As previously reported, Jonathan Gresham met with AEW and ROH owner Tony Khan prior to last weekend’s ROH Death Before Dishonor PPV Event and revealed the frustrations he had, mainly due to the fact that Khan has been having lack of communication with him and how he felt disrespected because of that. The reports also mentions how Gresham “cussed out” Khan before asking for his release after Gresham found out that he will be dropping the title and the ROH World Title Match would not be given much time.
The opening matchup of this past Saturday’s ROH Death Before Dishonor PPV saw Claudio Castagnoli beat Jonathan Gresham to become the new ROH World Champion. There were then reports moments later that the former ROH World Champion would deactivate his Twitter account as he was unhappy with Khan’s decision of him losing the ROH World Championship and that would lead to rumors and speculations on his status with AEW/ROH.
An update was recently provided by Fightful Select that Gresham apparently had a meeting with the AEW and ROH owner prior to ROH’s Death Before Dishonor PPV Event and he went into the meeting more heated than usual as Gresham was already unhappy with the booking and direction of his character, mainly due to the fact that he had suddenly turned heel and joined Tully Blanchard Enterprises (now the Embassy) as he was against the idea of turning heel and his vision for the company as well as his creative did not line up with what Tony Khan had in mind, but what Khan had in mind was believed to have been done for the “bigger picture” of ROH.
The report also states that the meeting which was supposed to stay private got so heated and Khan and Gresham’s conversation got so loud that details of what was being discussed couldn’t be contained and it would even spill into the locker room area that everyone backstage, including the wrestlers, staff and security were able to hear it.
Jonathan Gresham is believed to be very passionate about ROH, but his vision for the promotion didn’t line up with what Tony Khan wanted, which is why Gresham wanted to have a conversation with Khan even before Death Before Dishonor went on air. Gresham was told that any creative changes would have to be cleared with Khan first, but he was unable to meet with Khan until a few hours prior to the show. The lack of communication between the two in regards to creative direction and not necessarily Jonathan’s creative control was also mentioned on the report and not getting any answers for the future creative direction of ROH was reportedly another reason why Gresham requested for his AEW/ROH release.
Fightful Select also noted that the typical creative process involves talent speaking to AEW coaches, who act as a median between the talent and Khan and while Tony Khan does try to speak directly to the talent, that has not been done in quite some time or is rarely done “due to the changing of the world and travel in general.” The lack of communication within AEW is not a new complaint in the company as former AEW Stars such as Joey Janela, Marko Stunt and Chavo Guerrero have talked about similar issues in the past. It remains to be seen whether Gresham’s release will be granted as neither the promotion nor Tony Khan made an official statement or comment.