Johnson has been on a roll in recent months, and he’ll put his hot streak to this weekend on ROH Wrestling when he faces former ROH Pure Champion John Walters. “The Mecca”, the top-ranked contender in the company’s Pure Division, could potentially clinch a title shot with a win, and he’s not overlooking the importance of this contest.
In an interview with WrestleZone’s Colin Tessier, Johnson initially took some shots at Walters’ background as an insurance salesman, but he later described how, as someone who has a genuine passion for wrestling, it’s a “big deal” to face a former champion like Walters. Still, “The Mecca” made it clear that while Johnson had an impressive run in the past, we’re currently living in his “Mecc-ade.”
“Yeah the insurance salesman, right, he sells insurance, I think,” said Johnson. “That’s what they hired him back for, some guys had some back pain, I think, and then he slipped in. But no worries, I’ll take care of the insurance salesman.
“…But all jokes aside, John Walters is a former Pure Champion, so when I get into the ring with a former champion, it means a lot to somebody like me, who grew up a wrestling fan, studying this crap. Trust me, I know that John Walters is dangerous. Or at least he was, but his time’s passed, man. Stick to the insurance. It’s my Mecc-ade now.”
In the official preview for this bout, ROH billed this match as a clash between the Pure Past and the Pure Present. When asked about this description, Johnson recalled how Jay Lethal, one of the leaders of The Foundation, called out the entire division to praise them at ROH Death Before Dishonor, but he didn’t name “Th Mecca.” Johnson expressed his frustration about this outcome before he has been undefeated in Pure matches since he joined the division. He noted that Lethal’s omission of his name at Death Before Dishonor was just the latest occurence in a pattern of the way he has been overlooked. Still, “The Mecca” plans to rewrite his story, starting this weekend when he faces Walters.
“…Some bozo, Jay Lethal went and called out an entire roster of people at a pay-per-view and didn’t mention my name,” said Johnson. “And I thought that was some s—. But yet I kept winning, and I see all those guys picking up l’s and l’s and l’s. Ain’t that funny? So to be considered the future, it’s about damn time. I’ve been on a run all year long and it’s just been overlook after overlook after overlook.
“It’s no surprise, it’s how Ring of Honor does, that like to talk about whatever they used to do. But we’re gonna be changing the future. We’re gonna be rewriting history, as I plan to do in this Pure Rules match.”
You can’t spell “Pure” without the M.E.C.C.A!
Don’t miss a Pure Rules Match between Brian Johnson and veteran John Walters this weekend on ROH TV!
— ROH – Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 19, 2021
The fact that Lethal didn’t include Johnson in his speech about the Pure Division is only one element of the conflict between “The Mecca” and The Foundation. While Johnson has picked up some impressive wins since he joined the division, he has clinched some of these victories by bending the rules. This behavior defies The Foundation’s strict emphasis on purity and honor inside the squared circle. When asked about the group, Johnson shared his belief that this stable can be “single-minded” with the way they view Pure Wrestling, so they disapprove of his methods because he doesn’t follow their approach.
“While they’re right in the premise of Pure Rules is the proper representation of this company, all the best have had it, AJ Styles, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Nigel McGuinness, Samoa Joe, come on, right, the who’s who, I think that sometimes they’re single-minded in how they approach the Pure Rules,” said Johnson. “Maybe someone like myself tends to look at them a different way. And because I don’t choose to look at it their way, I’m wrong? If you ask me, that seems like some totalitarian rule, and like we should all be mad at them.
“But yet when ‘The Mecca’ comes barking up the tree, like, ‘Hey, maybe there’s a difference here,’ I’m the bad guy, I’m the one looking at the rules wrong. Or maybe they just have some like Napoleon complex and they just wanna dominate and be control of the whole rules so they can keep it amongst themselves, [like] a clique of some sort, hm?”
In the event that Brian Johnson defeats John Walters this weekend, he’ll likely earn the right to challenge for the ROH Pure Championship, which is currently held by Josh Woods. Though “The Mecca” stated that he was not sure when he’d get this title match, he made it clear that he wouldn’t waste his chance at the gold.
“If I beat John Walters, I will 100% be the solidified number one contender for the Ring of Honor Pure Championship,” said Johnson. “And we all know what’s been out there in the news and the end of an era…I don’t know if it will be at Final Battle, but trust me, my title shot, whether it be Final Battle or maybe the last episode of TV of the year, whatever it may be, I will not wait or waste that opportunity. So for now…The Mecca is gunning for one thing and it’s that Pure Title.”
Fans can catch Brian Johnson’s match with Walters this weekend on ROH Wrestling; check your TV listings to see when the show airs near you. ROH Wrestling is also available to stream every Monday on the ROH website, and it airs Monday nights on FITE TV at 7 p.m. EST.