Jay Lethal is known as “The Franchise of ROH,” and deservedly so, but another fitting moniker for him would be “Mr. Final Battle.” Lethal has nine victories at ROH’s biggest show of the year.
Lethal, the most decorated singles competitor in ROH history, is looking to do something at this year’s Final Battle that he has never done: become one-half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions. He and Jonathan Gresham challenge 11-time ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe for the belts on Friday, Dec. 13 at Baltimore’s UMBC Event Center.
Here’s a look at Lethal’s five greatest victories at Final Battle:
5. ROH WORLD TELEVISION TITLE DEFENSE VS. MATT SYDAL (2014)
Lethal was eight months into what would become a record-setting, 567-day reign as ROH World Television Champion when he stepped into the ring against the high-flying Sydal, an outstanding athlete and spectacular high-flyer who presented a major threat to Lethal’s title. Lethal proved up to the challenge, as he defeated Sydal with Lethal Injection (thanks in part of an assist from his manager, Truth Martini).
4. FOUR CORNER SURVIVAL MATCH VS. SAMOA JOE, CHRISTOPHER DANIELS AND BJ WHITMER (2005)
Lethal was just 20 years old when he stepped into the ring to face established stars Joe (a former ROH World Champion), Daniels (a future Grand Slam Champion) and Whitmer. Joe had taken Lethal under his wing, but the brash Lethal severed ties with his mentor prior to this match and was determined to prove that the student was better than the teacher. In the end, Lethal hit a diving headbutt on Daniels for the win.
3. VS. MARTY SCURLL (2017)
The dream match between Lethal and Scurll lived up to its billing. When Scurll first issued the challenge to Lethal, he said he wanted the “old Jay Lethal” -- meaning the one who would do whatever it took to win, even if it meant bending the rules. Lethal told Scurll to be careful what he wished for, and those words proved prescient, as Lethal out-villained “the Villain” to steal the victory. Lethal pinned Scurll after hitting Lethal Injection, which was preceded by a low blow.
2. ROH WORLD TITLE DEFENSE VS. CODY (2018)
There was a lot of uncertainty as to what would become of the ROH World Championship if Cody won it in this match, as it was no secret that Cody was on his way out of ROH. Lethal wasn’t about to let it become an issue. Lethal overcame interference from Cody’s wife, Brandi Rhodes, and his associate “Hangman” Adam Page to retain his title, as he forced Cody to tap out to the figure-four leglock.
1. ROH WORLD TITLE DEFENSE VS. AJ STYLES (2015)
Lethal was six months into his title reign when he faced his biggest challenge yet in the form of international superstar Styles. Despite having made his ROH debut in 2002, Styles had never won the ROH World Title and was laser-focused on adding it to his already crowded trophy case. Lethal, meanwhile, was looking to silence any of his remaining doubters by scoring a victory over “The Phenomenal One” -- and that’s exactly what he did. Lethal hit Lethal Injection and pinned Styles clean in the center of the ring.