New details are being revealed on the recent heat between Jonathan Gresham and ROH/AEW owner Tony Khan.
As we’ve noted, Gresham lost the ROH World Title to Claudio Castagnoli at Saturday’s ROH Death Before Dishonor XIX pay-per-view. It was later reported that Gresham met with ROH owner Tony Khan before the pay-per-view and aired out some frustrations he had, mainly over Khan’s lack of communication with him, and how he felt disrespected because of that. The conversation reportedly saw Gresham “cuss out” Khan before asking for his release. It was also reported that Gresham was upset due to how he found out that the match with Castagnoli would not be given much time. Gresham reportedly went into the meeting with Khan pretty heated as he was also unhappy with the booking and direction of his character. While the conversation between Khan and Gresham took place in a private setting, the talks got heated enough that everyone backstage, including staff and security, heard most of what was said. It was reported earlier this week that Gresham is not currently factored into any AEW or ROH creative plans.
In an update, PWInsider reports that Gresham’s words with Khan were described as “ugly and unprofessional” by one person who heard what was said.
Gresham reportedly tried to use his Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 ranking as an argument as to why he should be booked better. Gresham ranked #20 on the PWI 500 list for 2021, up from the #49 ranking he had in 2020. Multiple talents reported that Gresham brought up his PWI 500 ranking to Khan. The PWI 500 has been a trending topic on social media due to the reports from backstage.
It was confirmed that Gresham was “very upset” when told the planned out come of his match with Castagnoli. The match opened the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view and went under 11 minutes. PWInsider adds that the match was always scheduled to open the show, so the issues with Gresham did not cause anay change in how the card was formatted.
It was reported earlier this week by Fightful that Gresham is not booked for any upcoming ROH or AEW creative plans, and there’s no talk of his release being granted as of mid-week. PWInsider confirms this, adding there’s a belief that Gresham won’t be back in any form for the promotion unless he and Khan make some sort of amends.
Gresham had recently turned heel, and joined Tully Blanchard Enterprises (now The Embassy, bought out in the storylines by Prince Nana) seemingly out of nowhere, and that was said to be a decision that was supposedly done for the “bigger picture” of ROH. Gresham was said to be very passionate about ROH, but his vision for the company didn’t line up with what Khan has in mind. Gresham was also upset over how he wasn’t getting any answers for ROH creative.
The situation where Gresham asked for his release was confirmed by both sides as “getting heated” privately. However, AEW sources noted that they were happy with how the Gresham vs. Castagnoli match came off, and many respected the professionalism of Gresham continuing with the match. Despite the heated nature of the conversation between Gresham and Khan, it did not appear that any bridges were burned.
Gresham left the arena as soon as his match with Castagnoli ended. He still has not reactivated his Twitter account, and he also deactivated the official Twitter account of his Terminus promotion, which recently held its third event. It was previously reported that Gresham’s immediate feelings were that he was done with pro wrestling for a while, but many of Gresham’s co-workers feel like he loves wrestling too much for that to be a reality.
Gresham remains active on Instagram and is currently in Nashville for the “Jim Crockett Promotions Presents: Ric Flair’s Last Match” event to be held on Sunday. He is scheduled to work the Four Corners Independent Wrestling Dream Match on that show with Alan “5” Angels, Nick Wayne, and Konosuke Takeshita.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.