Prior to the main event of Full Gear, it was announced that Jay Lethal was ‘All Elite.’ Lethal was one of the guests at the AEW Full Gear post-show media scrums. The former Ring of Honor World Champion said that the decision to join AEW was easy.
“I am a professional wrestler, and this is the fastest-rising, hottest promotion in the freakin’ world. It was no contest. It was an easy decision for any professional wrestler, in my opinion. This place is amazing. AEW is on fire and I’m so happy to be here and I’m more excited that they are willing to have me here. That’s even more exciting in my head,” Lethal said. (h/t Gisberto Guzzo of Fightful)
On October 27, Ring of Honor announced that they would be closing their doors during teh first quarter of 2022. All talent is going to be released from their contracts at the end of this year. If their contract was for longer than this year, they will be paid until March 31, 2022.
Lethal commented on ROH’s status, “Well, unfortunately, doors are closing soon there. I’ve 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 until the doors close. The doors are closing and an opportunity presented itself and I was welcomed in with open arms. So to answer your question, my heart goes out to a lot of those guys who no longer have jobs. It’s sad, but it’s also a great time to be a professional wrestler because the wrestling world right now is freakin’ booming.”
Through the scrum, Jay also revealed that his relationship with AEW only started a few days ago. He said Full Gear was his first time talking to the AEW CEO in person.
“It all happened so quickly, only a few days ago. My head was spinning because — 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 and such. You’re a professional wrestler so there’s not a ton of jobs. You can’t just fill out an application anywhere. I got a quick message from some of Tony’s associates, which was like a beacon of light. But literally, that was only a few days ago. Then I flew in yesterday and had to sit in my hotel room and I couldn’t get any sleep because all I could think about was, ‘Well, I don’t really know what’s happening tomorrow because we haven’t met yet. It was wild. All these thoughts going through my mind, ‘Will the people like me? The company’s on fire right now, I hope I make a good impression.’ Just a wild rush of emotions in my head,” Lethal said.
Lethal also announced that he had asked for his release from Ring of Honor only a few days prior to the show. It seems he was granted his release. Lethal hinted that he wanted to get on the market before his other ROH colleagues became free agents as well.
Lethal said the following about his ROH contract, “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.”
Lethal, when asked, shared that he was not going to be at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle on December 11.
“I will not be. My new home is AEW,” Lethal said.
In his debut, Lethal challenged Sammy Guevara to a match for the TNT Championship. The match will take place on the November 17 edition of AEW Dynamite.
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