Last night Jay Lethal debuted for AEW during their Full Gear pay per view, and later challenged TNT champion Sammy Guevara to a title matchup for this Wednesday’s Dynamite on TNT.
Lethal was one of the many stars who spoke with the wrestling media in the post-Full Gear scrum, where he discussed how his deal with AEW came to be, and revealed that he will not be at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle pay per view, and is officially done with ROH ahead of their 2022 hiatus. Highlights are below.
Says him getting signed with AEW happened so quickly and he only met with Tony Khan today:
“It all happened so quickly, a few days ago. My head was spinning. Today was the first time we met and talked face-to-face. Imagine being, for lack of a better term, jobless and wondering how you’re going to pay your bills. You’re a professional wrestler, there’s not a ton of jobs and you can’t just fill out an application anywhere. Obviously I got a quick message from some of Tony’s associates which was like the greatest day, a beacon of life. Literally that was only a few days ago, I flew in yesterday and had to sit in my hotel room and I couldn’t get any sleep. I swear to god, not a minute, not an hour of sleep because all I could think about was I don’t really know what’s happening tomorrow. We hadn’t met yet, this was our first time meeting face to face, it was wild, all these thoughts going through my mind. Will the people like me, the companies on fire right now, I hope I make an impression. Just a wild wild rush of emotions in my head.”
On ROH going on hiatus and him beginning a new venture in his life:
“Unfortunately the doors are closing soon there. I met a lot of friends there, I’ve wrestled there for over 10 years. I’m a very loyal professional wrestler, if you’re good to me I’ll stay there till the doors close. The doors are closing [in ROH] and the opportunity presented itself [to come to AEW]. Mr. Opportunist here [Tony Khan] and I was welcomed in with open arms. To answer your question, my heart goes out to a lot of those guys who no longer have jobs. It’s a sad time but also a great time to be a professional wrestler because the wrestling world is frickin booming.”
Says he had about a month left on his ROH contract and decided to ask for his release:
“I had about a month left up until maybe five days ago, six days ago where I asked for my release. Because I knew that as a professional wrestler, everybody knows, left and right people were released, there was a massive amount of free agents and for a professional wrestler if you don’t strike while the iron is hot, then you’re going to be behind the eight ball. I figured I would bet on myself and try something and I got a response and it worked and I’m so thankful for it.”
Says he won’t be at Final Battle:
“I will not be. My new home is AEW.”
(Thanks to Wrestling Inc. for transcriptions)