Jonathan Gresham to defend ROH World Title in IMPACT Wrestling

Since winning the ROH World Title at Final Battle: End of an Era, Jonathan Gresham has taken the belt far and wide, embracing his role as champion and working to uphold the banner of pure wrestling.

Since that night, Gresham has defended the ROH World Title (always under Pure rules, naturally) in GCW against AJ Gray, and in New South Pro Wrestling against Adam Priest. He’s also strongly implied that he will defend the title when his TERMINUS promotion launches in Atlanta after the new year.

In addition to these dates, IMPACT Wrestling has announced that Gresham will appear at their Hard To Kill pay-per-view event on January 8, and that he will be defending the ROH World Title against Chris Sabin!

Sabin is an incredibly decorated athlete, with a ROH World Tag Team Title run to his credit, as well as a litany of accomplishments in IMPACT Wrestling, dating back to its days as NWA: Total Nonstop Action, including two Tag Team Championships, and eight X-Division Championships, as well as a month-long run as TNA World Champion in 2013. He also challenged AJ Styles for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in ROH back in 2003.

This marks Sabin’s second official career shot at the ROH World Title, after Sabin came up short against Bryan Danielson at ROH: Showdown In Motown in 2005. However, one could argue it’s actually his third, based on the events of ROH/NJPW Global Wars 2018, in Buffalo in November of 2018. On that night, Sabin went to a 20-minute time limit draw in a Proving Ground match with then-ROH World Champion Jay Lethal, which should have netted him a future title match. However, he and Lethal agreed that night to go an additional ten minutes after the time limit, with Lethal offering to put the title on the line; but interference quickly rendered the effort a no contest. After that, Sabin never did receive his shot at the title.

He’ll now get a shot in his home promotion of IMPACT Wrestling, presumably under Pure rules, given Gresham’s history since winning the belt. This also marks the first one-on-one match between Gresham and Sabin.

IMPACT Wrestling’s “Hard To Kill” will be on pay-per-view from Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, January 8.

Follow Kyle Sparks on Twitter at @kyleksparks.

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