Jonathan Gresham has nothing but great things to say about Lee Moriarty.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Gresham, the Ring of Honor Pure Champion, commented on the label placed upon him as one of the best professional wrestlers in the world, expressing his desire to use that as a way of highlighting other incredible talents. One such name was MLW star, Lee Moriarty.
According to Gresham, it was one-half of the Motor City Machine Guns, Alex Shelley, who brought Moriarty onto his radar, insisting that the two of them work together.
"Being there with Lee, the first time, at GCW. This one we kind of knew each other, so I wasn’t taken by surprise or anything. But, when I wrestled him at the GCW show, the first one—last year, I think it was—before the match happened, I’m really cool with Alex Shelley, and Shelley and I like to talk about guys that are like-minded. Shelley would consistently call me and just have a conversation, and randomly, completely off-topic, he just goes, ‘You have to work with Moriarty.’ I’m like, ‘…okay.’ He’s like, ‘No, even if it’s just training. You’re gonna love him.’ He just kept telling me, kept telling me. So the star just aligned and then GCW booked me against Moriarty. I was going in looking forward to it, ‘cause Shelley was there too. He’s very quiet when you meet him the first time. He talks to me a little bit more now, but he’s very quiet when you meet him for the first time. Again, it’s me settling into how I’m being viewed now," Gresham said.
Gresham and Moriarty would have their first match together at Joey Janela's Spring Break 4 in October 2020. While preparing for the bout, however, it took the ROH star a while to realize why the young competitor was so quiet, remembering that he, in fact, was the veteran in this situation. Only a few years into his career, Moriarty impressed Gresham with his in-ring acumen.
"So, I kept trying to talk to him about the match, but I realized he was giving me the floor," Gresham explained. "It didn’t really hit me until fifteen minutes in, ‘Oh, that’s right. I’m the veteran.’ So, that’s what we’re taught when we first come in. Me being in Ring of Honor, where I’m with my peers. Lethal looks at me on the same level even though I’m not. He gives me the floor to share ideas and go over matches with him. So, in this situation, Lee just let me plan everything. We planned the majority of the match, what really got me was the parts of wrestling you don’t talk about in the back that he just did. You really have to be someone that studies wrestling from all over the world to pick up on these things. It took me a really long time to get to where Lee Moriarty is. He’s, what, three / four years in now?"
A student of the game, Gresham prides himself on match psychology and learning from and building upon those who came before you. He shared a moment from his match with Moriarty where after it happened, he knew Lee would be a treat to work with.
"The thing that he’s picked up on now, it took me seven years to really understand it," Gresham began by saying. "I say this all the time with the guys I speak to. I think the guys that really study wrestling, they watch the guys—the Hero's, the Claudio's, the Danielson's, the Cabana's—and when they left Ring of Honor, ‘cause I’m a student of Ring of Honor wrestling, I believe I picked up where they left off, as far as psychology wise. I added mine on top of that with a collection of things that I learned from other places. I feel like Lee did the same thing. A lot of the things he did in that match were not called. It was amazing. We just gelled. Whenever I talk about it I bring up this one spot where I kick out—he’s doing a lateral press on me—I kick out and he looks at it and he uses his foot to put it back down. In that moment, and that was in the early moments of the match, in that moment I said to myself, ‘This is going to be good.’ I just knew I was going to enjoy this match thoroughly. I did. It was one of my favorite matches of that year. So, I can say so much great stuff about Lee Moriarty."
Gresham and Moriarty recently met again in the ring at PWG's Mystery Vortex 7, with The Foundation leader picking up the victory.
Moriarty's breakout came during GCW The Collective in October, wrestling a half-dozen matches over the course of the weekend. He made an equally strong impression during WrestleMania weekend the following April. He has since signed with MLW, and while there has been interest in other companies, Moriarty is focusing on himself for the time being. He told Fightful in December that he was supposed to join ROH in May 2020 but the pandemic caused planed to change.
Gresham is scheduled to compete on both nights one and two of Ring of Honor's Glory by Honor. On Friday, August 20th he will defend his Pure Championship against Rhett Titus. The very next night he will team up with his fellow Foundation members (Jay Lethal, Tracy Williams, & Rhett Titus) to take on Violence Unlimited (Brody King, Tony Deppen, Chris Dickinson, & Homicide).