“Pro Wrestling’s Last Real Man” Silas Young scored one of the biggest victories of his career when he defeated former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal clean in the center of the ring at ROH Unauthorized on April 28 in Milwaukee.
Young immediately followed up his huge professional triumph by making things personal with Lethal. As Lethal, who has become known as “The Franchise of ROH,” prepared to do a commercial shoot in the locker room before an ROH event, Young attacked Lethal and injured his knee.
Lethal now is seeking not only to avenge his loss to Young, but also to gain a measure of revenge for the attack. The two will meet this Friday, June 23 at the Best In The World pay-per-view from Lowell, Mass.
ROHWrestling.com caught up with Young to discuss the match and his issues with Lethal.
ROH: After your victory over Jay Lethal, why did you feel the need to attack him in the locker room? Why make it so personal?
SY: Why make it so personal? Jay Lethal is the type of guy who has been handed things by Ring of Honor. He’s the type of guy who gets preferential treatment. Even after beating Jay Lethal, was anything talked about me getting world title shots, was I offered any Ring of Honor World Television Title shots? No, I wasn’t. Instead, a few weeks later Jay Lethal all of a sudden has a world title opportunity. Jay Lethal gets more main event opportunities after losing. That’s my problem. My problem is that Jay Lethal has everybody believing that he’s this great guy, that he’s the type of guy you want to build a company around. The fact of that matter is that Jay Lethal is no different than me and that is exactly why I attacked him. The only difference between me and Jay Lethal is that I’m a hundred percent who I am to your face, at home, on TV, it doesn’t matter, where Jay Lethal has to put on this act.
ROH: Your attack on Lethal seems to have lit a fire under him and he’s looking for payback at Best in the World. Did you wake a sleeping giant?
SY: I really hope I did because when I beat him at Best in the World he’s not going to have any excuses. I’m glad that I lit a fire under him and he’s going to bring his “A” game. Not only did I beat him in Milwaukee on his birthday, but I also beat him a few weeks later in a tag match. The way I look at it is that I have Jay Lethal’s number. So come Best in the World when I beat him again, he’s not going to have any excuses, and the Ring of Honor office isn’t going to have any excuses why I’m not being given world title shots, why I’m not being given shots at the world television title.
ROH: When Jay Lethal called you out after you had attacked him, you sent Beer City Bruiser after him. Some might ask why “Pro Wrestling’s Last Real Man” would need someone else to fight his battles.
SY: That’s real simple. Jay Lethal is used to getting everything he wants. He’s used to getting the advertising gigs and doing the media spots. He’s used to asking, “Hey, can I get this?” and being told yes. So with me, Jay Lethal isn’t going to get what he wants, he’s going to get what I give him. As far as I’m concerned, I’d already beaten Jay Lethal, so he needed to prove something to me; I had nothing left to prove to him. In my mind, he needed to fight Bruiser, I didn’t need to fight him.
ROH: Since you refer to yourself as “Pro Wrestling’s Last Real Man,” does that mean Jay Lethal isn’t a real man?
SY: Jay Lethal isn’t a real man; Jay Lethal’s a kiss-ass. I don’t walk around in the back and glad-hand everybody and call them “buddy.” I don’t kiss the asses of the guys who run things so I can try and move myself up the card. Jay Lethal’s nothing but a kiss-ass and no real man has ever been a kiss-ass.
ROH: In addition to defeating Jay Lethal, you’ve also scored some big wins recently over guys such as Bobby Fish and KUSHIDA. Do you feel like you’re better now than you’ve ever been?
SY: Absolutely. Wrestling is one of those weird businesses where you get on hot streaks. Since the beginning of 2017, my stock keeps rising. I’m training harder and I just feel like I’m in a zone and that I know what it takes to get the job done no matter who my opponent is.
ROH: You talked about being overlooked by the ROH office. Do you feel like you’re also overlooked by the ROH fans?
SY: Absolutely, but I kinda get it. If you look at the type of people who come to a Ring of Honor show, they don’t represent anything about what being a real man is, so of course they can’t identify with me. They can’t look at me and say, “Yeah, I want to be like Silas someday,” because they know they could never be like me.
ROH: If Jay Lethal is reading this, what would your final words be to him before you meet in the ring at Best in the World?
SY: I’m glad you asked that. Jay Lethal, I want you to get yourself a good night’s sleep the night before this show. I want you to come in well-rested and feeling like you’re at 110 percent. I want you to bring your “A” game, because after Best in the World when I do beat you again -- and you best believe I will beat you again -- there aren’t going to be any excuses. And then finally I can stop hearing about how you’re the greatest first-generation wrestler. So, Jay, bring your “A” game so I can shut your mouth once and for all.
The fourth-annual Best in the World Pay Per View emanates from the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Friday June 23 at 9:00 EST/6:00 PST! It is available on all major providers as well as the Fite.TV app, Playstation Network, and ROHWrestling.com. And remember: you can join us live in Lowell, MA with special ticket packages available for both Best in the World AND our international television taping featuring the fallout the following night! To get the best seats, buy your tickets now!