At the “10th Anniversary Event” in NYC, Tommaso Ciampa challenged then-TV Champion Jay Lethal for the championship after earning the shot via a Proving Ground match. The bout went to a time limit draw and rather than enter into a kind of overtime period, The Embassy Ltd stole the title belt and quickly vacated the premises.
The belt was essentially held hostage until “Showdown in the Sun – Day 2” where Ciampa was ordered to bring the belt to Ft. Lauderdale and return it to its rightful holder. Lethal, scheduled to take on Roderick Strong as part of the “Blind Destiny” challenge, was essentially cajoled by Ciampa into putting the belt up since Strong was also owed a Proving Ground-based title opportunity.
In a surprising moment Ciampa, who was seated at ringside watching, actually used a distraction to slam the champion into the ring post, and then feed him to Strong, who took advantage of the opportunity and defeated Lethal to claim the TV Title.
“What I got out of Ft. Lauderdale Tommaso was that you don’t truly care about the championship.” said Lethal, “This wasn’t about earning the TV title, it wasn’t about becoming a champion; it was about humiliating me. I look at this situation and all I see is you wanting to take away the thing I held dear just to get into my head. This is personal for you, and you seem just as happy to make sure I don’t have the TV Title as you would have been to win it. Well Tommaso Ciampa, congratulations, this has become personal for me too. I’ve talked to ROH officials, and it looks like you’ll get your chance to humiliate me one more time because I’ve demanded that you face me in Toronto. I want to slam your head into the corner post, I want to embarrass you in front of the world, I want to end your streak, and that is just what’s going to happen at Border Wars!”
The tensions between these two men have been building for several months now and it looks like its set to explode at The Ted Reeve Arena! It’s Jay Lethal vs. the unbeaten “Dominant Male” Tommaso Ciampa in a Grudge Match! It goes down on May 12th at “Border Wars” live on iPPV from Toronto! There are still seats available so get your tickets now!