Jonathan Gresham is going after the ROH World Championship. That may sound like an obvious goal for a professional wrestler, however, his story runs deeper than merely collecting gold. Gresham declared his intention in a ‘huge announcement’ Monday morning.
After seven successful defenses of the Pure Championship, Gresham finally met defeat at the hands of Josh Woods last month at Death Before Dishonor. As Woods was discussing what that belt means to him, Gresham stepped in with an announcement to make. He put over Woods as worthy of carrying the Pure legacy. Gresham then explained his motivation to step up and compete in the ROH World Championship division. Winning that prize will provide Gresham more influence to fulfill his destiny of purifying ROH. The scene closed with Woods joining Gresham’s Foundation faction.
Even if you don’t follow ROH regularly, the video is worth a chuckle just for the facial reactions of Quinn McKay and Woods.
The reason why this is such big news in the ROH world is because Gresham set out to change the company over a year ago with the return of the Pure Championship. Back at that time, Gresham spoke about how ROH had lost its way deep into never-ending lawlessness. He mentioned Bryan Danielson as the example for the tipping point into the abyss. Gresham’s mission is to use Pure wrestling as the tool to restore honor in purifying ROH.
That hook worked extremely well to carry ROH through the COVID pandemic. Gresham was the linchpin in producing the Pure wrestling tournament as an exhilarating viewing experience for fans. He prevailed in the end to win the Pure Championship in the final against Tracy Williams.
Gresham continued to put on highly entertaining and creative technical matches throughout his title reign. In fact, I’d argue he is in the conversation for wrestler of the year across all promotions.
Gresham will be gunning for Bandido as current ROH World Champion. He has his work cut out for him to climb the rankings. That division is stacked with some heavy hitters, such as Brody King, Shane Taylor, and EC3. There is also Rush when he returns from injury.
Gresham will also have to adapt to the difference in rules. That means unlimited rope breaks and a greater sense of overall chaos. Gresham’s ability to adapt will be interesting to observe when it comes to the hierarchy for the best wrestler on the planet. If Gresham continues to thrive, then his name should be present alongside Kenny Omega, Bryan Danielson, and Roman Reigns.
On top of all that, the faction wars became even more intriguing with Woods joining Gresham, Jay Lethal, Tracy Williams, and Rhett Titus in the Foundation. That is a major addition to tip the scales. ROH is full of stables all pulling for domination. The list includes Los Ingobernables, Violence Unlimited, Shane Taylor Promotions, and whatever Danhausen has up his sleeve.
Do you believe Gresham can carry ROH as its world champ?