John Morrison has been called many things in the past few years. From his days as Johnny Nitro, to his nickname of The Shaman Of Sexy, and of course the moniker that carries the biggest burden. He has been referred to, as the next Sean Michaels.
Now you would think that being compared to Sean Michaels could only be a good thing. Except when that dreaded ” P ” word is thrown in. They say that Morrison just has so much Potential. And that is where the problems start. Saying that somebody has the potential to be as great as Sean Michaels is all well and good, but living up to that hype is a whole different matter. And being the one that is under the microscope, has got to put a lot of pressure on a guy. Especially when you aren’t trying to be the next anybody, but the first version of yourself. Living in the shadow of a legend, when you aren’t related to him, has got to be a hard pill to swallow. But knowing that people are recognizing your skills can take a bit of the sting out of that.
But there just seems to be something missing with Morrison. It certainly isn’t his in ring ability. He is simply one of the best workers in WWE right now, and as we have seen in the past, he can have main event quality matches when given the right opponent. (like Rey Mysterio) So what does Michaels have that Morrison doesn’t?
I hate to say it, but it has a lot to do with personality. Even in the early days, Michaels had the gift of gab on the Mic. You didn’t hear it as much when he was still a part of The Rockers, but once he went solo, it wasn’t long before the cocky, and arrogant style that has defined him, got a chance to shine. There was however a little bit of work that had to be done on his finishers. He didn’t always use the superkick. But once he found a finisher that could work on any sized opponent, he had the final puzzle piece solved. He had the look, the skill, and he could run the Mic with the best of them. That, and having some classic matches with people that could elevate his status.. ( good booking) also helped.
So where does this leave John Morrison, who seems to be stuck at the upper mid card level? For starters, I don’t think it would be a bad idea to give him a manager, or a Valet. I have always felt that a good manager is essential in helping people who aren’t good on the Mic, get over. This is seemingly a lost art form. It worked for people like The Undertaker in his early days, and even Michaels used Sensational Sherry for a while. And of course when you think about all the wrestlers that benefited from having Bobby Heenan do their talking for them, it becomes obvious that this could only be a good thing. At least until Morrison got more comfortable with his Mic work.
And that brings me to one other thing that might need to change. His current image. Yes, I understand that he is getting some crowd response to his style, and giving away the glasses like Bret Hart, gets him over with the kids. But, for the most part, he always seems uncomfortable with it. This might be what is holding him back with his interviews. He just doesn’t seem to know where to go with this character of his. I don’t think he needs to drop the look, as much as I think that he has to give up the, Jim Morrison, rock star wannabe thing. Once he is allowed to be himself, I think his interviews will vastly improve.
And of course there is the booking. His recent victory over Chris Jericho shows that the powers that be might be willing to give Morrison another shot at main eventing, but they have to stop pushing stars, only to squash them a few weeks later. ( like Evan Bourne)
The last point is an easy fix. Find a finisher like Michaels did, that can work on anyone. Starship pain is flashy,but looks about as devastating as a sunset flip. It should be used more as a wear down move. His Moonlight Drive is much better. But still, he should find something new, that is simple yet effective. And a good submission hold wouldn’t hurt either.
Of course, only time will tell if John Morrison can really live up to the hype. I think that he can, he just needs a little time, and maybe the right opponent.