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Jay Lethal cements his ROH legacy by breaking World Title record

A two-time champion, Jay Lethal has helped Ring of Honor thrive over the years

Over the past few years, one of the most consistent members of the Ring of Honor roster has been Jay Lethal. The six-time Impact X Division Champion has had two stints with the company, the latter being the most successful. This past week, the man from Elizabeth, New Jersey ended a record some thought would never be broken.

Lethal, the current ROH World Champion (in his second reign), passed Samoa Joe for the most combined days as champion. Joe’s single reign ended at 645. Lethal is currently 222 days into his latest run as the ROH title holder. Between 2015-2016 Lethal held onto the title for 427 days before losing it to Adam Cole. One of the most humble wrestlers today, Lethal celebrated the moment but gave all the glory to his predecessor.

“Having the most combined days as champion doesn’t mean I have surpassed Samoa Joe; it just solidified my name next to his in the history book,” Lethal said in a press release. “I’m not sure anyone will ever beat Joe’s record for one title reign. I needed two title reigns to do it.”

One of the original ROH roster members, Lethal’s legacy with the company can be heralded as something special. While he was sidetracked for a bit after originally losing the title, winning it back has revitalized his career in a way wrestling fans never thought possible. It was also at the perfect time, as ROH is going through a change of their own. With members leaving and new ones arriving, Lethal is in the middle of the pack. His presence, however, gives him a true advantage in the company.

Is Lethal the greatest ROH World Champion of all time? Back in 2016, Double G Sports looked into Lethal’s initial title reign where he beat a who’s who of challengers, while also wrestling as the World Television Champion. Combine it with this reign and it wouldn’t be wrong for supporters of Lethal to say that. He has one more record to break now: combined number of defenses. Lethal is tied with Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson with 38. It is not far off to say that Lethal can shatter that record as well.

With Ring of Honor heading to Madison Square Garden in April, Lethal is hoping to be the first champion to defend the title there. If he was to keep it until then and retain the title inside The Garden, Lethal would truly have people talking.

“The Franchise of ROH” is on the run of his career. How far can he take it? If he has his way, forever, with honor of course.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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