So as an "equal-opportunity opportunist" and self-professed wrestling fan since NWA World Champion Ric Flair defeated Road Warrior Hawk at 1986's Great American Bash in The City of Brotherly Love, I'm honored to have Ring of Honor (ROH) Wrestling's very own Jay Lethal as our first guest.
Jamar Shipman would debut as Jay Lethal in October 2001 at Japan All Pro Wrestling's (JAPW) Class Of 2001 Student Show, where he defeated fellow wrestler Dixie (Brian Brower) and won a lifetime of free professional wrestling training at JAPW's facilities. Less than a year later, Lethal would win his first championship (JAPW Television Championship) and go on to a 16+ year wrestling career that would see him earn numerous championships and accomplishments around the world.
Two of Lethal's biggest runs during his career were with with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and ROH Wrestling. From 2006 to 2011, Lethal would go on to be a six-time TNA X Division Champion, a TNA World Tag Team Champion and a member of the World X Cup Team. Though he would be remembered for a number of storylines during his run with TNA (including his "Black Machismo" persona) and jaw-dropping X Division matches, one of the things Lethal will be remembered the most for were his imitations of and program with "The Nature Boy" Flair and his Fortune stable.
After leaving the company at the end of 2005 for a TNA run, Lethal would return "home" to ROH Wrestling in 2011. Over the next six years, he would go on to hold the ROH World Championship; and the ROH World Television Championship twice (for a record-setting 567 days). Lethal also has the distinct honor of having held both the World Television Championship and World Championship titles concurrently.
Lethal was kind enough to take some time to speak with Bleeding Cool on a number of topics, including: how the wrestling industry has changed over the years; the role ROH plays in the overall wrestling landscape; one of his most memorable matches (the answer might just surprise you); what it was like imitating "The Nature Boy" to his face; what were his "geek obsessions" as a kid…and what are they now; and why if you're a serious wrestling fan in Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, you need to grab a ticket to one of ROH's upcoming live shows stat (info below):
Saturday, November 11, 2017 / 7:00 pm EST
War Memorial Auditorium / 800 NE 8th Street / Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
MAIN EVENT: THE ELITE (IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPION KENNY OMEGA AND ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE YOUNG BUCKS) vs. DALTON CASTLE, JAY LETHAL, & ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION KENNY KING
ROH Sunshine State Excellence
Sunday, November 12, 2017 / 6:00 pm EST
RP Funding Center / 701 Lime Street / Lakeland, FL 33815
MAIN EVENT: IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPION KENNY OMEGA & ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE YOUNG BUCKS vs. ROCKY ROMERO & BEST FRIENDS (BERETTA & CHUCKIE T.)
MATT TAVEN vs. JAY LETHAL
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: NIGHT 1 – SAN ANTONIO, TX
Friday, November 17, 2017 / 7:30 pm CST
Austin Highway Event Center / 1948 Austin Highway / San Antonio, TX 78218
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: NIGHT 2 – DALLAS, TX
Saturday, November 18, 2017 / 7:00 pm CST
Gilley's Dallas / 1135 South Lamar Street / Dallas, TX 75215
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: NIGHT 3 – OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Sunday, November 19, 2017 / 7:00 pm CST
Cox Convention Center / 1 Myriad Gardens / Oklahoma City, OK 73102
To purchase tickets for any of the shows listed above or to get additional information, you can click here; or contact ROH's customer service/order-by-phone support: 1-443-297-8098 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm). Feel free to visit ROH's main website to find out how to live PPV events online and check out past ROH shows.
The Weekly Static: Interviews is our semi-regular-depending-how-this-goes series spotlighting individuals or groups from television, cable, streaming and the intertubes. The Weekly Static considers itself an equal-opportunity opportunist, so we'll be bringing you guests from across the broadcasting landscape: sports, comedy, talk, reality, docs and everything else that falls in between. We'll also stay away from the cliched public relations crap: we're going to ask about things we think you'll be interested in because we're interested in them; and make sure to sneak in at least one off-topic question they might not see coming. Special thanks to Bleeding Cool's own Jude Terror for making all of this happen.