Happy Birthday Jay Lethal Multi-Time TNA X-Division Champion – April 21st, 1985 – Today in Wrestling History

Jay Lethal Ring of Honor ROH Championship

I want to start this special birthday celebration with a memory. I met Jay Lethal about a decade or so ago at an indie show in Russellville Arkansas. He was great, had time to talk with fans (like me) and generally was a great person. Even though I am sure he was pressed for time, I repeatedly saw him taking time out to take pics with fans and such at the event. I wanted to show him some support, so I bought an autographed pic (still have it) and got a promo pic with him as well. Just an awesome guy.

Paying dues and honing the craft

Born Jamar Shipman in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Jay Lethal would make his debut at the age of 16. This was accomplished through winning a contest with Jersey All Pro Wrestling. Shipman was entitled to a lifetime of free training for winning the contest. This would be a short “lifetime” as the school was closed about six months later.

Jay Lethal would continue his training with Extreme Championship Wrestling’s Mikey Whipwreck and Dan Maff.

In late October 2001, Lethal would debut at the Jersey All Pro Wrestling “Class of 2001 Student Show”. A year late he would win his first championship, JAPW’s Television Championship.

This was the start of a great career for Shipman and he was not done yet. Not by a long shot.

Jay Lethal Becomes Black Machismo

I am skipping ahead quite a bit here on purpose. I want you to research some on your own. If I covered everything then these articles would 1,000 times longer. Anyhow, it is interesting that Kevin Nash was the catalyst for Black Machismo to come to life. I thought Randy Savage had a hand in it. According to Gamespot, Randy Savage did enjoy the gimmick.

Black Machismo came about from the horrid “Papparazzi” angle that Kevin Nash was involved in while with Total Nonstop Action (TNA). It was part of a makeover for Jay Lethal that Nash came up with.

Lethal was integral in making Black Machismo a success. He was able to bring the character to life. From mannerisms to the voice, Black Machismo was a familiar, but unique, character that is still talked about today.

Where is Jay Lethal now?

Jay Lethal is currently working with Ring of Honor (ROH) and RevPro. We here at Gravis Ludus Wrestling want to wish him a happy birthday. For more birthday articles check out our coverage.

Want to grab some Jay Lethal merch? Check out eBay or Amazon and grab a deal. Once things are back to normal getting an autograph will only make those items more special.

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