Joe Koff Recalls Jay Lethal Asking For His ROH Release
A "special" interaction between Koff and Lethal
After Ring Of Honor announced the promotion would be going on hiatus following Final Battle in December and all talent would be released from their contracts at the end of the year, ROH noted they would allow their wrestlers to take outside bookings if they asked.
One talent who did ask was Jay Lethal and the two-time ROH World Champion previously detailed how he requested his Ring Of Honor release so he could open negotiations with All Elite Wrestling. The 36-year-old would then sign with AEW and debut at the company's Full Gear pay-per-view in November.
Speaking with the ROHStrong podcast, ROH COO Joe Koff recalled Lethal asking for his release, noting it was "special."
"First of all, I'm not gonna go into depth about it because Jay [Lethal] and I have a special relationship that's built on trust, honour and respect. So when he asked [for his release from ROH], it wasn't even a question. I didn't know where he was going and he never told me. He just said he needed to have this kind of freedom to talk to whoever he was talking to and it was very, very emotional. It was very, very - it was special, it was private," Koff began.
"But there was no way that was not gonna happen. So, you know, if we're looking for some kind of drama out of this or some kind of high tensions that existed in the conversation, it was probably more tearing than jeering.
"Well I mean, Jay's been a good steward for the wrestling part of the business and he's done a good job and he's admirable, he's honourable and you know, look, if any one of them came to me on that day with the same request, of course I would do that. Why would I stand in their way? I haven't stood in anyone else's way. Why would I start doing it on that day? Gotta be consistent in how you behave. So, it was special."
Despite his release, Lethal would return for one more Ring Of Honor match at Final Battle and face Jonathan Gresham for the vacant ROH World Title in the main event.
H/T to POST Wrestling