ROH on SBG #549: Jonathan Gresham – A Champion’s Journey Part 2


This week’s episode is part two of Jonathan Gresham’s Championship Journey series. The first part aired last week and showcased Gresham’s title win and first five title defenses.

We start this week’s episode with extended clips from two more of Gresham’s title defenses. Gresham would defend the title against Cody Chhun at DEFY Wrestling in Seattle. Chunn was somebody Gresham believed had “the fire and the spirit of the originals” just like him. Every time I see wrestling from the Washington Hall venue I enjoy it, as the crowd is hot and it makes for a wonderful atmosphere. Chunn and Gresham showed a lot of character in this match which helped too, and it became one of my favorite of Gresham’s defenses instantly. I highly recommend checking it out.

All of the title matches shown last week we were able to see in-full through the company in which they happened, but Gresham’s defense against Emeritus in BODYSLAM! Wrestling from February 26th has yet to see the light of day as of this episode’s airing. This is a historic match, as it is the first time the ROH World Championship was defended in Denmark. I believe Emeritus is only the eighth masked wrestler to ever challenge for the title (Delirious, El Generico, Jushin Liger, El Ligero, Dragon Lee, Demonic Flamita, and of course former champion Bandido being the other seven.) Emeritus thought he had the title won when he pinned Gresham for three after an Implant, but Gresham’s foot was under the bottom rope. Gresham would strike Emeritus repeatedly in the side of the head until the referee stopped the match to retain his title. Whenever the show is added to IWTV I’ll be sure to give it a full review, but from the footage it seemed like a good crowd and that the match was less mat based than most of Gresham’s other title defenses.

For whatever reason, these are the only two World title defenses we are shown. Gresham had a few in PROGRESS, which likely cannot be shown due to their agreement with the WWE Network and Peacock, but he had matches in Championship Wrestling from Memphis, TERMINUS, and Fight Factory Pro Wrestling we could have seen. Instead, we go back further in time than the first part of this special to see Gresham winning the Pure Championship against “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams. Gresham would win the tournament to crown the first Pure Champion in fourteen years with a grounded Octopus Stretch.

Even more puzzling is that they then show Gresham winning the ROH World Title against Jay Lethal at Final Battle 2021, a match they already showed clips of the week before. You do get to see much more of the match this week, but the choice is still quite strange.

The episode ends with Gresham saying that despite Bandido still holding the current ROH World Championship, he has never doubted that he is the real ROH World Champion. This is why he holds the original ROH World Championship, as it contains the essence of what ROH was built upon. He took the title around the World and defended it. Gresham believes his destiny is to lead Ring of Honor into the future, and that he will defeat Bandido at “Supercard of Honor.” He believes this will happen, because he is The Foundation.

Overall: As previously mentioned, the layout of this episode was very strange. I suppose if you had not seen the two ROH matches before it’s worthwhile, and I’m glad some footage of the Emeritus match was shown, but as an episode to get someone psyched for Supercard of Honor, I don’t know if it achieved that goal. I’m not any less excited for the title match, but only Gresham’s promo at the end did much of anything to promote and hype it. This was an odd way to construct the second part of this special, and arguably an even more questionable final episode to air before the Supercard of Honor PPV.

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