I’d like to apologize for the amount of time that has elapsed since my last blog entry. To leave you guys with a “to be continued” for so long is kind of rude. Ill try and make this entry extra special. Before I jump right in, let’s recap a tiny bit. Enjoy!
((previously on jay lethal blog:: I stick out my gross sweaty hand gesturing for a handshake. Before he starts to move his hand/arm I blurt out “Hello Mr. Flair, my name is Jamar and it is an honor to met you.” I then realize that not only is he not extending his arm/hand to shake mine. He is staring at me with his classic half grin and his chin pulled back to rest against his neck. My brothers and I have seen this look from him plenty of times before but a Four-Horseman-style ass whipping normally follows it. Before I could realize that this was becoming an awkward moment, Flair spoke. The words that came out of his mouth literally almost made me piss my pants. He said, “Lets Hear it!”))
As I started my imitation of one of the greatest wrestlers to ever live, I studied his face the whole time. Searching and scanning like a computer for any signs of enjoyment from him. Slowly all of my concentration was fixed on figuring out whether he was enjoying my little show. Normally within the first thirty seconds my audience is laughing hysterically. Flair just stood there watching me with no emotion. At this point I was sweating so much that I could have dissolved an Alka-Seltzer tablet in the palm of my hand. I had completely forgotten about my imitation and was seemingly running on auto pilot. Was that a slight grin? Does he remember saying any of this? What’s in that cup he is carrying? All of these questions and more ran through my head.
I slowly started to shift my focus back on my imitation, everyone around was laughing and smiling except Ric Flair. I thought to myself, “Oh well…I tried… Let’s finish strong.” I turn off the auto pilot switch and found myself in the middle of Ric Flair`s Survivor Series (91) promo after he screwed Hulk Hogan and helped The Undertaker win the world title.watch real Flair promo here
“I told Hogan he was short lived. Little baby’s out there now.. tears in their eyes, mothers looking at their fathers!” This was the line that made Ric Flair finally crack a smile. Not only that, but he joined in the laughter along with everyone else. I remember feeling relieved knowing that he liked the imitation and didn’t hate the Ric Flair want-to-be standing in front of him.
Now that I was comfortable, I was able to put all my focus and concentration into entertaining the small crowd that had gathered. Unfortunately that’s when I realized the line I just delivered, that line from Flairs promo at Survivor Series (91) was only the second thing that I had said. I couldn’t believe it, I had only been standing there for about fifteen to twenty seconds! That just goes to show you how nervous I was! Those thirty seconds felt like four to five minutes but if I had the chance I still wouldn’t change a thing.
That first interaction I had with Flair made all the rest fun, and easy. In fact Ric loved my imitation so much he made me “perform” it for everyone he brought to the show that day. I remember being in the locker room putting on my wrestling gear, when I could hear Flair scream for me way on the other side of the building, “Lethal! …..Jay!…. get your ass over here.” Then someone would stick there head in the locker room to tell me that Flair was looking for me. At this point I already knew what he wanted.
When I finally got to him I could hear him whisper to his son Reed “Watch this.” In this scenario Reed can be replaced with anyone who arrived with Flair because the same thing happened every time. Next he would look at me with the biggest smile and say “Give em the mothers looking at there fathers.” He seemed to really love that line. This always ended the same way as well. Flair would walk away with his guest, and I would hear him say “The kid can do me better than I can.”
It wasn’t all fun and games though, several times Flair would watch my matches and tell me mostly what he didn’t like about them. He would tell me to stop doing certain things and 99% of the time I agreed but I always kept that 1% to myself. Several times I even met him at the bar after the show to just hang out and listen to his stories. Hopefully this doesn’t ruin his drinking reputation, but I didn’t drink during those bar meeting and he didn’t force it on me. It was cool just being there and listening to his stories. All I could think of during these times, was the fact that my three brothers would think this was so cool! I wish they could have been there.
One random Impact TV taping, as I arrived I heard Earl Hebner ask me “You ready for tonight.” Yes, was my normal reaction. Even though you never knew what you were going to be doing that day, my answer was always the same. The only other times he would ask me that question was when we had some crazy X division match. Wondering what crazy match the creative team came up with this week, I asked him, “What am I doing today.” He replied, “Woooo! Its you and Flair in a verbal battle daddy!”
I actually get more complements about this back and forth promo with Ric Flair than anything I’ve ever done in this business thus far. Rightfully so, I think its one of the top three things in my career. It also wins the award for the most scariest. The reasons I was terrified were completely justified. For starters, this was the first time TNA had let me come anywhere near a live microphone. Most of my promos were done backstage where it was okay to “take two” due to laughter. Most of my Black Machismo promos were busted, cut, or stopped due to someone laughing.
Combine the fact that this would be my first live in ring promo, with the fact that I’d be face to face with the best microphone artist ever, was enough to give me a heart attack. Once again, I found myself thinking about my brothers back home who would soon be watching their brother interact with Ric Flair on TV. The best part about it was this promo would turn physical like most Ric Flair promos normally do. By the end of the night I would have Ric Flair in a Figure Four! After it was all said and done, I returned to the backstage area to find out I would be doing the same thing next week.
To help prepare for the next promo, I needed a little help getting in the mood. So when Ric Flair left his robe in the make up room I quickly put it on and had Amazing Red snap a picture of me in it. I think it helped.
“That’s my line” seems to be the only thing I can remember about the day I caught lightning in a bottle. What were the odds that this kid from NJ could hang with Ric Flair toe to toe in a live verbal debate, just by acting like him? I was one of the people who thought it couldn’t be done. I was able to walk away from that promo with more confidence, experience, and pride than I had ever had in my life. I would need all three of those things that prepared me for the thing that was soon to come shortly after; the greatest day of my life.
Even my younger brother was able to join in the fun that I was having. He was involved in a backstage beat down with Ric Flair and AJ Styles whipping the crap out of him. I’m not sure if it was the best day of his life, but I’m sure he would do it all again if asked. Which brings me to “the day”.
I can say with certainty that July 11, 2010 a day titled Victory Road is and was the greatest day of my life. I am 27 years old, I’ve never been married and I have no kids. Those are the only two things that I feel could ever match July 11th 2010. Not only did I wrestle my childhood hero and idol, but (although pre determined) I got to defeat him in front of million with the figure four leg lock. Not only did the fact that it was Ric Flair make me nervous but thinking of who would be watching made it even worst.
Unfortunately, this match was surrounded with a bit of controversy. On March 30th, 2008 in the WWE Ric Flair wrestled Shawn Michael’s in his official retirement match. So the fact that Ric Flair was coming out of retirement to wrestle me rubbed some people the wrong way. Determined not to let that get me down I just concentrated on all the positives. I was talking to Sonjay Dutt thinking, you think Triple H and HBK are going to be watching? They are really good friends of Ric’s, why wouldn’t they. He assured me that the whole world would be watching. He knew just how to make me feel at ease and comfortable ha!
The match was awesome, and I even cried like a little girl in front of the world. From the day I met him to the last time I saw him, he made everything we did a memorable moment for me . I’ll forever love and respect the legend, the Nature Boy, Ric Flair.
Thank you Ric!