Before there was Matt Morgan, there was John Morrison. Before there was John Morrison, there was Shelton Benjamin. Before there was Shelton Benjamin there was “Stunning Steve Austin.”
Professional wrestling has had many hits in its success over the years, but it has also seen its share of gigantic misses as well.
I speak of Morgan in the past tense, not as if he has passed, but as an obituary of a man who was never cast correctly in the WWE or in TNA and for that matter, the business may have lost a professional whose talents we will never truly know.
It was announced this week that Morgan, 36, and TNA Wrestling have parted ways, leaving the superstar of large proportion (7’0” and 328 pounds) in limbo of his career. While I agree with other wrestling writers that it is not likely he would be re-signed to a contract in the WWE, there is some hope by myself that he could still be a star, if not in ROH then in Japan.
Morgan is too talented to not have some following and continuation of his career. The simple fact is because of his size and the roster produced by TNA, there was not real place for him or that the company did not know how to cast him correctly, thereby ruining a really good thing.
When I see Morgan, I see a guy taller than Hulk Hogan, faster than The Undertaker and as talented as Barry Windham in his heyday. As Dusty Rhodes once said in an interview regarding the greatest wrestling families of all time, “Barry Windham may have the most natural athletic ability of any wrestler I have ever seen.”
When I first saw Morgan and saw him in person, that is what immediately came to mind.
Morgan was the guy who was thought to be the future of the company after leaving WWE after a three-year stint, mostly in developmental territories. His basketball-frame and his agility were special, as he was referred to as the “Blueprint” and the “DNA of TNA,” both monikers that certainly suited him. But Morgan’s case is one that is not uncommon.
Wrestlers like Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco and Roddy Piper found nominal success as a regional star before making the jump to the WWF.
Steve Austin was a champion in WCW and was a talent that wasn’t cast correctly. But once he moved on to the WWE, he became one of the greatest superstars in the history of the business.
The same can be said for the likes of One Man Gang, Brian Blair and some guy named Shawn Michaels.
Other promotions had to be kicking themselves after seeing these stars blossom into money-making gold mines.
Morgan never really got that chance. Unless he was wrestling in a tag team with Hernandez or Crimson or battling Samoa Joe, we never saw his true talents because he looked too large in the ring (in my estimation).
TNA has also hurt itself by not using wrestlers like Crimson, Eric Young, Petey Williams and Elijah Burke (D’Angelo Dinero) to the best of their abilities. To their credit, they have effectively gotten the most out of Magnus, AJ Styles, James Storm, Bobby Roode and Velvet Sky.
Even with those success stories, the loss of Morgan has to sting a bit.
Morgan was not the only wrestler to leave the company recently. TNA did part ways with Joey Ryan and Madison Rayne, two bit players who will not hurt the overall product as much as Morgan may.
But until his character is truly defined, who is to say if he will ever be the star he was, or the superstar most of us thought he could be.
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