ROH Final Battle came and went, and with it came also the end of Ring of Honor as we know it. This was indicated by a lengthy TV hiatus, as well as the company releasing the entire roster onto the independent scene, including the very last ROH World Champion, Jonathan Gresham winning the title at Final Battle after it was vacated by former champion Bandido, who tested positive for COVID-19. Since his release, though, Gresham has not ceased in his duties as Ring of Honor’s world titleholder. As a matter of fact, he just recently defended the ROH World Championship successfully against Game Changer Wrestling favorite AJ Gray. Afterward, Gresham stated his intention to do so in other promotions as well, even implying he’d be willing to defend it in other promotions. Here are 4 examples of wrestlers from different companies who would make interesting opponents for Gresham.
4 Challengers for ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham
IMPACT Wrestling – Josh Alexander
For the last year and a half or so, Josh Alexander has made quite the name for himself in his home promotion of IMPACT Wrestling, easily their best talent, boasting many great matches this year against names like Chris Sabin, Christian Cage, as well as his series against TJP. Considering how quickly he’s becoming the standard-bearer for the company, IMPACT would do well to capitalize on the opportunity. While not what it was, the Ring of Honor Championship still carries with it a good amount of name value. Name value that would help elevate Alexander by even challenging for it. Not to mention the match itself would be terrific. The catch-style of ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham attempting to defend the aggressive, freestyle Josh Alexander would certainly be something to witness.
Game Changer Wrestling – Nick Gage
Nick Gage is a subject of much conjecture among the wrestling community. He’s easily the most recognizable deathmatch wrestler in North America, and has some pretty big matches under his belt this year, including a No Rules Match with Chris Jericho. Gage would certainly be the most interesting opponent Gresham could have due to how completely opposite they are stylistically. Everything Gresham does is pretty, well-executed, and accurate, almost like art. Gage, on the other hand, wrestles like a wildman, almost always resorting to brutal tactics and brawling whenever he can. A match with Gage could be the kind of thing people remember Gresham for ages, much like Samoa Joe and his famous battle with Necro Butcher. Sometimes the best matches are the ones with two opposing ideologies, and this could be just that. Plus, it would be a perfect opportunity to bust out the old “Fight Without Honor” gimmick again. And that’s something we can all get behind.
Major League Wrestling – ACH
ACH challenging for the ROH World Championship would be poetic justice. While not a banner year, ACH’s 2021 has not treated him unkindly, seeing multiple wins as well as making it to the semi-finals of the Opera Cup. Regardless, ACH has all the reason in the world to want to challenge Gresham for the ROH world title. Firstly, ACH is a former ROH talent himself, even challenging former champion Adam Cole for the title at one point, as well as a 30-minute draw with Jay Lethal. While always seemingly primed and ready for a big run, ROH never did pull the trigger on ACH. The relationship between ACH and ROH would sadly end among disagreements in 2016, and ACH would never become champion. This is a home run sitting in MLW’s lap, story-wise and match-wise. Because if you don’t think Gresham and ACH could deliver a good match, I hope in time that you will be sorely mistaken.
DEFY Wrestling – Nick Wayne
This one might be a bit out of left field. Son of the late great Buddy Wayne, DEFY Wrestling favorite Nick Wayne is probably the best young wrestler that you may not have heard of. At only 16 years old, there isn’t even a Wikipedia page on him yet. However, he’s been delivering in matches far beyond what someone his age should be capable of. His match against Joey Janela at DEFY Brutalist ended up not just going longer than it was supposed to, but having the finish changed mid-match. Janela made the mid-match decision to change the finish to Wayne winning because he was so incredibly talented. Would anybody really believe in their hearts that Nick Wayne could defeat Jonathan Gresham for ROH gold? Probably not. But the opportunity to challenge for one of the most prestigious titles in North America when not even a legal adult would be enough bragging rights to last Wayne a lifetime.
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