RADICAN’S FEUD RECAP – ROH’s Jay Lethal vs. Jonathan Gresham three match series, match highlights from Honor Reigns Supreme, Masters of the Craft, and ROH TV

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist


RADICAN’S BIG FEUD SPOTLIGHT
JAY LETHAL vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM
RING OF HONOR 2018

Note: This is a companion to my take on the Gresham vs. Lethal Feud.

JAY LETHAL vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM, ROH Honor Reigns Supreme, Feb. 8, 2018

Lethal went for his cartwheel kick early, but Gresham countered it by grabbing his wrist and going for an arm submission. After some hard chop exchanges, Lethal managed to hit hit the cartwheel dropkick Combination. Gresham went to work on Lethal’s arm after mounting a comeback a short time later. He manipulated his arm and bent Lethal’s wrist at bad angles. Gresham managed to pin Lethal’s shoulders to the mat while working over his arm to get several two counts. They traded blows while Gresham held onto Lethal’s arm. Lethal got out of the way of a dive, but Gresham slid under the bottom rope and hit a PK to his arm. Lethal side-stepped a charge from Gresham off the apron and Gresham appeared to hurt his leg. Lethal then hit a cutter on the floor and both men were down. Both men went after each other with strikes. Gresham hit some forearms to Lethal’s injured arm. Lethal went after Gresham’s injured leg with some of kicks. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but his arms gave out. They went back and forth trading pinning combinations until Gresham got a cross face. Lethal struggled, but got to the ropes.

The fans fired up as both men regrouped. Gresham hit an enzuguri, but Lethal fired back with the Lethal Combination. Lethal got on track and went after Gresham’s leg and hit a pair of dragon screws for a two count. Lethal went for Hail to the King, but Gresham limped over to the corner to crotch him. Gresham blocked a sunset bomb attempt and eventually caught Lethal with a jumping tornado DDT. He then hit a German with a bridge for a near fall. Gresham sold his leg after holding the bridge and the fans fired up.

Lethal said let’s see what you really got boy and they began exchanging chops. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection again, but Gresham kicked his arm when he went for the springboard. Gresham went for the Octopus, but Lethal turned it into a Kryptonite crunch. Lethal hit Hail to the King. When Gresham went to kick out, Lethal grabbed his leg and tried to apply the Figure Four. Lethal eventually got the hold and torque on it. Gresham fought, but had to tap out. This was a great match.

Winner: Jay Lethal in 18:00. (****)

Many fans stood and applauded for both men. The fans chanted both these guys. Gresham looked dejected, but he shook hands with Lethal after the match to follow the Code of Honor.

Note: You can watch this match on DVD by clicking HERE or on demand with your Honor Club membership.

JAY LETHAL vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM, ROH Masters of the Craft. April 15, 2018

They went to a flashback video package to their first match at Honor Reigns supreme. THe announcers said the match could have gone either way. Riccaboni on commentary said Gresham wanted another chance against Lethal because he had tweaked his knee during the match. Lethal cut a promo saying he had shown Gresham that he’s the master of his craft. He said he doesn’t want to hurt people in reference to Gresham hurting his leg during the match. Lethal said the same thing might happen during the rematch not because he wants it to, but because he’s just that good. He told Gresham to show him he’s learned something this time. This match marked Gresham’s return to the ring from injury. The announcers said Gresham wanted to bring back a pure style of wrestling to the company.

Lethal wore Macho Man Randy Savage Purple and Yellow for the match . Gresham wore red and white. The fans chanted back and forth for both men. The announcers mentioned Gresham doesn’t have a finisher, as he wins via submissions and rollups. They said he can pick a win up out of nowhere. Lethal had the upper hand on the mat early, but Gresham got a quick inside cradle for a two count and Lethal rolled out of the ring. The announcers said this is the type of match wrestlers in the back would be watching on the monitors to learn from. Gresham went after Lethal’s arm and stayed one step ahead of Lethal. Gresham tied up both arms with his legs and then snapped himself down onto the mat to snap Lethal’s arms at a bad angle. Lethal fired back a short time later with his cartwheel dropkick. Lethal went to some hard strikes, but Gresham countered him and hit an uppercut from behind on Lethal’s arm. Both men traded chops and forearms. Lethal whipped Gresham over the top and he landed on the apron. Lethal immediately drop kicked Gresham’s injured leg and Gresham spilled to the floor.

