Gresham Drops Title Then Drops a Bombshell on Tony Khan

‘Just hours before the ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view Jonathan Gresham met with Tony Khan to demand his release from both AEW and ROH.’

As SlamWrestling had it. But then lots of wrestling websites had it.

What Happened?

Jonathan Gresham, either before or after the match at Death Before Dishonor, in which he dropped his ROH World Championship belt to Claudio Castagnoli, asked for his release.

He didn’t come down in the octopus mask. He didn’t look happy, but maybe people are reading in, he always looks focused before a match, and afterward, he slapped the winner on the back as if to say ‘it’s yours now.’

This isn’t a particularly bad state of affairs for Gresham, who has his Terminus promotion and will pick up much work in the indies. But it does raise some questions.

As The Sportster said;

‘The result surprised some, who had expected Gresham’s ROH title reign to last a bit longer … seems like Gresham himself is one of those people.’

What Is ROH Supposed To Be?

Jonathan Gresham

I and many others were delighted when  Tony Khan brought Ring Of Honor, after all, it seemed to be scaling back – if it came back.

But now the dust has settled, what is ROH?

A name only? With the crossing of AEW and ROH, the latter without a program, having to appear on AEW shows to defend their belts, the Heavyweight, Pure, and Tag titles are now in the hands of AEW wrestlers.

What does that say? That ROH wrestlers like the Briscoes, former Pure champ Josh Woods, and Gresham himself, are second-rate?

Looking at it like this, ROH itself seems second-rate. And that’s not what we expected at all.

Is ROH a feeder? It surely can’t be, AEW already has the – ahem – Nightmare Factory, plus Elevation and Dark, what would it possibly need another feeder promotion for? We already have former ROH wrestlers who don’t seem to be part of ROH or AEW, Rhett Titus for instance is in NWA, but Caprice Coleman is a commentator on one, the wrestler on the other.
So is it a loose arrangement for some and a tighter arrangement, for Rush say, for others?

Confusing isn’t it?

Or is it a tape library exercise? That really would be sad.

Did Claudio Deserve The Title?

Claudio Wins The Belt
Credit; Wrestling Headlines

He’s popular. He’s excellent. He’s been misused in WWE, many think.

But hang on 2 things…

We have a points system in AEW, don’t we? Wins and losses. People are supposed to work themselves up to No1 contenders.

Yes, AEW gets around it with open challenges. But that isn’t the case here, Claudio just came out at the end of Gresham’s last match and that was enough to catapult him into the championship picture.

Seems craven? Yep. Also makes it look like it’s OK for Gresham to have the title in that smaller promotion, but he’s in a bigger playground now, time to drop it to a proper wrestling star.

Not castigsting Castagnoli. Not at all. But Gresham has a bit of a rep too, as Roddy Piper once said, he’s quite a good wrestler himself.

Just one of the best in the world. And he should not have been treated that way.

It also leads us to this…

Tony Khan Likes His New Acquisitions

That’s the rumor. The argument. The feeling. And here’s where I trot out Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page as examples.

Why not? They are excellent examples, after all. Both are excellent wrestlers. Both are excellent talkers. Both buried. They even managed to make Sky’s 2 TNT belt runs about Dan Lambert and Sammy Guevara.

And that’s what may have happened. The Claudio effect. He’s someone the fans want. He’s good. And he’s really over.

But this ROH belt win? The ROH ‘brand’ already looks less than AEW. And he’s won that belt? Means he can’t go for an AEW belt for a while. He might burnish it. But isn’t an auspicious beginning.

A Mess?

Mess? Yes. To lose a wrestler of Gresham’s quality is a real shame. If he’s allowed to go. We don’t know of contract details.

And that communication issue AEW is supposed to have? Here it seems writ large.

But apparently, there was a cussing out, and

‘Several members of the staff, roster and even security who were in the hallway could hear Gresham screaming loudly inside of Khan’s office.’

according to ewrestling. That doesn’t do Gresham any favors either.

Trying to see who benefits in this situation…


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