Match Review: Jonathan Gresham vs. Jay Lethal (February 9 2018: ROH Honor Reigns Supreme)
Jonathan Gresham vs. Jay Lethal
Jay has been around forever. How is he only 32? He debuted in ROH in 2003 in Special K. Gresham has taken a different route to the heady highs of ROH, having competed globally and modified his style Lethal is a guy who I struggle with because I never look forward to his matches and I’m always pleasantly surprised. I don’t get it. How can I keep continually forgetting how good he is? Gresham does some work on Lethal’s wrist, which actually comes into play.
Gresham is very smooth here, segueing from one body part to another and effortlessly transitioning from one assault to another. Gresham does work a European style, to a degree, even if there are a lot of British wrestlers who do it better. Bringing that style to the States does make him stand out. Unless he’s on the same card as Zack Sabre Jr.
This is a masterclass when it comes to capturing a body part, in this case the arm, and then using that to work on everything else because that wrist is locked up. Jay has to find a plan of attack and he does so by bailing and hoping for the best, which is exactly what happens. Gresham comes in with a taped up knee and this is where Jay spots it, also smashing Jon with a cutter on the floor. The knee becomes a target and they do an arm vs. leg match and I’m glad to say the selling remains largely consistent throughout. These are two guys who don’t just want to get their shit in. That’s always a major issue on the Indies, where the desire is often there to ‘show off’ in case it’s the last time they get booked. Anyway, Lethal’s best moment of the match has nothing to do with his offence but his collapse, onto his head no less, when attempting a Lethal Injection on his bad arm. Lethal doesn’t stop hitting moves but he does make a point of paying tribute to the arm when he does. Often doing moves with just one arm. It’s a top performance from both guys. Gresham is less consistent with his selling but once Lethal takes it to him I’m convinced his leg is fucked. I also love how he has the chance for a ten-count punches and instead punches the injured arm to block a powerbomb. If Gresham sold the leg as well as Lethal sells the arm and as good as his own offence is, the match could be a genuine MOTYC. Jay cannot get the Lethal Injection so he hits the Savage Elbow instead.
The Figure Four finishes and I’ll even cut them slack for Lethal putting it on the wrong leg. The selling was marvellous here and I love all the limb work actually went somewhere. I’ve been crying out for this.
Final Rating: ****