Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Black History Month: Jay Lethal

Jay Lethal
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart on Twitter

I’m filling in for Kevin on this blog to wind up the first Black History Month series on my123cents. I guess because I watched more TNA and ROH than Kevin, he figured I was more qualified to write about Jay Lethal. I don’t know about that, but we’ll see if I can follow in Kevin’s footsteps.

Jay Lethal had been wrestling in Jersey All Prow Wrestling before gaining attention in ROH as “Hydro” a member of the rich kid group Special K. After about a year and a half in ROH, Samoa Joe suggested “Hydro” leave Special K and become more serious. This suggestion lead to the return of the Jay Lethal moniker. Lethal would form a tag team with Samoa Joe while working his way up the ROH ladder.

After a few years in ROH, Lethal headed south to wrestle for TNA. Lethal was part of the X-Division during the days when the division was treated as a joke. This was the time when Kevin Nash was putting the X-Division guys through a series of random challenges as well as a few months of guys doing stupid stunts to promote Jackass 2.

Black Machismo
During an episode of Impact, Jay did a spot on impression of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, which led to Jay transforming into Black Machismo. Black Machismo started aping all of “Macho Man’s” mannerisms and past storylines. Machismo would enter into a relationship with ring attendant So Cal Val leading to a wedding that would be derailed due to Black Machismo’s best friend Sonjay Dutt admitting he was in love with Val.

From there, Jay Lethal moved on to a feud with Ric Flair after doing a Ric Flair impersonation. I’m surprised TNA didn’t try to make Lethal the Rich Little of wrestling and have him doing a different impersonation every week. And yes I realize I just dated myself by pulling out a pop culture reference that even Vince McMahon would say was old. Jay got some wins over Flair and it looked like he was being poised to be move up the card. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be as Jay floundered in the mid-card for months before leaving TNA.

Jay Lethal returned to Ring of Honor and quickly won the company’s TV title. Jay will be defending the title this Sunday at ROH’s 10th Anniversary show live on Ippv.


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