROH World Title against Cody at Final Battle this past Friday.