Jay Lethal spoke with the Sporting News ahead of his match last Friday at Ring of Honor: Final Battle against Cody Rhodes. He talked about working with the legendary Ric Flair, whether he thinks the WWE and ROH will eventually join forces, and how the "Black Machismo" gimmick brought out his true self.
Many wrestling fans have seen or at least have heard about the famous dueling Flairs promo battle in TNA between Lethal and The Nature Boy himself, but few may realize how nervous Jay was during the segment.
"I remember at the end of that promo when we were face to face, nose to nose, I remember I was so nervous that my hands actually went numb," he said.
"I remember clear as day being face to face with him, (thinking) 'This is so cool,' and I was thinking my brothers and sisters are at home watching on TV. I'm face to face with Ric Flair and I remember thinking, 'Why are my hands so numb? What is going on?' It was nerve-wracking but an honor. It was literally in the top two moments of my wrestling career. Not only in my wrestling career, probably in the top two greatest moments of my life."
The possibility of a partnership between Ring of Honor and WWE has long been rumored, but nothing has materialized so far. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen eventually, said Lethal. "If I had to predict the future, I would think that at some point in time that, in my opinion, could be very possible. Look at the guys there who have come from Ring of Honor. Look at all the guys they've used and plucked from Ring of Honor. At some point, in my opinion, I would think they'd go, everybody we get from there really excels here so maybe should ... I don't know. That's just my opinion. I think there definitely could be something in the future, some kind of working relationship."
One of Lethal's most famous gimmicks is that of Black Machismo, his dead-on impression of Macho Man Randy Savage.
Lethal says that the Machismo character is just his own personality turned up to eleven.
"My charisma or being comfortable on the microphone, that didn't come into play until I went to TNA and I got to do the Black Machismo character and to be the 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair himself," Lethal said. "That's what really helped my charisma and being comfortable on the microphone. Let's face it: To be the Black Machismo, what it boiled down to for me in the back of my head is you can't be afraid to look silly in some form or fashion."
Jay Lethal also discussed dream matches, Roderick Strong, and working for NJPW. You can read the full interview at this link.