It looks like Jonathan Gresham could be done with Ring of Honor and AEW only a few months after signing with the two companies.
Fightful Select has learned that former ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham asked for his release Saturday ahead of the ROH Death Before Dishonor show that saw him lose the championship. We're told that there was a lack of communication between the company and Gresham leading up to the weekend, and Gresham was said to have felt disrespected by this. Among other things, we learned that the lack of time for the world title match was a tipping point as well.
We're told that Gresham finally procured a meeting with Tony Khan before the show, he was said to have communicated the frustration that led to him "cussing out" Khan. Several talent confirmed this to Fightful following the ROH Death Before Dishonor show.
Gresham had interest from Japan, IMPACT and others before re-signing with ROH/AEW. Gresham told Fightful late last year that he was going to stick things out and see where the ROH brand landed, as he felt a sense of loyalty and pride in continuing it.
Fightful has reached out to Khan and Gresham for responses, and we're told from Gresham's side of things that as of this moment, Gresham is "done with wrestling for the foreseeable future after this month." We were also told that Gresham came out without his regular entrance gear because he wanted to be himself and see everything clearly for what would possibly be his last match. We've not heard from Tony Khan or ROH's side of things officially.
It has not been confirmed that Gresham was granted his request for release.
In the past, several former AEW talent have spoken about the lack of communication being a point of frustration for them.
Fightful Select has learned many additional details about the lead up to Jonathan Gresham requesting his AEW/ROH release after the original story
We're told that Gresham met with Tony Khan and others at 4 PM EST before Death Before Dishonor, and was admittedly heated, and not happy with the direction of the booking and his character. It was agreed upon that the context of the conversation would remain private, and details originally didn't seem to emerge from anyone in the room, however by the time the conversation was over, much of the locker room and staff could physically hear how it went down. Building security was even said to have overheard the conversation.
Gresham had spoken with QT Marshall multiple times over the past week, albeit briefly, which we've heard went well. It was also noted that Sonjay Dutt was a point of contact. The frustration on Gresham's part seemed to be the direction of creative, which ultimately ends with Tony Khan, and not being able to be given answers as a result. Gresham was supposedly told that those decisions had to be ran through Tony, who he wasn't able to meet with until a few hours before the show.
The general preferred process is that talent speaks to one of the AEW coaches, who are then in contact with Tony Khan. If the conversations are about booking, they have to be relayed to Tony Khan. The coaches pass on dozens of ideas either from themselves or talent to Khan, who is then in charge of making those ideas a reality or deciding they don't fit. Those answers are then to be relayed back to the talent. For those asking about names involved in that, it's usually AEW coaches, as well as Christopher Daniels, QT Marshall, Pat Buck. We're told that Megha Parekh and Sonjay Dutt also help out and Khan is in communication with them at least ten times a day.
There are also plenty of situations in which Tony Khan has made efforts to talk directly to talent, although numerous have said that it's declined since the Daily's Place era due to the changing of the world and travel in general.
It was said that the AEW side of things believed that Gresham came into the meeting with his mind made up, and they'd not seen him heated like that before, chalking it up to Gresham being passionate about his beliefs in ROH, the brand, and himself. They felt as if there was a disconnect between the access to speak with people about their creative, and it becoming perceived "creative control." Gresham was said to have a vision for his creative direction and where things should go with him, and it was different from what Tony Khan and ROH had hoped for him. Specifically, we learned that Gresham wasn't in favor of turning heel, but that ROH believed there was a "bigger picture" for that. We're told that the finish had been at least hinted to Gresham, but no word on if he knew before Saturday.
In the past, several former AEW talent have spoken about the lack of communication within talent relations being a point of frustration for them. Joey Janela confirmed to Fightful that he hadn't reached out to AEW coaches prior to his exit. Marko Stunt had emailed AEW in an official capacity, but we haven't heard about follow up to coaches themselves on his part.
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