Jonathan Gresham stopped by "Talk Is Jericho" this week to speak with Chris about how his match with Jay Lethal at ROH Final Battle came about, as well as whether or not he plans to continue to defend the ROH title.
On how his match with Jay Lethal at ROH Final Battle came about:
“I really didn’t know it was happening until a little bit closer to where they were saying they were going to go with me going forward," Gresham began. "Just preparing, I was talking with Bandido on and off. Maybe like a day or two before, I hear the message from Bandido saying, ‘I’m sorry Amigo.’ I said, ‘What happened?’ I contacted him and he didn’t hit me back. I contacted my buddy Dragon Lee and asked, ‘What’s going on with Bandido?’ He said, ‘He caught Covid.’"
"By this time, it was like the 9th because I flew to Baltimore on the 10th. I contacted Hunter (Johnson). Hunter already knew, so now there was the race to figure out what was going to happen for the main event at Final Battle. I got a call from Lethal. He said, ‘Oh yea, there’s a possibility it might be us at Final Battle’, then my heart started pounding and I thought it’s not going to happen because he works for AEW."
"I think the next day before I left, Hunter texted me saying it’s me and Lethal. As it stood at that moment, it wasn’t for the Ring of Honor Title. So it wasn’t the main event, the pressure was off as I’ve wrestled Lethal a dozen times. I’m on the plane. I got the message that said we are going to address the world title situation on hour one of Final Battle. The show starts to unravel and I now know I’m in the main event with Lethal."
"I’m super nervous because our match time was somewhere in the ballpark of 30 minutes or so. I’ve done 30 or 40 minutes of wrestling before so I’m not nervous about that. I’m nervous about the show closing on me. I was like, ‘I have to do good.’ Before it was just I could be me and have fun."
"It gets more nerve racking as time goes on because the referees and different people are coming to me letting me know that time is getting chopped off the match. At first it started at 30, then it went to 25, then 20, then 17. When we went out there, Todd Sinclair said, “Hey, you guys have 11.’ So many people were going long. Promos went long. The main event got chopped off."
"Fans weren’t aware, but the live feed went off so abruptly because we didn’t have any more time. Lethal and I ended up going 15, I think, and we had such a long storied match, but it got chopped down to 11 minutes, so a lot of the storybits that were supposed to be there weren’t there. That’s pretty much how the day went. It was nerve racking. I’ve never envied people in the main event position because you have to not only follow everybody, you have to work with the time remaining.”
Gresham on whether he is going to continue to defend the ROH Title:
“They haven’t given me any direction."
"This is something I’ve taken upon myself to do. I’m not forcing it on anyone. Promotions are actually coming to me asking me to do it, and so I’m very grateful for that, that the Ring of Honor world title still holds a lot of weight with a lot of people around the world."
"I’m grateful that I’m in this position. With Terminus, and with Ring of Honor going down or on hiatus, it’s presented me with a way to enjoy wrestling even more now because I love traveling, I love wrestling new guys and testing myself. It’s given me an opportunity to have more fun again because within the Ring of Honor locker room, there’s only so many guys I could wrestle before it’s like a repeat again. Now I’m getting an opportunity to wrestle new people with different mindsets, younger guys with ambition and different ideas that will eventually help me with my ideas. It’s a blessing in disguise I think.”