It was reported earlier today that Jonathan Gresham has requested his release from AEW and ROH following a meeting with Tony Khan that ended with Gresham cussing out the AEW President.
According to a report from Fightful, Gresham and Khan were involved in a meeting at 4 PM EST, just hours before the ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view event went live. It was said that Gresham walked into the meeting already angry over the booking and direction of his character. The conversation was supposed to remain private, but when it was over, most of the locker room knew what happened. Several members of the staff, roster, and even security who were in the hallway could hear Gresham screaming loudly inside of Khan’s office.
Gresham had spoken with QT Marshall and Sonjay Dutt multiple times during the week leading up to ROH Death Before Dishonor. While those calls went well, Gresham did express his frustration with the creative direction of his character, which of course ends with Tony Khan. Gresham was told that all creative decisions were made by Khan and that the latter wouldn’t be able to meet with him until late in the afternoon on Saturday.
As far as the process behind who the talent speak to is concerned, all AEW and ROH in-ring talent communicate directly with the coaches. The coaches then report back to Tony Khan, especially when it pertains to any booking ideas or issues that arise. The coaches often shoot off ideas from themselves and the talent to Tony Khan. At that point, Khan will either say he likes or doesn’t like the ideas presented. The coaches then take Tony’s answers back to the talent. Some of the coaches involved in this process include Christopher Daniels, QT Marshall, Pat Buck, Megha Parekh and Sonjay Dutt. One source said Tony Khan talks with Dutt and Parekh “at least ten times a day” and has an open line of communication most of the time. In the past, Khan has tried to talk to his talent directly about creative ideas, but that usually took place at Daily’s Place where things weren’t as hectic during the pandemic.
Some believe Gresham had already made up his mind and knew exactly what he was going to do when he walked into Tony Khan’s office. Several people who have worked with Gresham in the past say they have never seen him that angry. The anger reportedly stems from Gresham being extremely passionate towards the ROH brand and the way he works and is booked. One source said there seems to be a “disconnect” when it comes to suggesting creative ideas and some seeing it as “creative control.” In the case of Gresham, he had his own vision for himself and Tony Khan simply had different ideas. When Khan respectfully told Gresham he had other plans for him, the former ROH World Champion snapped. One source said Gresham was adamant that he did not want to turn heel.
While Gresham was under the impression that he would be dropping the ROH World Championship after not appearing with it at the most recent set of AEW Dark TV tapings, it’s more than likely that he didn’t get confirmation until yesterday.
As we reported earlier today here on eWn, several AEW talents have been frustrated with a lack of communication in the company. Some of those names include former stars Joey Janela and Marko Stunt.