Morrison’s WWE tenure has been a real roller coaster, as documented. During an audition for WWE’s reality program Tough Enough, Kevin Dunn notoriously berated Morrison. According to Dunn, Morrison wasn’t interested in becoming a WWF (at the time) superstar. Morrison’s athleticism is undeniable, his high-flying offensive appeal to the crowd, and he once had the reputation of being a potential main eventer. Morrison never had the charisma necessary to get to top status in the WWE, which was what he always lacked.
Morrison’s career got off to a good start as Eric Bischoff’s helper Johnny Blaze, then changed to the terrible-sounding Johnny Spade, and ultimately settled on Johnny Nitro, the identity he’d use for years. Following a year-long spell in Ohio Valley Wrestling, a WWE developing territory, Morrison made a comeback with Joey Mercury and Melina. Morrison won a WWE Tag Team Champion 3 times with Mercury during this time, making it perhaps one of his most fruitful seasons.
Morrison, still Nitro, made his way to the Raw roster, where he won his first International Championship and served as Kevin Federline’s “trainer” in the well-known Kevin Federline/John Cena feud. Before Morrison’s major career transition, his drafting towards the ECW brand occurred, and he briefly allied with Mercury. The WWE started making efforts right once to rebrand Morrison entirely. Morrison adopted a new, arrogant persona after changing his name from Nitro to Morrison and claiming it was his real birth name.
Morrison defeated CM Punk to win the ECW Title, and he appeared to be carrying the metaphorical rocket pack on his back. After all, Morrison has all the prerequisites and potential to become a potential WWE Champion. Morrison remained with the ECW organization and formed a partnership with The Miz, another previous reality star (Real World: New York). The pair, who were feuding at the moment of their forced tag team, later came to an understanding and developed into one of the WWE’s most entertaining tag teams. They elevated their careers with a series of WWE.com skits named The Dirt Sheet.
Miz and Morrison ultimately disbanded as a team because their conflict was closely related to Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty). In retrospect, it was a brilliant analogy, even if, at the time, it felt like a cheap approach to compare two feuds. Due to his physical qualities just in time, Morrison seemed to be the team’s standout player. On the other hand, Morrison was unable to engage the crowd on the same level as Miz did. Miz had more outside-the-ring tools than his blond adversary Michaels. Despite his physical prowess, Morrison continued to be shockingly terrible at promos & ring psychology.
While not officially in the lead, The Miz was thrust into the WrestleMania premier stories and is now an important component of the WWE’s biggest ongoing narrative. Morrison has maintained a speed comparable to where he was in 2009. Morrison frequently struggled to project confidence outside the ring due to a lack of confidence or basic incapacity. Morrison dazzled the fans in the ring, but he was also known as a “spot monkey.” Despite being unable to carry a bout inside the ring, Morrison performed a twisting plancha from guardrails. Although they cheered for his moves, the audience never seemed to turn on Morrison.
Morrison’s acquaintance and friendship with notorious troublemaker Melina backstage did him no favors. You may discuss whether someone you’re dating should be important in the big picture at another time, but you must, in essence, go by WWE rules. While it may be unfair, the WWE has penalized performers for their relationships (Drew McIntyre’s de-push in 2010 is one example). What does all of this entail for Morrison? He will probably join TNA, which is now considered a wise career decision. Morrison won’t ever get another fair shot at the WWE.
The connection between the WWE & Morrison is currently finished, whether for Melina or even the opportunities he’s been given. Morrison can start over in TNA, albeit with the obvious No. 2 company, but if recent history with former WWE wrestlers is any indication, Morrison should soar to the top. Even better, Morrison has a group of dynamic, high-flyers in his X Division who will fit in well with his approach. Morrison needs a new beginning, whether he joins the X Section or is immediately thrown into the title match scenario in TNA. Still, Morrison’s fall and rise in the WWE is a cautionary story.
A warning to all inspirational wrestlers: be careful who you hang out with and ensure that you truly grasp what it takes to become a brilliant all-time wrestler. You cannot become The Rock by your appearance. No matter how beautiful your abs look, the ability to express a character, interact with the audience, and sell the viewers on the character will remain key.