Lethal worked over both legs on the floor. He then slammed both legs over the apron and Gresham rolled away to the middle of the ring. Gresham fired up and got in Lethal’s face. Lethal grabbed Gresham by the neck and hit several kicks to his leg. Gresham then grabbed Lethal’s arm from his back and snapped it with a kick. Lethal fired back with some chops and took Gresham down. They went back and forth and Gresham spun Lethal into the seated position and then kicked his arm from behind. Both men ended up down selling their respective injuries. Gresham went for the octopus stretch, but Lethal got to the ropes. Big emphasis on Lethal avoiding the octopus hold from the announcers. Gresham tried to fight out of a suplex a short time later and both men ended up going over the top to the floor and the fans fired up. Both men went back and forth trading blows. Lethal wentr after Gresham’s leg with a punch, but then they began trading punches. Gresham no-sold a kick to the leg and hit a step up enzuguri and a German with a bridge for a near fall. Gresham wasn’t able to keep his base because of the damage to his legs. Gresham got another pinning combination for a near fall, but Lethal kicked out and hit the Lethal Combination for a 2 count. WOW! Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but Gresham got a backslide for a near fall. He then stomped down on Lethal’s arm.

Gresham got the octopus stretch and Lethal went for the ropes, but Gresham blocked it by hooking Lethal’s arm with his legs. Lethal then elbowed away at Gresham’s injured leg to break the hold and applied the Figure Four. Gresham countered Lethal and got an arm bar, but he couldn’t fully apply the hold and Gresham got to the ropes! WOW! They traded blows again with both men targeting their opponents injured body part at times. The fans chanted for both men as they continued to trade blows. They traded forearms at a rapid pace and Gresham went down to a knee. They went back and forth off the ropes and Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but his arm gave out. Gresham went for a cradle, but Lethal sat down on it and got the three count.

After the match, Lethal got on the mic said it was just two guys out to prove they’re the best. Lethal said, “That’s what this company is all about.” The fans started a loud ROH chant. Lethal said angles and storylines didn’t make the match. He said your talent and my talent made the match to Gresham. Lethal thanked Gresham for bringing out the best in him. He said Gresham is one of the best. The fans chanted thank you Gresham. Gresham got on the mic and asked Lethal to stay. He said Lethal is the best wrestler in the world. Gresham said he’s the best technical wrestler in the world. He said that’s why he came to ROH. Gresham said they aren’t finished. Gresham said he knows he can beat Lethal. He challenged Lethal to another match. Lethal said yes.

Winner: Jay Lethal in 18:00. (****¼)

Note: You can watch this match on DVD by clicking HERE or on demand with your Honor Club membership.

JAY LETHAL vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM – Iron Man match, ROH TV,Taped July 21, 2018 and aired on Sept. 8, 2018 (ROH TV episode #364)

The match got off to a slow start as both men paced themselves. Gresham went after Lethal’s arm and ended up backing him into the ropes and he offered a clean break. Lethal backed Gresham into the corner and went after his leg. Both men shoved each other, but cooler heads prevailed. Cabana said Lethal had Iron Man match experience to rely on, but Gresham kept quiet about his preparation and didn’t say anything to him when he asked him about it. Both men went back and forth on the match. Lethal finally backdropped Gresham and Gresham sold frustration against the ropes before getting back to his feet. Cabana talked about Gresham’s extensive international experience in places like England and Germany. He mentioned Gresham had wrestled in 14 countries and four continents. Gresham went after Lethal’s arm, but Lethal shoved him into the corner. Lethal shoved Gresham’s arm away as the intensity seemed to be picking up. Lethal went for a Boston Crab and Gresham powered his way out of it, but Lethal did a cartwheel to stay on his feet. The fans chanted for both men as the announcers pointed out that Gresham’s left knee was heavily taped. Lethal forced Gresham’s arms down to the mat, but Lethal sat down on top of him. Gresham bridged up with Lethal on top of him to break the pin. Gresham got a school boy and grabbed an ankle lock, but Lethal escaped. They went back and forth trading holds and counters and they came to a stalemate and the fans applauded. “If you’re going to do this for a half hour, it’s going to be Jay Lethal’s hand raised in the end,” said Cabana on commentary. The fans chanted ATL before both men went at it again.

