Note: As I exchanged verbs, nouns, syllables and a few grunts with a fellow wrestling aficionado (who just happens to be a smooth, pimped out player from the streets), the following words were “uttered” by aforementioned aficionado:
“Why don’t you put all this into an article then, Mr. Awesome who doesn’t know what to write?”
-Shane Howard (Community Leader extraordinaire)
Who’s laughing now, boyo? It’s still you; probably.
There comes a time in a wrestler’s career when he’s ready and prepared to be branded a main-event talent.
That is evident by two distinct qualities of said wrestler: He’s able to draw fans to watch him both compete and talk smack (on the microphone) and he moves a significant amount of merchandise.
Some might say that John Morrison has both these qualities and more; some might argue that he’s more than capable of supporting the main event scene by shining some of his awesomeness on it.
And to make sure I hadn’t lost all sense of reality and sanity, I posed the question to a dear friend who simply replied that Morrison was in fact, ready, willing and able.
Not only does he have charisma but also he’s able to hold his own in the ring. Plus, his babyface presence will be needed when Jeff Hardy packs his bags and heads for...wherever the hell he goes to on his spiritual journeys while taking time off from the WWE.
He isn’t ready; before you grab your coffee mugs and start tracking me down with your fancy tech equipment, allow me to take two minutes of your precious time to explain why he isn’t ready to handle this burden of responsibility just yet.
As a matter of fact, his "push" into the main event would make about as much sense as giving Jeff Hardy the WWE title at Armageddon only to take the precious jewels off his stuntman shoulders a month later at the Rumble.
I shudder to think what will happen to a superstar of overwhelming talent like John Morrison if he was "shoved" into the title scene.
Why take the risk?
Let’s take a look at some of WWE’s established stars, shall we?
A few names come to mind; stars such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Cena.
While Triple H and The Undertaker may not have won their first heavyweight title at Wrestlemania, there is plenty of evidence to support the notion that John Cena, Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels all have won their first major title at a Wrestlemania.
Even Chris Benoit accomplished that feat at Wrestlemania XX. Yeah, that’s right, Chris Benoit.
While both John Cena and Steve Austin won the WWE Championship within three years of joining the company, it would be talent like Michaels who would have to wait for seven years before being allowed to compete in the main event that has set the stage for why Wrestlemania is the greatest spectacle in sports entertainment.
It was at the height of his popularity that Shawn mesmerized the crowd and won the most valuable prize in sports entertainment after a grueling Iron Man contest was forced to go into overtime.
Fast forward to the present and the presence of a megastar in his prime is not only deficient but is needed urgently as well.
Not only that, but a disappointed Vince McMahon continues to be frustrated with how little development there has been within the create-a-star department although most of his disappointment might stem from his apparent loss of appetite when it comes to the word "success."
Enter a hopeful, new recruit to the main event regiment: John Morrison.
Not only is Morrison ridiculously talented in both the charisma and in-ring skill department, but he can also verbally spar with his opponents from time to time.
While the switch from heel to face makes sense keeping in with the fact that his former tag team partner, The Miz, turned on him, it took away the one thing from Morrison that made him stand out among all the other cadets (candidates) who were in line for a main event push and that tiny, minuscule talent was his ability to talk smack.
I understand that his little promo against Edge before their match a while back was but a little taste of what could have been a full four-course smack talk serving that Morrison could have delivered had he been given the liberty to speak a little longer.
If not now, then when, you ask?
Despite the fact that it’s evident that Morrison is popular and well endowed with gifts from the wrestling deities, is it not possible that Morrison’s popularity can still rise?
The WWE had waited for so long with the case of Jeff Hardy that by the time he was crowned champion, he was the most "over" superstar in the industry, so "over," in fact, that he would regain the top tier belts two more times and continues to draw fans all over the world despite his microphone handicap.
I’m not saying that we should wait for 10 years until we allow the next superstar to burst onto the scene, but what destruction are a few more months of delay going to cause?
Meanwhile, these coming months can be used to finally give Morrison the edge he needs in order to compete at a main event level.
The same edge that was deservedly given to Austin after his legendary feud with Bret Hart; some might dispute that it was after his little KOTR (King of the Ring) speech that Austin was bound to reach the heights of super-stardom but to me, it remains that night in Rosemont, Ill., when a bloody Austin refused to tap out to the Sharpshooter; that is when his talents would truly be uncorked and allowed to roam free engulfing the WWE fans in its path to a WWE Championship reign.
It may not be the same era or the same roster of superstars that we are surrounded with today but if Morrison is to truly capitalize on his popularity and solidify his position as the top face of the blue brand, he will have to go through an equally grueling feud.
The candidates vary from the most obvious (a member of the Hart Dynasty due to their recent string of bouts) to the best fit (Chris Jericho) to give Morrison that final push that will catapult him to ‘megastar’ level that just might give him a title match at a venue that so many before him have dreamed of and salivated at the thought of: Wrestlemania.
If (in the case of) Hardy was given the opportunity to headline Wrestlemania, I can assure you he would be as popular as oxygen right now.
Vince McMahon wants new stars and now he’s got a prime candidate, hungry and willing to go the distance, to compete at a main event level.
Sure, Morrison would sell tickets if he was given the title at any other PPV but isn’t it the journey to the title that makes it (the final victory) more valuable than anything else?
Was it not a roller coaster of emotion that both Jeff Hardy and we had to ride through in order to see him finally realize his dream?
Is it not the art of storytelling that makes us emotionally invested in the hardships of the protagonist and make us cheer him on even more?
Why should we be selfish to deny Morrison that chance?