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Breakout Star Jonathan Gresham Gets Big Opportunity vs. Japanese Icon Minoru Suzuki

The diminutive Ring of Honor star is as intent on working his own distinctive style as the man he’ll stand across the ring from on Friday night.
Jonathan Gresham raises his arms in the ring

Those hoping to discover pro wrestling’s next breakout star should tune in to GCW’s The Highest in the Room show Friday night on FITE. The match that is appointment viewing on the loaded card features New Japan icon Minoru Suzuki against a must-see performer in Jonathan Gresham.

Gresham stars for Ring of Honor, and his current wave of indie dates and bookings with New Japan for its United States tour will help showcase his brilliance to the masses. Friday night’s match against Suzuki is a prime opportunity to showcase his technical mastery, especially against an opponent with such an aura and presence.

“I love challenges, and I’m so excited for this match against Suzuki,” Gresham says. “I’ve got a tremendous response from fans hyping up this match. People can’t wait to watch it, and I can’t wait to step into the ring.”

A 15-year veteran of professional wrestling, the time is now for Gresham. He has prepared for his breakout moment during his extensive travels, wrestling across the globe in 15 countries, including Germany, England, China and Japan. Standing 5' 4", Gresham was repeatedly told he had to be a high-flyer if he was to have any semblance of a future in the business. Yet he has been resolute in his desire to set the wrestling world aflame with his technical style, a concept once mocked by promoters and even peers. His persistence is paying off, as his unwillingness to compromise what he rightly believes is a sublime art form is now inspiring a new realm of pro wrestling.

“Not many people know this, but my dream was to pioneer a wrestling style,” Gresham says. “And do that in a way like Último Dragón or Suzuki. Minoru Suzuki represents a certain style, and you know what you’re going to get as soon as you see him with his shoot-style Pancrase wrestling. My goal is to do that with pure wrestling.”

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Gresham dropped the ROH Pure championship on Sunday at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view, ending an impressive 385-day title reign that restored meaning and purpose to the belt. But with the loss comes great opportunity, as Gresham can now set his sights on the ROH world title, which is currently held by Bandido.

As he makes his ascent to the main event, Gresham intends to keep breaking boundaries, creating a new approach with his devoted, dogged pursuit of pro wrestling excellence, and continuing to do what he loves in the squared circle. Gresham’s potential is unlimited, and he is eager to take the next step in his journey, beginning against Suzuki.

“This is a chance to see a legend in Minoru Suzuki against me, someone who is so dedicated and devoted to the craft,” Gresham says. “I’m here to prove to the world that I am what I believe I am, and that is the best professional wrestler in the world. This match is going to help me establish that.”

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Justin Barrasso can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.