picture by Dwayne Allen
Since defeating Jay Briscoe at ROH Best in the World 2015, the pro-wrestling landscape has gotten a lethal dose of reality and that reality is the first undisputed Ring of Honor World Champion, Jay Lethal.
Since his return to Ring of Honor in 2011, Lethal quickly established himself as an integral part of the company, after spending six years as a mainstay of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s X-Division. Lethal is most known for his extremely accurate homage to childhood idol, the late great “Macho Man” Randy Savage. His portrayal of Black Machismo made him a fan favorite and was good enough to receive the blessing of Randy Savage himself.
Leaving the gimmicks behind, Jay Lethal quickly established himself as top dog of ROH’s mid-card by winning the ROH Television title, holding the title for 231 days during his first reign as TV champion. After losing the TV title, Lethal spent his time chasing opportunity after opportunity to become the top draw in Ring of Honor. The reality was, Lethal was missing something. He needed a dose of the “Truth”.
Jay Lethal got exactly what he needed when he accepted the help of Truth Martini to defeat Tommaso Ciampa to become the first ever 2-time, 2-time, 2-time ROH World Television Champion in company history. The House of Truth was re-born with Lethal at the helm. Not waiting for the suits and ties to give him another shot at the World title, Lethal went on to become the longest reigning World Television Champion in ROH history and counting.
Lethal solidified his place in Ring of Honor history but he was far from done. The House of Truth would not stop until Lethal was recognized as the most important champion in the company. Lethal and The House of Truth officially declared that his World Television Championship was the only title that mattered and that he was the true “world” champion of ROH. After four years of fighting, scratching, and clawing, ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuiness finally made the announcement that at Best in the World 2015; Jay Lethal would battle ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe in a “title vs. title” winner-take-all championship match.
On Friday June 19, 2015, Jay Lethal defeated Jay Briscoe to become the company’s first-ever undisputed World Champion. Lethal is also the only one to hold every singles title in company history, including the defunct ROH Pure Championship title. He is also the third triple-crown champion in company history.
The reality is, Jay Lethal has changed the landscape of professional wrestling, as we know it. Lethal has shown that there is no one better in the ring and on the microphone that can keep up with him and his title defensives. The House of Truth is the most powerful that it has ever been. Jay Lethal’s work in the ring speaks for itself, but his work on the mic is reminiscent to the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair in 1985. Flair’s influence on Lethal’s career is no secret, but there is not a heel better than Jay Lethal in all of pro-wrestling right now with the exception of WWE World and United States Champion Seth Rollins (look or sound familiar?).
Who else defends the World and TV titles on weekly basis on ROH television and pay-per-views? Many people assumed that once Jay Lethal won the ROH World title, he would drop the TV title and a tournament would be held and a new TV champion would be crowned. Jay lethal has done the exact opposite. Instead, he continues the longest title reign in ROH history at 571+ days and counting as TV champion while defending both World and TV titles.
Jay Lethal is defending two championship titles against every major player in the Ring of Honor locker room. Who else is doing that week-in and week-out? Look at the all world champions from all the major players in pro-wrestling. You have the WWE World/US Champion Seth Rollins, ROH World/TV Champion Jay Lethal, NJPW World Champion Kazuchika Okada, and TNA World Champion Ethan Carter III. All fresh young champions looking to guarantee that the world of professional wrestling has a future.
Enjoy this list while you still see it in this way. What am I trying to say? Glad you asked. Word on the street is that WWE/NXT is extremely high on Jay Lethal and Kazuchika Okada. William Regal has recently been assigned to scouting these young talents and with WWE/NXT’s recent obsession with all the top draws of independent and international pro-wrestling, let’s see how long it takes before ROH and NJPW lose their top draws and current world champions.
-The Real Dwayne Allen