Jay Lethal: ROH Has Always Been In A Rebuilding Phase

Jay Lethal discusses ROH constantly having to recover from talent losses. 

ROH has already undergone a big makeover this year having lost The Young Bucks, Hangman Page and Cody Rhodes to AEW. But one wrestler who has a been a staple in ROH since rejoining the promotion in 2011 has been Jay Lethal. The current ROH World Champion recently broke the record for most combined days as champion, surpassing Samoa Joe with over 646 days as champion.

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Lethal spoke to Sporting News about ROH losing talent but remaining strong.

“I feel that Ring of Honor has always been in the rebuilding phase,” said Lethal. “Ring of Honor, in all the time I've known it, it's never been fully settled. It's always in this rebuilding phase because other rosters out there constantly pluck from the Ring of Honor roster to make their roster better. Look at all of the companies out there and their champions. Most of them came through and from Ring of Honor."

Lethal continued, “I think the winning formula is you don't try and replace those guys. How do you replace The Young Bucks? How do you replace a Cody Rhodes or an AJ Styles? That hole in your tapestry is going to be there, but you have to have sense enough to know that hole leaves some character. That hole has done some great work and you don't try to cover that up. It just adds character.”

ROH General Manager Greg Gilleland recently stated that 2019 is not a rebuilding year for the promotion.

In order to replace the likes of The Elite, ROH signed talent such as PCO, Bandido, Rush, Mark Haskins and more. Lethal believes the new signings help freshen up the ROH roster.

“Ultimately, it's the fans that win because this is going to lead to some fresh and cool things that not only did you not think were possible before, not only some things that you didn't know you wanted to see until you saw them, but to keep fans interested, you have to give them something that they've never seen before,” said Lethal. “With there being so many options for wrestlers, there's so many options to give them something they've never seen before whether it's two guys from different sides of the world that you never thought they'd be in the same ring because they've always worked for two separate companies. Now, there's a dream match that we didn't know would have been a dream match because it's never been possible. The fans are going to be the ultimate winners and if the wrestlers can make a few extra bucks, kudos to them.”

Lethal is set to defend the ROH World Title against Matt Taven at the 17th Anniversary Show on Mar. 15.

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