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JONATHAN GRESHAM & BARON BLACK TALK THE CREATION OF TERMINUS: MODERN GRAPPLING ARTS, WHY LAUNCH A PROMOTION NOW, WHAT THEY HOPE TO BRING TO THE INDEPENDENT SCENE AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2021-11-19 11:15:00

Earlier this week, PWInsider.com sat down with Jonathan Gresham and Baron Black to discuss a number of topics surrounding the creation of their new professional wrestling promotion TERMINUS: Modern Grappling Arts, which will commence with its debut event on 1/16/22 in Atlanta, GA.  Here are some highlights from the conversation:

WHAT LED TO THE CREATION OF THE PROMOTION:

Baron Black: "What led to this promotion, a lot of people don't realize or they just don't know, but me and Jon actually came up training together at a training facility in Atlanta about a decade ago, or a little bit more than that. The old WWA4 facility. So we've been close friends for a very long time now and this is something we talked about doing something.  We were just like, "Hey, one day we're going to get together, we're going to throw a big show." And it took a long time, but we're finally here and we're finally doing it."

Jonathan Gresham: "That's pretty much how it was. We would always talk about how we would go to shows and things were done a certain way. We didn't necessarily agree with how things were done and we would talk about how we would do things on car rides back and to shows or whatever like that. So I don't know it's just kind of funny how things kind of came to play out. We were actually planning this long before the announcing the Ring of Honor going under. It seems like a lot of people that are picking up the story are pretty much kind of saying I'm doing this because Ring of Honor is dissolving possibly. But that is not the case, this was already in the works months before. To be honest and transparent we actually had the plan of running November 14th, this past weekend, but I was of course booked on a New Japan Strong event, so it kind of made things difficult to work with here in Atlanta. So we decided to move it to January 16th. But as far as the press release goes, the first video we put out yesterday, I am just taken aback by the amount of people that shared it and spoke highly about it. People like Chris Jericho and Seth Rollins had things to say and retweeted. The support that's shown by the wrestling community yesterday towards this project was just heartwarming for me. I'm really thankful for it and just excited about what's next for us."

The TERMINUS name:

Baron Black: "Terminus is a very distinctive name. A name that was chosen on purpose. A lot of people do not know much of the history of Atlanta, Georgia. But Atlanta, Georgia used to be called Terminus back in the 1800s when all the railroads would all meet here at this point. And then now known as Atlanta, Georgia. So it used to be called Terminus back in the day in 1800s. So I wanted to keep a name that would be historic to Atlanta, and that will represent Atlanta. And a lot of people don't know that's kind of how Terminus came to be within the storyline of The Walking Dead. Because, that was the old name of the actual city of Atlanta."

What Fans Can Expect from The Promotion:

Jonathan Gresham: "That's a loaded question. And a lot of things I end up giving away if I speak too freely about the Modern Age Grappling, but what I am comfortable with talking about right now is that to me pure wrestling that was created and established in the Ring of Honor is very special to me. Is basically a throwback of wrestling, just having the rules. I feel when you watch sports on television, whether it's soccer, football, baseball. You have to play the game and the fans view the game being played out in the confines of these rules. And if you're at a bar or anything you see a guy watching the game, he's eventually going to scream at the screen based on a technicality that he doesn't agree with. A referee call he doesn't agree with.  For wrestling, I look at the rules say that can fans can't get up in arms about broken rules or anything because a lot of the fans don't even know the rules of wrestling today. So Modern Age Grappling is basically a way to bring wrestling back to its roots, having rules that the wrestlers have to abide by. And if Ring of Honor does in fact dissolve, hopefully not, then pure wrestling will still have a home with Terminus and Modern Age Grappling. In what capacity I'm not ready to speak on yet, but that pretty much what I'm okay with talking about right now, when it comes to Modern Age Grappling."

The TERMINUS locker room:

Jonathan Gresham: One thing I take from my experiences with wrestling with companies all over the world that I really, I understand it but it's not appreciated is when you're asked to do a show and then they ask you your fee and then you tell them your fee, and then they want to negotiate your fee. I believe if a wrestler says, "This is my fee." I want to pay that fee. So I've taken it upon myself to make sure whatever the boys are asking for they are getting, because like I said if you're paying a guy to come in and do a job, you want to do the best job. And the way to ensure that is to pay the guy what he's asking for. And then I feel like they feel more, of not necessarily of loyalty, but they just feel like they're coming someplace where they're valued and they're willing to go all out for you.  So I want these guys coming to these Terminus shows to give me the best of them. And I believe one of those is making sure the living arrangements are good, making sure that they're getting paid their fee. And if you do that, I think the boys will appreciate it and want to come back and want to wrestle for you. Biggest thing is the boys wanting to wrestle for you and that's what I want this locker room to feel like. That's what I want them to feel and as long as you want the wrestling for our company to be like."

WHY LAUNCH A PROMOTION NOW?

Baron Black: "For me it's pretty simple. I think the pandemic really hurt wrestling a lot. I'm one of the very few fortunate people that the pandemic actually helped. Because if it wasn't pandemic, I probably would've never had my run in AEW that I currently have. But a lot of other people that are just like me that were independent wrestlers before the pandemic hit, a lot of their places are not back running yet. The independence scene is not fully recovered from the pandemic yet and one of the main reasons that went into the initial reason why I wanted Terminus to start, is to give people a place to work as well. Because I know how it is out there when there's no other work and you just want to be in the ring and you want to perform and you want to do your craft. So that's one of the main reasons why Terminus exists for me as well."

Jonathan Gresham: "Well, Ring of Honor gave me enough time when I was employed by Ring of Honor gave me enough time to actually pick up other things. Taking different classes personally for myself, but it gave me a lot of time and I said, "Hey, why not?" Finally, move forward with this idea that Baron and I have had. I have more money than I had back when he and I were talking about when we were younger. So he was like, "Why not?" Also, I just believe I understand the wrestling more than I did back then. And I feel like I could offer something to the wrestling industry, that's on an independent level. That's why I wanted to get into it."

To buy tickets for the debut of TERMINUS, click here.

More from Gresham and Black this Monday!

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