Jonathan Gresham wants to see his journey with Ring of Honor through to the end and believes the Ring of Honor reboot has the potential to change the mold of professional wrestling again.
Jonathan Gresham is the current Ring of Honor World Champion during what is perhaps the most important time in the company's history as Tony Khan has acquired the promotion and will be the main booker and decision-maker for the promotion moving forward. Prior to Tony acquiring Ring of Honor, Jonathan Gresham was always very passionate about restoring the importance of the Ring of Honor Championship and the Ring of Honor brand. Gresham is officially signed to AEW/ROH and tells Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp just how important it is for him to see his mission through in Ring of Honor.
“I speak about this a lot, but it’s real—it’s not a character thing—I literally have this voice, I call it my conscience, that speaks to me very clearly,” he began. “A lot of guys are panicking, contacting different places, trying to jump ship. Something told me, ‘You came this far. You made it to Ring of Honor, which you never thought it would be something that you could do. Just see it through, man. That’s the least you can do. This is your dream. You’re at the point you wanted to be. Just see it through. Don’t do anything else. This is Ring of Honor. This is exactly what I wanted to do.’ Fast forward to now, I think it was the right decision.”
In addition to finding out about Ring of Honor going on Hiatus and the eventual acquisition of Ring of Honor by Tony Khan, Jon has also started his own promotion, TERMINUS, and continued to fulfill his commitments as ROH World Champion by defending the Ring of Honor Championship across the globe. Now that the uncertainty of Ring of Honor's future is no longer weighing on his mind, Gresham says that moving forward, he will look to focus on Ring of Honor and TERMINUS above all else.
“Cliff notes here—it’s pretty much, I find out I’m losing my job. TERMINUS is already in the works. So Baron and I are funding TERMINUS ourselves. I lose my job, so I start to panic. Naturally, anybody would,” he explained. “I turn back to the only thing I know, which is the indies. I discussed a lot of options with Progress and wXw, and they came through to give me work. Which is really nice of them. I’ve worked with them for years now. I’m on the indies working for those guys, just trying to keep my normal life afloat.
“TERMINUS kind of went on the backburner because I needed to save what I was making, just for my personal life, to take care of things,” he continued. “Fast forward, Tony Khan purchases Ring of Honor. Now we’re here. Ring of Honor, I guess, is on its way back. Looking forward to that. A lot of my comrades, my friends, are gonna get their jobs back, hopefully. Things just took a huge turn in a good direction for me. Now that I’m more confident in Ring of Honor coming back, I can start looking at taking myself off the indies a little bit more and concentrating on TERMINUS and Modern Age Grappling.”
Looking at Ring of Honor’s future under the ownership of Tony Khan, Jonathan Gresham is hoping that he can leave the charge and a renaissance for Ring of Honor, saying he wants people to hold the brand in the same high regard that they did in the mid-2000s when names like Samoa Joe, CM Punk, and Bryan Danielson put Ring of Honor on the map.
“Maybe I’m jaded in a certain way,” said Gresham. “I think everyone during their time growing up says this, ‘Wrestling isn’t the same as when I was growing up.’ I really feel the way that the Ring of Honor Championship, the company, the combatants in the ring we viewed was a lot different when I was coming up in 2005 to about 2007/08/09. I just want that aura of the Championship to be there again. I feel the only way to do that is to go out there and wrestle people who view wrestling the way that I do. That’s individuals that uphold honor at all costs. I believe they have to believe in the Code of Honor. This isn’t just a gimmick. These are people that have to really believe that the Ring of Honor brand is the way that professional wrestling is supposed to be presented. I really feel that way.”
Gresham also explained that he believes NXT, for many years, was anchored by past Ring of Honor talent and as a result, they helped change the WWE style into what Ring of Honor used to be.
“I feel like I’m not just ‘Ring of Honor’s the only way professional wrestling should be,’ but I feel like it is the standard,” he said. “If you look at every top performer in every company, in the United States at least, they’ve had some kind of presence in Ring of Honor. When you talk about Samoa Joe, when you talk about the Briscoes, when you talk about Seth Rollins, the NXT brand for the longest time was top Ring of Honor guys. I believe there’s a reason for that. The essence of what Ring of Honor was, a lot of people tried to use it, and then they couldn’t.
“But the guys who somehow came to Ring of Honor, made it to Ring of Honor, made it to the top of the card, they carry on a piece of Ring of Honor and the essence of it in all of what they do and take it to other companies,” he continued. “They transformed the WWE style into what Ring of Honor once was. The company has just influenced the entire platform, the entire wrestling industry for the last fifteen / twenty years. I just want to be a part of something like that again. The way I view wrestling and a lot of guys coming up now, they view wrestling differently. Like Danielson did and like Joe did, and I think we can do that again, we can change the mold again with the new Ring of Honor.”
Jonathan Gresham still has the hope of wrestling CM Punk and Bryan Danielson in an effort to prove that he truly is the best in the world. Learn more about his desire to wrestle those men at this link.
The next TERMINUS event, Modern Age Grappling, will take place on May 22, airing live on FITE at 6 p.m. eastern time.