Cabana said Gresham had set the pace with the technical wrestling and Lethal was going along with it. Gresham went after Lethal’s arm on the mat and Lethal countered by grabbing a headscissors. Gresham freed himself and went after Lethal’s arm right before the 10 minute mark, but Lethal got the headscissors again. Gresham tried to bridge out and Lethal countered it, but Gresham managed to free himself and he tied up Lethal’s legs, but Lethal managed to grab a headlock. The pace picked up off the ropes and Lethal hit his signature cartwheel into a dropkick, but he only got a one count. Cabana said we were now seeing Jay Lethal’s match.

The action picked up about 12 mins into the match when Gresham and Lethal began exchanging big chops. Gresham began going after Lethal’s arm by snapping it over the ropes backwards with Lethal sitting on the apron. He then tied Lethal’s arm around the ropes to work it over. The ref began to administer the five count and Gresham released the hold at the last second. Gresham then began working over Lethal’s arm by slamming it into the apron and then he worked it over on the floor. Gresham continued to work over Lethal’s arm as they approached the twenty minute mark. Gresham got an arm/leg submission combination that he turned into a pinning predicament for a 2 count just after the 20 minute mark. Gresham held onto Lethal’s arm after Lethal tried to fire back. Gresham and Lethal glared at each other and then they began to exchange chops. Lethal couldn’t break Gresham’s grip and they exchanged hard chops as the fans fired up. Gresham dropped down and snapped Lethal’s arm with his feet. Lethal fired back and went for the Lethal combination several times, but Gresham blocked it. Both men went down after Lethal nailed Gresham with a pair of kicks.WOW! Lethal hit a suicide dive and tossed Gresham right back into the ring instead of doing his usual three dives. He went for Hail to the King, but Gresham got his foot up. Lethal went for a Figure Four, but Gresham blocked it.

Lethal, who had been unsuccessful in two previous attempts, finally hit the Lethal Combination on the third try for a two count. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but Gresham nailed him with a running kick to his damaged arm. Gresham then got the Octopus Submission and hit punch after punch and Lethal tapped. Gresham went up 1-0.

Lethal went right after Gresham after the rest period. Gresham finally got his first win over Lethal, but Cabana pointed out it might have been a strategic move by Lethal to tap out. Lethal went for the Figure Four, but Gresham blocked it. Lethal got the hold after hitting some chops and he applied the hold fully. Lethal chopped Gresham down after he sat up. Lethal got several two counts and Gresham kept sitting up so Lethal hit a push kick to Gresham’s face. With a little less than ninety seconds left, Gresham tapped out. It’s now 1-1 with under a minute left The announcers pointed out that Gresham had one knee wrapped and he was favoring the other leg. Gresham kept going for covers as the time ran down. Both men got several two counts and the time limit expired as the fans went crazy with both men down selling exhaustion.. WOW!

WINNER: No winner. The match was declared a draw at 1-1. Jay Lethal retains the ROH World Championship

Bobby Cruise announced it was a 1-1 draw and Lethal would retain the ROH World Championship. Gresham got on the mic and said there’s no way in this world that he’s going to come this far after fourteen years where he started in Atlanta, Georgia with that kind of decision. Gresham asked if Lethal was the man, no, the champion he believed him to be, he’d give him five more minutes. The fans chanted for five more minutes. Gresham said he’s the best pure professional wrestler in the world and he asked Lethal again to grant his wish. Lethal took the mic and said, “Start the clock.”

ROH World Champion JAY LETHAL vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM – Five Minute Sudden Death Overtime

The match is now in sudden death. The bell rang and both men began exchanging punches. Gresham no sold a big forearm and hit an enziguri. Gresham got a beautiful pinning combination just before the four minute mark for a near fall and the fans groaned when Lethal kicked out. WOW! Lethal got the torture rack going after Gresham’s back that was hurt earlier in the match. Lethal rolled through and went up top. Lethal connected with Hail to the King for a near fall. Both men traded pinning combinations, but neither man could get a pin fall. Gresham grabbed a sleeper, but Lethal eventually turned it into a cutter. Lethal then hit the Lethal Injection for the win. WOW!!!

Winner Jay Lethal in 33:00 (2 falls to 1). (*****)

Riccaboni said the match had gone a shade over 33:30. Replays showed the finish of the match. Lethal held up the title as Gresham sold dejection.

Note: You can watch this match via the Fite.TV app or on Honor Club for free. It is also available uncut under the Honor Club Exclusives section for Honor Club members. 

Contact Sean at radicansean@pwtorch.com. Follow him on Twitter @sr_torch. 

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