By Kevin Eck
Well, this is interesting.
Jonathan Gresham, holder of the original ROH World Championship, will put his belt on the line against former Impact World Champion Josh Alexander on the debut show for the Terminus promotion in Atlanta on Jan. 16.
On that same show, Bandido – who still has possession of the current ROH World Championship belt – will defend his title against independent star Baron Black.
A L L R O A D S L E A D H E R E
— T E R M I N U S (@TERMINUSpro) December 29, 2021
A L L R O A D S L E A D H E R E
— T E R M I N U S (@TERMINUSpro) December 24, 2021
Bandido had been scheduled to defend the ROH World Title against Gresham at Final Battle: End of an Era three weeks ago, but he tested positive for COVID-19 two days before the event.
AEW’s Jay Lethal replaced Bandido in the match, which ended up being for the original ROH World Title belt. Gresham defeated Lethal to become the champion.
Bandido, who won the ROH World Championship from RUSH at Best in the World in July, was not actually defeated for the title.
Since winning the original championship belt, Gresham has made two successful title defenses outside of ROH. Gresham has stated that all of his defenses will be contested under Pure rules.
His upcoming match against Alexander is sandwiched between two other scheduled title defenses: against Chris Sabin at Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill pay-per-view on Jan. 8 in Dallas; and against Blake Christian at The Wrld on GCW show on Jan. 23 at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
Gresham has stated his desire to wrestle AEW star and former ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson. Apparently the feeling is mutual.
“He’s one of the guys I want to wrestle,” Danielson told Sports Illustrated this week. “They say it’s the champions who make the championship, right? I think Jonathan Gresham is a great, great wrestler who would really make the championship.”
Danielson also addressed whether there was a chance he could’ve faced Gresham at Final Battle as Bandido’s replacement.
“So it’s interesting,” said Danielson, discussing how he learned Bandido was out of the Final Battle match. “I’m not on my phone, ever. It’s hard to get me to pick up my phone at any given point of the day. So I didn’t realize until Saturday morning [the day of Final Battle] that Bandido couldn’t do the show. I was like, ‘That would have been perfect for me to come in and do that.’ It would have been a lot of fun.
“I’m not sure that would have even been OK with the state my knee was in on Friday [Bryan had tweaked his knee days prior on AEW Dynamite], but I think that’s a match that a lot of wrestling fans would want to see.”
ROH Board of Directors member Maria Kanellis-Bennett and ring announcer Bobby Cruise were my guests on the latest episode of The ROHStrong Podcast, which drops Monday morning on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
They talked about teaming up to book ROH’s revamped women’s division, their working relationship, what they looked for when putting the roster together, Rok-C becoming the inaugural ROH Women’s World Champion, and the story behind Deonna Purrazzo showing up at Final Battle. They also discussed the end of this era of ROH, what the future holds for them and more.
Speaking of the women’s division, an outstanding documentary about the division and the Quest for Gold tournament will air on Ring of Honor Wrestling the weekend of Jan. 15.
This weekend’s episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling features three outstanding matches from 2021 that were originally broadcast on pay-per-view or exclusively on HonorClub: Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. The OGK (Matt Taven and Mike Bennett) from Death Before Dishonor on Sept. 12; Gresham vs. Brody King from Honor for All on Nov. 14; and Bandido vs. Flamita vs. Rey Horus from 19th Anniversary on March 26.
ROH TV PREVIEW: https://t.co/5EyO3mz9wG
BEST OF 2021 EPISODE
Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. The OGK
Brody King vs. Jonathan Gresham
Bandido vs. Flamita vs. Rey Horus
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) December 30, 2021
Next weekend’s episode will feature matches from some of the winners of the 2021 ROH awards.
Until next time, keep safe and stay #ROHStrong! Happy New Year!
Kevin Eck is a veteran pro wrestling journalist who has worked for The Baltimore Sun, WWE and WCW before joining ROHWrestling.com. Eck’s Files appears every Friday.
Be sure to visit Ring of Honor for more news and updates