Jay Lethal was a recent guest on Talk Is Jericho and during the interview, he spoke about how Ring Of Honor announced the hiatus to the talent. The news came via a zoom call, which he thought was going to be bad news before it began.
“We’re in a zoom call and they drop this bomb on us. A whole roster zoom call, 50 people,” Lethal stated. “One tell-tale sign that something bad was happening was, normally these zoom calls just involve the people who are about to do our TV tapings. This zoom call had literally everybody. Even the people who were overseas that couldn’t make the show. I was like, ‘oh boy.’ Literally, while the zoom call meeting is going on in the middle of this big announcement, I’m thinking, ‘oh man, what‘s the next step for me?’”
AEW’s newest star admitted that the news did come as a surprise. He stated that the original email actually sounded like it was positive for the company.
“Completely out of the blue,” Lethal said on the ROH hiatus announcement. “Not to give too much, I’m not sure who I will piss off by saying too much of this. But we had gotten an email announcing that we are going to have the zoom meeting and the email sounded promising. Like, ‘hey, we’ve got a taping that’s coming up, we’re going to discuss 2022, the early parts of it.’ So all of us were like, ‘alright, this is exactly what we wanted to hear.’ Going into the meeting I would definitely say I, and I can’t speak for everybody, but I was caught off-guard.”
Jay Lethal also spoke about the reasons why Ring Of Honor has found itself in this situation. He admitted that paying the talent while not putting on any shows at all during the height of the pandemic was a factor.
“I think the big thing, there’s two reasons, I think. The main one is, during the pandemic they tried so hard to take care of everybody, right? Which, a lot of companies were doing,” he said. “A lot of companies were taking care of people, not releasing too many people, still paying everybody, which they did. But I do think they tried to go above and beyond and had us all sitting home protected, while still paying everybody.
“So, there’s no shows, no money coming in for almost the whole year,” he pointed out. “So they did do a good job in trying to protect us and keep everybody safe. Even though everybody on the roster was willing to go and have those shows. We were all willing to travel, but they wanted us to stay home and keep safe. I think that really put us in the red.”
Jay Lethal then discussed the second reason why the company has struggled. He believes that the cost of testing and doctors when shows returned is something that played into it.
“Then the shows that we did have, I don’t know for sure,” he admitted. “But the amount of money I heard that they spent on testing and everybody having their own room. This doctor and that doctor and all the hoops they had to go through. I heard was unreal, the figures. I think that was the biggest thing that led us to this.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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