Ring of Honor
Date: April 8, 2020
It’s another profile edition this week with Jay Lethal, who really does deserve something like this. Lethal might not be everyone’s favorite but he has been one of the real constants around here for a long time. Those title reigns of his make him one of the few elite stars in the company, with his only competition also oddly enough being named Jay. Let’s get to it.
Lethal can’t figure out a choice for his favorite match around here. We hear a bit about his first big matches around here, way before he became a top star. He didn’t think he belonged here and two years into his career he was facing AJ Styles and Bryan Danielson.
Then Dusty Rhodes came in and because Jay was part of Special K, he got to get in a cage with him and he couldn’t believe it. As for his favorite match, it was against Jay Briscoe at Best in the World with his family being there in the crowd. His dad was at his first Ring of Honor match and begged Jay not to make him go back because the building was so hot.
And, from Best in the World 2015.
ROH World Title/TV Title: Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal
They shake hands to start and we’re ready to go. The House of Truth tries some early interference and get thrown out to make this one on one. Well two on one as Truth Martini is still at ringside. Lethal drops to the floor twice in a row to start but the fans declare it awesome anyway. A lockup doesn’t go anywhere so they trade wristlocks with both guys challenging, only to have Briscoe take over with a front facelock.
Both guys get back up and it’s time for the slugout with Briscoe being sent out to the floor. Lethal follows him out and drives Briscoe into the barricade to keep his control as we take a break. Back with Briscoe kicking Lethal in the head, only to be sent to the floor for a suicide dive. Lethal loads up another but Briscoe decks him with a hard clothesline and a big suicide dive of his own. Martini finally does something by grabbing Briscoe’s leg, allowing Lethal to stomp away some more.
We hit the chinlock for a bit before Briscoe fights back up and grabs a neckbreaker. Back from another break with the Lethal Combination getting a quick two. The Macho elbow is broken up for a bit, only to have Lethal shove Briscoe off to stop a superplex. Now the elbow gets two but a Koji Clutch is quickly broken up.
They head to the apron with Lethal hitting him low to save himself from a Jay Driller through the table. Well I’d hope he broke it up as it would have meant a bad case of death otherwise. Martini’s distraction earns himself an ejection and NOW the Jay Driller puts Lethal through the table as we take a third break.
Back with both guys inside and Briscoe running into a superkick, only to counter the Lethal Injection with a discus lariat. Lethal grabs the Injection out of nowhere for a very close two and Corino can barely keep going. With nothing else working, Lethal grabs a Jay Driller, followed by another Lethal Injection to finally become undisputed champion at 27:13.
Result: Jay Lethal b. Jay Briscoe – Lethal Injection (27:13)
Lethal talks about not being able to hear anything after he won the title, even his own scream.
Another match he remembers is his match with AJ Styles, who has been one of his idols for his entire career. He fought AJ earlier in his career but now he has the confidence to make it work.
From Final Battle 2015.
Ring of Honor World Title: AJ Styles vs. Jay Lethal
Lethal is defending and has Truth Martini/Taeler Hendrix with him. Styles, who has a bad back coming in, is part of the Bullet Club but comes out alone. We get some big match intros and we’re ready to go. Feeling out process to start as they seem to have a lot of time to work with. AJ gets the better of a technical sequence and Lethal bails out to the floor. Back in and AJ grabs a headlock as the announcers debate whether Elgin vs. Lethal will be for the title or not.
We get the drop down into the dropkick from Styles but Lethal hiptosses him down for a basement dropkick of his own. It’s time for some big chops until Lethal gets caught in the Calf Cutter, sending him straight to the ropes. AJ has to avoid a book shot from Martini and gets dropped onto the apron, drawing a TRUTH MARTINI chant.
Lethal gets smart by sending him back first into the barricade and the pace slows down. We hit a camel clutch as the fans swear at someone over something. A suplex into the corner (also becoming too popular lately) rocks Styles’ back for two more and Lethal grabs the world’s least convincing bearhug. Shockingly enough, Jay Lethal holding a bearhug doesn’t last long as AJ comes back with forearms and clotheslines, followed by a suplex into the corner of his own.
The springboard forearm is caught in the Lethal Combination for two and the champ takes over again. They fight over a suplex until AJ takes him over for a neckbreaker. Styles can’t get the Clash so Lethal throws him into the air and pulls him down into a neckbreaker for two of his own.
Lethal gets tired of this wrestling stuff and throws AJ over the barricade and into the crowd. Ever the genius, Lethal tries a suicide dive with AJ still behind the barricade. AJ, also not that bright, tries the forearm off the barricade but really just collides with Lethal instead. Naturally the fans think it’s awesome because you could put an ROH label on Lord Littlebrook vs. Little Beaver and they would declare it wrestling.
Back in and Jay grabs a Koji Clutch, only to get countered into the Calf Cutter, sending Jay into the ropes again. A big Lethal Injection out of the corner gets two but AJ snaps off a Pele, followed by the Bloody Sunday. Styles loads up something else but gets thrown over the top and through a table, absolutely destroying it in the crash. AJ dives in at nineteen and the Lethal Injection gets two (of course). Instead, Lethal uses Jerry Lynn’s cradle piledriver (due to Jerry saying AJ would win) to set up the second Lethal Injection to retain.
Result: Jay Lethal b. AJ Styles – Cradle piledriver (22:09)
Lethal says he’s only 34 and has a lot of wrestling left, hoping that someone can look up to him like he did to Styles or Samoa Joe. That would make his career 100% complete.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!