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Jonathan Gresham On Finding Out He Was Facing Jay Lethal At ROH Final Battle, Original Plans For Longer Match

January 14, 2022 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Jonathan Gresham, ROH Final Battle Image Credit: ROH

In a recent interview on Talk Is Jericho, Jonathan Gresham discussed finding out he was facing Jay Lethal at ROH Final Battle, the original plans for a longer match between the two, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Jonathan Gresham on finding out he was facing Jay Lethal at ROH Final Battle: “I really didn’t know it was happening until closer, to where they said they were going with me going forward. Just preparing, talking to Bandido on and off, keeping in touch. Maybe a day or two before, I get a message from Bandido saying, ‘I’m sorry, amigo.’ I’m like, ‘What happened?’ I contacted him, he didn’t hit me back. Then I contacted my buddy Dragon Lee and I’m like, ‘What’s going on with Bandido? He hit me up and said Sorry, amigo’ and [Dragon Lee] tells me that [Bandido] got COVID. By this time, it’s the day before I was about to fly out. Now, there is the race to find out what’s going to happen with the main event of Final Battle. At that point, I was kind of relieved, I had never been in that position before of being in the main event of a really big match that people were looking forward to. I’ve had smaller ones, but nothing that big. I was relieved like, “Great, I don’t have to do that match.’ I was kind of relieved [laughs].

“I got a call from Lethal, and we’re shooting the shit, and he goes, ‘There’s a possibility that it might be us at Final Battle.’ My heart started pounding again. I was like, ‘That’s not going to happen because he works at AEW.’ The next day, before I left, Hunter text me, ‘It’s you and Lethal.’ As it stood at that moment, it wasn’t for the Ring of Honor World title. I was like, ‘Great, we’re not the main event, pressure is off.’ I’ve wrestled Lethal a dozen times before, I’m great. I’m on the plane and I get the message that [ROH] is gonna address the World Title situation on Hour One of Final Battle. I’m like, that could only mean they would go with the World Title, so I’m the main. The show starts to unravel and I know I’m the main event now.”

On the original plans for a longer match between the two: “I’m nervous because our match time was in the ballpark of 30 minutes. I’ve done 30 to 40 minutes of wrestling before, so I’m not nervous about that. I’m nervous about the show closing on beat. Now it’s like, ‘I have to do good.’ It gets more nerve-racking as the show goes on because referees and different people come to me to let me know that time is being chopped off the match. At first, we started with 30, then it went to 25, then it went to 20, then it went to 17. We go out there and Todd Sinclair goes, ‘You guys have 11.’ So many people were going long, promos went long. The main event got chopped off and a lot of fans weren’t aware that the live feed went off so abruptly because we didn’t have more time. We ended up going 15. We had such a long, storied match and it got chopped down to 11 minutes, so a lot of the story that was supposed to be there wasn’t there. That’s pretty much how the day went. It was very nerve-wracking. I never envy people in the main event position because you, not only have to follow everybody, but you have to work with the time remaining.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.