Jay Lethal Confirms He Chose ROH Over AEW Three Years Ago

Jay Lethal was a recent guest on Talk Is Jericho where he discussed his decision to join AEW. The former Ring Of Honor star revealed he flew himself to meet Joe Koff in order to request his own release from the company.


"I decide, you know what, I think I know what I'm going to try and do, I think I'm going to try and go to AEW. I ask for my release because of course, nobody will talk to you. Because that's the thing too, we were all still under contract. I even flew myself out to Baltimore, I didn't call them, I didn't send a message," Lethal revealed. "I flew myself to Baltimore so I could meet with Joe Koff and the other guy whose name is Greg. Because they've been so good to me, they treated me amazing. It was very sad to have to do that. I flew out there and asked for my release, told them what a pleasure it was to work with them."

Jay Lethal then discussed being able to finally begin his talks to sign for AEW. However, he didn't even talk to Tony Khan until the night that he made his debut for the company.


"After that, finally I could get my talks, and I didn't even get to talk to Tony Khan. I talked to everybody except for him," Lethal admitted. "The first time I actually met Tony Khan was at Full Gear and that's how I decided and came to be about being in AEW."

Jay Lethal then reflected on when The Elite ended up leaving Ring Of Honor, which led to AEW's creation. He admitted being heartbroken by the news, but also revealed that they offered him the chance to join them from the very start.

"That massive exodus of a good group, a solid group of people who were drawing the fans there. When this exodus, this massive leaving happened, my heart broke," he confessed. "This was also during a contract renegotiation time for me. An offer was made for me and they extended the invite to me to say, 'hey, come with us.'

"I didn't take it, obviously, and here's why. Throughout my entire Ring Of Honor career, it really feels like they have laid out the red carpet, for not only me but my family. They've always gone above and beyond," he said. "I can't think of a single bad thing to say about them. Other than they let us sit at home too long and paid us.

"When all these guys were leaving, and I don't want to make it seem like I'm some savior. But when all those guys left, I literally thought about the state of the company," he said. "Not only that but the state that my friends would be left in because I'm friends with everybody there. I thought, well I can't do it all by myself, but at least if I'm here I can try and help. I really feel like the company is going to suffer and they've been good to me so let me repay the favor. That's the only reason that I stayed."


Lethal is now part of the AEW roster, but that is something that could have been in place from the start. However, he believes he made the right call when it comes to sticking with ROH.

"I wanted to go so bad," Lethal said about his AEW contract offer. "I already knew from the start what was going to happen. But, my loyalty, even today I feel like it was the right thing to do."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.