The real reason why former ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham asked for his release from his AEW/ROH contract has been revealed.
Following Gresham’s title loss to Claudio Castagnoli at Death Before Dishonor, it was reported that the star had requested his release ahead of the show. It was also noted that before the event, Gresham had a meeting with Tony Khan where he communicated his frustration, leading to him ‘cussing out’ Khan.
An update from Fightful Select (subscription required) has shed more light on the situation. Per the report, Gresham met with Tony Khan and others on Saturday at 4pm ET, ahead of the Death Before Dishonor main show starting at 8pm.
Gresham was reportedly heated and unhappy with his direction and booking of his character. It was noted that while it was agreed upon that the context of the meeting would remain private, much of the locker room and staff could physically hear the conversation.
Gresham’s frustration reportedly appears to be in the direction of creative, with the talent supposedly told that he wasn’t able to meet with Tony Khan until hours before the ROH pay-per-view.
The report stated that the general preferred process for the talent relations in AEW is for talent to speak with an AEW coach, who would be in contact with Khan. Conversations about booking have to be relayed to Khan. Gresham had reportedly spoken with QT Marshall and Sonjay Dutt a number of times in the week leading up to Death before Dishonor.
Per the report, it was noted that the AEW side believed Gresham came into the meeting with his mind already made up. Gresham reportedly had a vision for his creative direction, which was different from what Tony Khan and ROH had tentatively planned.
Gresham reportedly wasn’t in favor of turning heel, even if ROH had a ‘bigger picture’ for that. It was also noted that the finish of the ROH World Championship match had been at least hinted to Gresham, however there was no word on whether Gresham knew he’d be losing the title before the day of Death Before Dishonor.
It has not been confirmed if Gresham’s release has been granted at the time of writing.
We will continue to provide updates on the situation as they become available.
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