“The Octopus” had been scheduled to challenge ROH World Champion Bandido for the title at the pay-per-view, but the latter tested positive for COVID-19, so ROH had to call an audible. Still, facing Lethal will offer Gresham a way to end this era of ROH in a special way when the two stars collide as part of a double main event.
In an interview with Scott Fishman of TV Insider, Gresham shared his thoughts on Final Battle and noted that his main goal is to “cement” his place in ROH history before the company goes on hiatus in the first quarter of 2022 and faces an uncertain future.
“I feel pressure, but I also feel a bit lost,” said Gresham. “My entire trajectory was always in the back of my mind to be in Ring of Honor and be champion, but I never said that out loud [before]. I always made small goals because my journey to Ring of Honor was difficult. My skin color and height played a huge role in suppressing me from getting a lot of opportunities in the business. I started to feel good about myself, which has led me to be in the main event of an end of an era show.
“It’s not the ideal situation, but I always wanted to create and have a legacy. When you ask for those things, you have to accept how it’s delivered to you. If I can win the championship at Final Battle, I will make history and cement myself in the legacy of Ring of Honor.”
Gresham’s match with Lethal will seemingly be a non-title bout, but the promotion has announced that will address the world title situation on ROH Final Battle Hour One. Given the remarkable run “The Octopus” had with the ROH Pure Championship, many fans want to see him challenge for (and hopefully win) the big belt, but the company’s path forward is uncertain. In its announcement that it will go on hiatus, ROH stated that it plans to return with a Supercard of Honor in 2022.
But with several outlets reporting that the company won’t renew the contracts of its talent roster at the end of 2021, it’s been widely assumed that the new era won’t include the promotion’s current stars. Likewise, many fans have wondered whether ROH will actually come back at all, given the circumstances. On an individual level, when asked whether he believes he’ll wrestle his last ROH match on Saturday, Gresham explained that he believes the promotion will return, and like everyone else, he’ll wait and see what happens next.
“I believe Ring of Honor when they say they’re coming back in April,” said Gresham. “I love Ring of Honor so much. They helped my life in ways that are difficult to explain. I will wait and see what they are planning to do. Then, if it’s something we can work with, I will stay. If not, I’m unsure if I will continue being a professional wrestler.”
In the past, Gresham has made it clear that he is loyal to ROH; he has said that he’s “on this boat until it sinks.” Whatever happens next, fans can at least look forward to seeing “The Octopus” do what he does best on Saturday night.