Jonathan Gresham became the new ROH World Champion at the promotions’ Final Battle event. The title had been ‘vacant’ prior to the match. Of course, all know that ROH will be going on hiatus and have released all of their talent from their respective contracts as the company is in serious financial peril. Their future is of course uncertain. What isn’t uncertain is how Gresham felt about a few particulars…particulars he made known before everyone left for the night.
In an era when wrestling promos have the platform to make quite the impression, the internet and social media being what it is, many wrestlers are making it known that they have the chops to deliver on the microphone as well as in the ring. Jonathan Gresham proved just that at ROH’s Final Battle with some words that are as much a shoot as they were a work, leaving many scratching their heads.
He attacked ROH’s ‘Honor Code,’ which is really what that company was built on in 2002. To the estimation of many, they – ROH – held onto that code until the very end, but Gresham told a very different story after his match and title win. Of course he said all of this when the show went off the air. He knew they would find an audience however – his words…the aforementioned platform. Here’s some of what he said:
“At one time, this championship meant that you were the best professional wrestler in the world, period. But to be honest, for that to be true again, I must step in the ring with two men. Two men that are very important to this company’s history. But in time, those matches will happen, I promise you. But until then, in preparation, I will defend this championship against all who come for it.
Only under pure professional wrestling rules will this be defended. As of tonight, this championship has been purified. Pure wrestlers, we have won. Ring of Honor is now pure. In closing, I’ll tell you a story, a very short story so bear with me. Another man very important to this company’s history once said, ‘Isn’t this the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?’
He’s standing before you here right now and I completely understand what he meant. For so many years, I believed in this company. Blindly. I believed that this company cared. But it wasn’t until a global pandemic hit that I realized that they do not. I realized that they were forced to use us for pure technical wrestling.
I realized that they did not care about honor. So, as long as I am champion, I will not allow this company to get back on its feet and abandon us again. I will not allow it. I will take the heart and soul of this company and the essence of this company and I will take it with me to TERMINUS.
In TERMINUS, the pure professional wrestler, the pure style will be valued. We will not be treated like a last resort. We are the essence, we are the lifeblood, we are the future of professional wrestling. I know this because I am The Foundation.”
As stated, the future of ROH is unknown, but the title seems to be around the right waist. Gresham seems to be an individual who will keep th ‘Honor’ of the title and what the promotion at one time represented at the forefront of everything he does moving forward. He of course, will be bringing the title to TERMINUS, as he stated, which of course is Gresham’s and Baron Black’s new promotion.
The match between Lethal and Gresham was epic by many people’s standards. Even the locker room emerged from behind the curtain to watch those moments unfold. Would Lethal take the ROH title to AEW, or would Gresham take it to TERMINUS? We now have that answer amidst the plethora of questions that remain about ROH’s very own future.
*Thanks to Wrestle Talk for the quote.