Booking It Out
Now that we’ve got a strong foundation down for this newly-defined Gresham gimmick and his faction, we can book it out in some really interesting ways. I’m not here to fantasy book a year-long angle where Gresham is dominant but is eventually dethroned by new rising star Konosuke Takeshita (although that would be nice) but I’m certainly able to throw out some ideas for where Ring of Honor could go with this new faction.
Hold All The Gold
Immediately a great idea for any suffocating, promotion-controlling heel faction. Gresham already has the ROH World Championship, you could send Brian Cage after Samoa Joe and the ROH TV Championship, and heat up Toa Liona and Kaun as monster heels in the tag division before taking the belts off FTR in dominant fashion. Oh, here’s a fun idea! Allow Cage, Liona, and Kaun to go after the ROH Six-Man Tag Championships. But keep Gresham away from anything but the ROH World Championship. You have to cement the idea of Gresham as a special attraction who people are genuinely afraid to fight. He has all these huge dudes doing his bidding, and yet people are afraid of him. That’s genuine heel fear.
Something I’d really like to see is The Foundation fight the Blackpool Combat Club. With Gresham already fighting Claudio Castagnoli at the next Ring of Honor pay-per-view show, you can lead into it that way. If Gresham wins but Castagnoli sufficiently frustrates him, you could have the Foundation beat him down after the match, but who comes out to make the save at the end of the show? Of course, the rest of the Blackpool Combat Club, complete with a returning Bryan Danielson. Lead this into an eight-man tag match, which could create a rivalry between the two which culminates in a bout during the AEW Trios Championship tournament. This could also be where Cage/Liona/Kaun lose and Gresham cuts his losses and turns on them. Just a thought.
Have Him Lose to Konosuke Takeshita
I’m sorry, I had to. Takeshita is just so good. This one is self-explanatory.
Jonathan Gresham is a wrestler and a character that can be really interesting, he just needs some tweaking to translate from the 500-person live audiences of ROH, to the 5,000+ seat arena setups of AEW. Making his character something, anything beyond “I’m the best wrestler” which never translates to television anyways, would be such a huge help. Turning Gresham heel and putting him in a faction was a step in the right direction, but it was just the first step in a multi-month rehabilitation plan for a character who could be really cool! I hope AEW gets it right with their character change for Gresham. This was just a way to get my thoughts on paper for what they could do with him.