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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Growing Pains: Jay Lethal
July 29, 2006 Anthony Schmidt


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My first column at OWW will feature (every three weeks) an article about an up and coming superstar. I will provide background, real life, and current information about each of these superstars. This will give every wrestling fan out there a look at a growing superstar and provide a little information. This week we take a look at a TNA youngling, Jay Lethal.

Jamar Shipman was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Standing 5'10" weighing 225 pounds, he is indeed 'Lethal' to the X Division in TNA. He has had many ring names, including Hydro, Jamar Cunningham, and the most popular, Jay Lethal. Jamar Shipman entered a contest created by JAPW (Jersey All Pro Wrestling) in which the winner received six months of free training at their school of wrestling. Jamar entered and won.

Trained by Mikey Whipwreck and Dan Maff, Jamar started wrestling under Jay Lethal in late 2002. In JAPW Lethal held their Television and Light Heavyweight gold. Since he was rising so high in the JAPW rankings, he decided to pursue the JAPW World Heavyweight Championship. This title, at the time, was held by his mentor, Dan Maff. He pinned Maff, but did not win the belt because a crooked referee changed the decision.

Dan Maff left JAPW in March 2005 vacating the title. The gold was awarded to Lethal, but he decided not to take it because he wanted to first earn it. So, a match was made between Jay Lethal and Homicide for the belt. Homicide rolled Lethal up and won the championship, much to the disappointment of Lethal. However, two months later, Jay Lethal finally won the big one. In a fatal-four way match he defeated Homicide, Kevin Steen, and Samoa Joe to become JAPW World Heavyweight Champion.

After a few more months with JAPW as their World Champion, Lethal lost to Rhino. In between his stay at JAPW, he switched around between them and ROH (Ring Of Honor). There, he was involved in many squash matches, but his talents were recognized. On May 22, 2004, he began a feud with Alex Shelley after refusing to join Next Generation, Shelley's stable.

Hydro competed in the Pure Wrestling Tournament, which started on July 17, 2004. He soon left Special K and renamed himself Jay Lethal. Lethal lost the tournament after being pinned by Doug Williams. After losing match after match to Shelley, he was forced into a match against Matt Stryker. If he lost, his ROH career was over. Lethal won, finally ending his losing streak.

While in ROH he acquired his finishing move, the Dragon Suplex. He feuded with The Embassy through 2005 until he pinned Embassy member Jimmy Rave for the ROH Pure Championship, his first title in ROH. In a tag team match up at Manhattan Mayem, Lethal was injured by Low Ki after he stomped on his neck with both feet. This put him out of action for several months. When he returned he sought revenge against The Rottweilers (Low Ki, Homicide, & Ricky Reyes). He lost again, but the return was enjoyed by the fans.

During the rest of 2005 Lethal turned heel, attacking his friend Samoa Joe. In 2006 he was released, but made a few appearances. Now, Lethal was gone from JAPW and ROH and sought a new company: TNA. He made his debut as Jay Lethal in December 2006 losing, ironically, to Samoa Joe. In TNA Lethal qualified for Team USA but they lost to Team Japan at Lockdown 2006 after Black Tiger pinned Jay.

Lethal, Rhino, and The Dudley Boyz competed against Team Canada in an 8-Man Tag Team Match on Impact! (July 14, 2006) The stipulations were that if Team Canada lost they were to break apart and the superstar with the scoring pin would get a title opportunity. Lethal pinned Team Canada member A-1 and earned a shot at Jeff Jarret's NWA World Heavyweight Title. He took the match the following week, but lost due to interference from Big Poppa Pump, Scott Steiner. No matter what anybody says about this kid, he will soon be a force to reckon with in the TNA X-Division. Who knows" He could end up being a WWE Cruiserweight some day. Time will tell.

Until next time, this has been Growing Pains.

by Anthony Schmidt..


Jon Rosaler wrote:
You seem to have an interest in young Stars. I guess you're not much of a veteran person. I really want to start off by saying Jay Lethal is very potential and is not any type of 'Pain' around here. He has the right-of-way to become the NWA Champion. When I saw his match against Jeff Jarrett, It was amazing! The crowd was split in 2 as the crowd Cheered for both Jarrett and Lethal. Half was chanting 'Double J!' and another 'Lethal!' It was a great match, it could have been better if Scott Steiner didn't interfere. It's people like Jay Lethal who have what it takes to promote a company like ROH or TNA.
Collin wrote:
Hi I like the column but I would like it to go longer. And do you mean wrestlers new one TNA or WWE -- thank you.
Johnny wrote:
I enjoyed reading this introspective on Jay Lethal, even though it's the most inaccurate article I've ever read. Sorry, but there were some typos, and you jumped all over for information. Personally, I believe Jay Lethal is the hottest commodity in wrestling. The "Son of JAPW" really proved himself, when he faced Jarrett for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. I thought Lethal could pull off the biggest upset, but even though he lost, it was the greatest match on Impact ever. I have seen Lethal live, and he's amazing to watch. He prides himself on conditioning, and he truly is a "student of the game." Jay is also a genuinely nice guy. I've watched him sign autographs after shows and it was refreshing to see from a young superstar these days. I hope Jay Lethal stays in TNA, and continues to make it the greatest wrestling company in the world.
Will G. wrote:
Good article. I've become a fan of Lethal, he's a great young talent and he definitley has a big future. Though one match I think you should've mentioned was the four-way match at Against All Odds against Petey Williams, Alex Shelley and Matt Bentley. Up until then he had only been an enhancement talent, and then after winning that, he became established a X-division regular.
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