In a recent interview with Paste Magazine, Jay Lethal commented on how he became a wrestler and began his training:
"There is a question I haven’t been asked in a long time actually. You know, a lot of these interviews asked the same questions, but I haven’t been asked that question in a long time. I got into wrestling when MTV Tough Enough was big. No I didn’t go to Tough Enough."
Lethal also talked further about how he didn't go to Tough Enough by talking about how he was discovered when he wrestled for an independent promotion known as Jersey All-Pro Wrestling:
"No I didn’t go to Tough Enough. I was too afraid to. I went to a local indie show called Jersey All Pro Wrestling and at intermission they said “We love this show Tough Enough, so we are going to have a contest just like it.” Of course, they did not have the money they did, so no one was going to be living in this extravagant house. This wasn’t going to be a thing that went on for days. One day you would come in for four hours, they would show you how to do three things and whoever does it best, they’re gonna pick three winners to train for free. My dad took off of work, I remember, not a whole day, a half day to get me there on time. He sat in the back as they took 30 to 35 people trying out for this contest. They got you in the ring and they made you take a bump where you fall on the ground. They made you hit the ropes, run the ropes. They made you do two other things. I can’t really remember what they are. But he sat in the back and watched the whole time. Of course, every time I’d do something, I’d look in the back and he’s watching, you know. So I felt extra added pressure because my Dad was sitting there and he took a half day off work. So the pressure was really on me to deliver. Now sadly, I was not one of the three winners. So on my way to the back, I was asking him “Well, they still have a school, do you think I can sign up for it?” But before I made it to him, they made another announcement, they said “We’re gonna actually pick a fourth winner. We weren’t going to pick him because he was too young (because I was 15 about to turn 16), but we are going to take a chance.” The fourth winner was me, but there was only supposed to be three winners. And I have been in the wrestling business ever since. What a lucky break. You know, I feel like my whole wrestling career has been like that—just one lucky break after another. And now we are here, you know what I mean?"