Source: The Ross Report
On episode 129 of The Ross Report, WWE Hall Of Famer, Jim Ross welcomed former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal to the podcast. During the interview, Lethal graded his TNA run. He explained how he got the Black Machismo gimmick. Also, Lethal talked about who should be on the so-called Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling.
"Well, the grade I would give it, I don't know if anybody would be shocked by this grade, but I would give it a B+, to be honest. Even though there [were] a few things that I could have shook my finger at, you could do that at any job even if it's your dream job. And the reason I get a B+ from me is I had so many great moments there. I made so many great friends. And I feel like the Black Machismo character is really what put Jay Lethal on the wrestling map. No doubt and I'm not foolish enough to doubt that. I don't mind it. I'm well aware of that. They also gave me one of the greatest moments of my life when I got to step into the ring on pay-per-view with Ric Flair, a man that I idolized. I'm so honored for that. Yeah, I really believe what I did in that company is what put me on the map. So yeah, they would get a B+. I don't have many negative things to say about them either, which is cool for them except for the fact that they let me go, but anybody would be saddened by that."
Apparently, Kevin Nash encouraged Lethal to use the Black Machismo character on television after hearing Lethal's impression of the late great Randy 'Macho Man' Savage.
"I was a huge fan of his. Even before I got into the [professional] wrestling business, I watched him and listened to him and heard him so much, I guess I just naturally developed this ability to sound like him and I would do it in the locker rooms, from time to time, whenever there was a dull moment, and Kevin Nash actually heard me do it and he convinced me 'you have to do that on television. You have to. They're not doing anything with you right now, so it's not even like it would be that hard to do.' And I didn't want to do it because I didn't want anybody to think I was making fun of Savage because I really was a huge fan of his. And Kevin said, 'if anything, Jay, you'd be helping to keep his name out there because nobody is talking about him right now.' And that's the way he got me to see it, so I did it on television, Jeff Jarrett fell in love with it, I fell in love with it, and it actually got a longer run than any of us expected it would have."
Lethal's Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling includes Savage, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Ultimate Warrior.
"Randy Savage and Ric Flair, they're definitely up there. Definitely." Lethal continued, "the other two, I believe it could be, as a popular answer, but I really believe that Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior have to be up there even though I didn't idolize either one those [wrestlers]. But from watching back, you either had to be a Hulk Hogan fan or you were an Ultimate Warrior fan, just like you were either a Bret Hart fan or you were a Shawn Michaels fan."
Click here to listen to the podcast. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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