John Morrison defeated Randy Orton last week in Monday night raw, tucking his ticket into next month’s Money in the Bank ladder match. After serving as the exaggerated cornerback / artist / tag partner of the former “Mr. Money in the Bank ”The Miz Just a few months ago, Morrison has a chance to finally jump to a new level of stardom.
Morrison has made a career out of seizing opportunities. He was a co-winner in season 3 of Tough enough in 2002, catapulting him to WWE’s global platform. If he was Eric Bischoff’s apprentice as Johnny Nitro, starring reality star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi in WrestleMania XXVII or crashing and selling a decade later in Wrestlemania Against Bad Bunny, Morrison always brought a mindset and work ethic that has no off switch. That mindset dates back to his experience in Tough enough, which he won alongside Matt Cappotelli.
“After winning Tough enoughThat’s when I started at OVW, ”says Morrison. “I drove my car from California to Louisville, and I remember walking in that first day with Matt Cappotelli and I was like, ‘Hi, this is Matt and John from Tough enough. Is this the training facility? I still laugh at the thought of that. “
Cappotelli’s rare combination of talent and personality would have allowed him a long wrestling career had he not been forced to retire prematurely due to a brain tumor that he finally took his own life in 2018 at age 38.
“When we traveled together, I always thought he was the star,” says Morrison. “That charisma, the way he moved. It was a ball of positive energy. Unfortunately, he ended up with brain cancer and passed away a couple of years ago. I wonder why and I go crazy for it. I do not know why. I know that life is fragile, which has made me have a different mentality. Every time I do something in WWE, that’s not far from my mind. So when you see me, I’m always all-inclusive. “
Morrison is John Hennigan, raised in California. Although his work and appearance in the ring seem timeless, he is actually six months older than Orton, who has been on WWE programming for so long that he looks like a graying veteran. But at 41, Morrison is performing in his prime. Its mechanics are much more advanced, especially in terms of how and why the movements are applied and executed. He loves knowing that the inexperienced eye will never notice such subtleties and nuances, which is the beauty of professional wrestling. It should look like a derailed train or buttery smooth, but either way, it should always look dangerous, and Morrison brings a chaotic flow to his work.
Even though he’s been fighting for the past 19 years, an air of unpredictability still hangs over his bouts. And it recognizes the opportunity currently at stake. In an industry that is mocked as false, Morrison understands that professional wrestling is more real than reality. The Money in the Bank briefcase and the title shot that comes with it are more than an accessory and a story to him. They serve as a stepping stone to a career-defining opportunity: his first run with the WWE Championship.
“That’s why I went back to WWE,” says Morrison. “It wasn’t just to be with The Miz on TV, which has been great. The Miz is one of the hardest working people I know and is my best friend. But when I started training for professional wrestling, I was in Tough enough back in 2002, i said back then i was doing this because i wanted to be the main event Wrestlemania. A couple of people sniggered, but I remember saying, ‘If you don’t want the main event Wrestlemania, you should quit now. ‘ That is the whole point. If you do something, you must want to be the best.
“I think there are a lot of things I’m the best at, and I haven’t had a chance to prove it yet. I feel like, for me, these next few months could be that time to show exactly what I can do in the ring. “
As The Miz recovers from injury, the roles have been reversed and he is now in Morrison’s corner, propelling him to the main event. Last summer, Miz said Illustrated Sports that one of his priorities is to help Morrison become WWE Champion.
“John will be WWE Champion, and my goal is to help him get there,” said Mike “The Miz” Mizanin in July. “He would be an outstanding WWE champion.”
As a heel, especially with The Miz, Morrison is a compelling option to win the ladder match at the Money in the bank Pay-per-view and bring the excitement of a title fight every time you appear on camera. While he’s never had that kind of opportunity in WWE as the face of the entire brand, Morrison is a multiple-time world champion. He helped lead the Mexican AAA promotion, with multiple titles, including the mega championship. Like Johnny Mundo, he was a fundamental piece of the success of Lucha Underground, where she also represented the brand as a champion. He was also an Impact Champion as Johnny Impact. The missing piece of his puzzle, which he is dangerously close to solving, is within the reach of WWE. And a significant advantage for him is that there is no one else in the world who works with a style like his.
“It all comes back to the movement,” says Morrison. “My movement history is different from everyone on the list. I was an amateur college wrestler at UC Davis. I also did gymnastics at UC Davis. I have studied kung fu, boxing, capoeira, acrobatics, parkour; I am a master in all those disciplines. Applying those movement patterns is what I do in the ring. If you ask my wife, I’m up until midnight watching the tape or working on motions.
“I love combining movement patterns on offense. It’s very rare that you can find something that has never been applied to wrestling, but that’s what I’m looking to add to my arsenal. I practice every day and I am passionate about it. That’s why I bring so much energy to this. This is my passion, and it has been for a long time. “
Nearly a decade ago, Morrison believed that he needed more creative control of his work to establish himself. That’s when he left WWE, bringing a world-class touch to different promotions around the world. During that period, he also married his wife (the incredibly talented NXT star Franky Monet) and then returned to WWE when the time was right in 2019.
Through an evolved approach to storytelling and unparalleled athleticism, Morrison is working to earn a lead role in WWE. It’s impossible to know if an opportunity like this will present itself again, which is why the wrestling veteran continues to train for four to six hours a day. Morrison prides himself on adding color and vibrancy to any part of the crowd, but would relish the opportunity to prove that he can be the best in the territory. A world title race means the opportunity for Morrison to show that he can add even more value to WWE.
As you gain momentum towards Money in the bankMorrison will remember the lessons taught by those who are no longer here, while taking advantage of every moment that is presented to him.
“I learned a lot when I left,” says Morrison. “I left WWE for eight years. I also gave it my all outside of WWE. I know what it means to be in the crowd, to spend your hard-earned money and to be vulnerable and to enjoy the show. I will never forget that and I will never hold back. I know the opportunity here is very special and I am going to do my best to make the most of it. “
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.