It’s July 2016 and I’ve just spent the weekend watching ROH Wrestling on DVD, my love affair is at the highest it’s ever been right now, having just watched ROH ‘Best In The World 2016’ on June 24th its plain to see for me that this is the best wrestling on the planet bar none with talents like Jay Lethal.
Lethal vs Briscoe is the modern day version of Punk vs Joe, now I know a lot of people might be thinking how can I compare CM Punk and Samoa Joe to Jay Lethal and Briscoe. Now please don’t get confused in my term of this comparison I simply mean from in-ring chemistry, as Punk/Joe might be more known to the average fan, Briscoe/Lethal have never let themselves or the fans down once they step foot into the ROH ring.
As Kevin Kelly says in from his excellent view from ringside at Best In The World, “Jay Briscoe and Jay Lethal are perfect opponents. Not only do they bring out the best in each other but they are also very similar as athletes and men, having both been raised in homes with solid families supporting them. Lethal and Briscoe both started their pro wrestling careers as teenagers and are two of the most decorated men in ROH history, they are both leaders and have the respect of the locker room.”
I honesty couldn’t put it much better, they just click, whether that be promo work, in ring, they just click.
A year on from the incredible match at Best In The World 2015, Lethal again proved why he’s being touted as one of the best pro wrestlers in the world right now, not many have held the ROH world title longer than Lethal and he’s brought a lot of prestige back to the company’s highest honor, remember this has been held by the likes of Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, CM Punk, Tyler Black, Kevin Steen and Bryan Danielson all who currently or have have worked for the WWE.
Lethal is in great company as world champion, and if history repeats itself then he could be the next to move to the WWE and onto a ‘bigger’ stage. While die hard ROH and in fact wrestling fans don’t want to see this I can’t help but see a future for him there and more so with the WWE impending brand split which will see NXT stars promoted to the main roster leaving opportunities at NXT to showcase their talents to a wider audience.
ROH hasn’t and isn’t currently just giving you outstanding pro wrestling each week it’s giving young talents a platform to develop on, they have an excellent track record in developing top talent just look at the list above with other wrestlers like El Generico, Claudio Castagnoli while making talent that TNA didn’t use to their peak abilities such as Lethal and The Young Bucks and you could even through CM Punk in there as he also had a stint with TNA.
I’m a huge Jay Lethal fan and if anyone has followed my twitter (@GaryRWard) for any length of time you’ve know this, Lethal hasn’t just taken himself from a relatively poor gimmick in ‘Black Machismo’ to being a legitimately world class pro wrestler in the space of 3-4 years. Don’t get me wrong, his time in TNA was good, he proved that he had more to him than just X Division talent and his feud with Ric Flair really opened mine and others eyes to the inner talent, he’s gone ten steps further in ROH, with them giving him the opportunity to progress and forge a statement as being one of the best in the world, while forming a fantastic group in The House Of Truth with Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix.
Lethal hasn’t just cleared out his division in ROH over the past year as world champion, he’s also cleared out the company with outsiders trying to create an opportunity for themselves in Colt Cabana and AJ Styles to name a couple. Lethal following the win over Briscoe at BITW 16 has started his domination again, next in line…. Adam Cole.
It because of talents like Jay Lethal that at 30 years old I’ve fallen in love with pro wrestling all over again, but I guess you could just call it a love affair.
Until next time.
Gary R Ward.