The nine year WWE career of John Hennigan aka: John Morrison is officially over. Morrison’s contract with the WWE officially expired over the weekend and thanks to an “explosion” on the latest Z! True Long Island Story, his departure has been confirmed.
Morrison’s contractual status with the WWE had been a topic of conversation for the last several months. While Morrison leaving was never seen as anything on the level of Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy, or Batista leaving, it was a fairly big deal given his tenure. I’d put it somewhere close to Christian Cage leaving several years back, yet maybe not even quite to that level of comparison.
Morrison certainly had one of the strangest runs in the WWE over the last several years. Morrison came into the company as a Tough Enough winner, the most successful of the show. He went from Johnny Nitro as Eric Bischoff’s assistant to MNM where he became tag team champion to later breaking out as a big singles star. Yet for a number of reasons, he always seemed so close yet so far from reaching his full potential as a draw.
[adinserter block=”2″]Morrison was probably hurt by his off (and many times on-screen) relationship more than any other WWE wrestler in company history. Some will say and I think it is a fair argument that if not for Melina, that Morrison would have had a much different career path in the WWE. While Melina certainly created trouble for Morrison, the irony here is that Melina wound up having the more successful career as a former WWE Divas champion while it seemed that Morrison was always paying the price for her behavior.
The last seven months of Morrison’s WWE tenure said it all. Morrison wound up with major heat in the company after being uncooperative with Trish Stratus in their WrestleMania 28 tag team match, feeling she stole the spot from his girlfriend Melina. After being buried for several weeks, Morrison was given the biggest push of his career and shot to the main-event angle at Extreme Rules. In a case of the worst possible timing ever, Morrison got hurt right at the start of this and needed surgery. He came back a couple of months later and was buried from the start. My hunch is that if Morrison has never gotten hurt, that he would not only continue to be a headliner, but that he would have gotten a WWE championship run, and a new contract.
Morrison now finds himself a free agent for the first time since making the jump into pro wrestling. His pro wrestling career choices are extremely limited to TNA Wrestling and international. He would be an ideal TNA signee, but reports about TNA being tight on signing big contracts could be an issue. Japan and international pro wrestling is another option, but he’d be taking a major pay cut. Logic would indicate TNA, but with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in charge, I’d b e hard pressed to think that Morrison would get a fair shake. Sure he’d come in hot, but I could see him relegated to mid-upper card from headliner after a few months. See Ken Anderson for John Morrison’s TNA career path.
[adinserter block=”1″]Morrison could cash in nicely if he were to stay on the down low for several months. The WWE always seems to get desperate right around WrestleMania to freshen up the cards. It would not surprise me to see his name pop up in a few months as a possible new signee. Plus, with only three full-time superstar WWE babyfaces on the roster, all it takes is for one to get hurt to open up a spot. Morrison could pull a Chris Jericho and cash in on an injury and make even more money than he was asking for right now. Unfortunately as sad as that sounds, that really is how the game is played when you are someone in Morrison’s position trying to renegotiate with the WWE.
For nine years I think Morrison should be proud of what he accomplished. No, he never won a world title but he went further than anyone else as Tough Enough champion. For a guy with no pro wrestling experience entering the competition, I can’t help but call John Morrison a true pro wrestling success story whether he ever wrestles again or not.
Update: Morrison made his swan song on RAW Monday night. The Miz laid him out with a Skull Crushing Finale on the stage.