Jonathan Gresham defeated Jay Lethal at Saturday’s Ring of Honor Final Battle PPV to become the promotion’s final (for now, at least) champion. Originally slated to face the reigning champion, Bandido, Lethal served as a last-minute substitution. Bandido tested positive for COVID-19 in the days leading up to the event.
The former partners put on a spirited match, as the entire ROH locker room gathered around at ringside for the climactic finish. Gresham ultimately won the title. He told Sports Illustrated what he plans to do with it and what it meant to win the title at the historic show.
“Final Battle was a night that was full circle for me. I spent a lot of time with the fans at ringside. There were so many people there I knew—from the independents, from seminars, fans from smaller independent shows, like NOVA Pro [in Virginia], guys that stayed on my couch during our travels—and everyone kept telling me they had to see me win the Ring of Honor title. I have enjoyed this entire ride, so all of that meant the world to me…
As champion, it is up to me to keep the spirit and the essence of Ring of Honor alive. I will preserve and protect Pure wrestling as Ring of Honor world champion…
I am going to make this championship the best wrestling title in the world. In order to do that, I need to wrestle two men who helped make the Ring of Honor title the best in the world: Bryan Danielson and CM Punk.
At one time, being the Ring of Honor champion meant that you were the world’s best professional wrestler. But that moniker was taken away, and my mission is to restore honor to the title. I need to step in the ring with those two men. Until then, I’ll take on all challengers for the Ring of Honor title. I plan on defending the title, but I will only defend it under Pure professional wrestling rules, which is the way it always should have been.”
Jonathan Gresham sounds like he’d like to make the championship a touring title. That is certainly one way to keep its legacy alive as the company reorganizes. Ring of Honor plans to re-launch in the Spring of 2022.
What do you think of Jonathan Gresham’s plans for the ROH title? Let us know in the comments!