John Morrison now going by his real name John Hennigan is one of the most entertaining wrestlers in recent years and has enjoyed a successful career in the WWE before letting his contact run down and expire at the end of 2011.
Still only 32, John put his body on the line week-in and week-out becoming known as 'The Prince of Parkour' and winning numerous titles including, five tag-team championships and three Intercontinental titles as well as winning the ECW Championship.
We caught up with Morrison to talk about competing in Tough Enough, teaming with the Miz and wrestling in Manila plus much more.
Q. How did you first get into the sport of wrestling?
I started as a fan growing up; watching wrestling as a kid is the reason I first went out for wrestling in high school. We use to wrestle in the yard, but I never thought I could actually have a career in wrestling until I saw the first season of Tough Enough.
Q. Who were some of the wrestlers that inspired you when you were growing up?
When growing up I always loved watching, Shawn Michaels, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Hulk Hogan.
Q. What is the inspiration behind your high flying style of wrestling?
I’ve always appreciated a creative approach to action, doing things that people don’t expect, tweaking things to make them different. Things like Jackie Chan sliding down a building, or using refrigerators and car antennas to beat up a street gang… watching Rey Mysterio use an arsenal of quick unpredictable movements to counter a larger opponent’s power. When I see action sequences I like, I imagine what I would do if it were me in the fight.
Q. You were a contestant in Tough Enoguh III, what was that experience like for yourself?
Tough Enough was a great experience for me, it is very similar to being on the road with WWE in a lot of ways, it’s a high pressure environment where you are expected to progress (perform) consistently at a high level. If you don’t perform well you find yourself on the bubble, and you never know when the bubble will pop.
Q. What were your thoughts when you made your debut WWE television appearance?
This is awesome! (before awesome had annoying connotations)
Q. You started out as Eric Bishoff's apprentice in a story-line that didn't work out - but you came back as part of successful tag-team MNM with Joey Mercury and Melina, winning the tag team championships on three occasions, what was that like?
What I loved about MNM was that it was our idea, us being Melina, Mercury, and myself. We were MNM in OVW (developmental wrestling) for a year before we were brought up to Smackdown. MNM was the first time I really felt at home in wrestling.
Q. In 2007 you were then drafted to ECW, where you became ECW Champion and formed another formidable tag team with The Miz, what was that experience like?
The “Morrison” character was born in ECW… a child of spite and stardom. I felt like I evolved into a great singles wrestler in ECW because of the opportunities to speak, and wrestle longer matches. Miz & Morrison, “The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century,” was fun because Miz and I have great comedic chemistry for backstage segments, and our internet show the Dirt Sheet. Also I felt like more of a leader than when I was with MNM.
Q. Another draft came in 2009 this time to SmackDown, where you were pushed more as a singles competitor winning the Intercontinental title - was that singles push something you enjoyed?
I went full force in 2009, and had many great matches. As well as being Intercontinental champion, it was great to get a couple of opportunities to wrestle for the World Championship against Jeff Hardy and in the Elimination Chamber.
Q. You spent the last year with the WWE on Raw before leaving the company late last year - what was your personal highlight from your time in the WWE?
Some of my favorite moments are my debut match, MNM vs. Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, and beating Sheamus to become the number 1 contender at TLC 2011. To be honest with you thinking about it, some of my favourite moments are from matches that I lost - losing the ECW championship to CM Punk in August 2007 plus Falls count anywhere versus Miz; MNM vs. the Hardy's, Morrison vs. Ziggler any given night of the last Europe tour; the infamous Limo explosion on Z True Island story.
Q. Why did you decide not to renew your contract with the WWE?
I was starting to accumulate injuries faster than they were healing… neck surgery, and a lot of nagging injuries; shoulder, knee, ankle- I decided that time off is my best option. I’m working on elevating every part of my game during the time I have off, physical in ring stuff and mic work.
Q. Having worked with the WWE for nine years, what was Vince McMahon like as a boss?
Vince is a perfectionist, a work-a-holic, and a micro-manager. He expects everyone to work as hard as he does, and he really does work like a mad man. He cares very much about his business, and you have to respect that about him.
If I had to pick out any one flaw, I’d say that I think it would behoove him to delegate more. Give power to others in the organization for longer periods of time without allowing them to be undermined.
Q. You are taking part in the WWFX show in Manila, Philippines on Feb 4th - what are you expecting from the whole experience and what can fans expect?
WWFX is going to be a kick ass event! I’m excited to come to Manila and spend some time in the city!
As far as my part in the show, personally, Shelton Benjamin and I have had a long standing rivalry as to who is the better athlete… At one point we decided that when it comes to power & jumping he might have me… but when it comes to agility & aerial coordination I might have him. I know Shelton, he is one of the most competitive wrestlers out there. That’s something he and I have in common. We are going to settle this rivalry at the Smart Araneta Coliseum this Saturday Feb. 4th.
The true winner of the night however will be the fans in attendance, because I truly believe that this event is going to be a game changer.
Q. Would you go back to the WWE or join TNA in 2012?
Q. What else does 2012 have in store for John Hennigan?
I’m going to finish Out Of Your Mind Fitness (finally!), aside from wrestling, I’ve never put so much time & effort into any one project. I’m excited to see what people are going to do with Out of Your Mind Fitness, I wish I had a fitness program like it when I started training.
For more information on WWFX visit www.wwfxperience.com Feb 4th in Manila at the Smart Araneta Coliseum; tickets available at all TicketNet outlets.
WWFX is an international touring wrestling company who services markets with major WWE and TNA TV exposure. All our talents are marquee names you will recognize off of TV and boast the most popular talents among fans. Our next event Stars such as John Hennigan who performed as John Morrison on WWE RAW and Smackdown will be there as well as MVP, Carlito, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Master's and the beautiful divas Melina and Jillian Hall.
Invites have been sent out to Manny Pacquio and his wife Jinkee to come to the Smart Aranete coliseum as the WWFX would be proud to have the best fighter in the world crown the first world wrestling champion in Manila in front of his countrymen and fans.