Ring Of Honor World Champion Jonathan Gresham recently made an appearance on Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast to talk about several subjects. One of the most noteworthy topics from the interview was his feeling of having been overlooked not just for his size but also for his skin color. The champion wasn’t afraid to admit that it was very disheartening at times. He stated:
“I would basically get looked over a lot because of my size, and I wasn’t the person to want to bring this up, but in hindsight, I am noticing now that the color of my skin had a lot to do with things too. It was just very disheartening because I was hoping that wasn’t something I would ever have to go through. But it happened, and it still happens from time to time now.
“But I am in a position now where I can just ignore it and just keep going, and I have that same mentality where eventually, I am going to land where I am supposed to be. Nothing that has happened to me has been what I imagined in my mind. I just keep going. It’s all I can do.”
It seems that being overlooked is an issue for the champion to overcome no matter where he lands. While he doesn’t like to blame his nationality for his struggles, it is a factor that is apparent to him. Perhaps equally as cumbersome in his career is his height, as it seems to be an issue with everyone he comes across.
“The funny thing is, in the circles, it is difficult. Because not many people are in my position, you can be black, and you can be average height, and you can blame a lot of things on your skin color. Which, frequently is true. Then you can be just a smaller individual of any nationality, and your height will come into play. In the world of wrestling, my height plays a huge issue with everyone.
“Then my nationality plays a role as well, but then when we go in the small circle, of me being amongst other African Americans. While we’re all in this together, my height still plays a role. Regardless of where I am, I still have an uphill battle because of my size or my race.
“So, for me, I just have to learn how to accept that and, regardless of what happens, make the best out of what I am given. In my mind, people look at me as having a handicap. I look at my handicap as a way to tell unique stories.” (H/T Wrestlinginc.com)
Despite the adversity the star has faced, he fought past it and made a name for himself as one of the most successful stars to come out of ROH. His hard work and in-ring ability earned him the ROH Pure Championship when the title was revived back in 2020. Most recently, he became ROH World Champion for the first time in his career at the Final Battle pay-per-view against Jay Lethal. Although Ring Of Honor is on hiatus, it has been speculated that the promotion will not return as planned, making Gresham the final World Champion in the promotion’s history, unless he were to lose the title before such news is confirmed.