On Twitter a few days ago, myself and B/R Writer Rize were into a heated debate on which superstar was better, CM Punk or John Morrison. Rize and I decided the best thing to do was to write how we feel about our pick on which is better.
Rize picked Morrison.
I picked Punk.
Now, to be fair, both of us are fans of each. So, any degrading thing we say about a Superstar should be taken as just simple analysis.
At the end in the comment section, you can decide who made the better argument or who you feel is the best between the two. We chose to rate each trait of our pick as well.
Let's get started!
The mic skills of John Morrison are arguably the most debated subject in the Internet Wrestling Community today. When a criticism surrounds John Morrison, his promo ability is the target of attack by detractors. I’ll be the first to admit that Morrison is subpar when it comes to cutting a promo on Raw.
Yes, I said Raw.
Earlier today, I watched the John Morrison’s 2009 DVD, Rock Star. The majority of the footage was taking from Morrison’s time on SmackDown in 2009. I stumbled upon the match with Edge and the promo that preceded it. The Shaman of Sexy seemed strangely comfortable on the stick and received a decent crowd reaction.
Furthering the search on YouTube, I discovered backstage and in-ring promos against Drew McIntyre, and The Miz that would kill the notion that Morrison is horrible. In my opinion, the WWE has the tendency to instruct their performers. Instead of allowing Morrison to test his own ability, writers create Morrison’s segments/promos.
As a heel, John Morrison’s mic skills were passable. If you disagree, I advise you to watch an episode of the Dirt Sheet.
Rating: 4 (RAW Face), 7 (SmackDown Face), 8 (heel)
There is no debate here, Punk has the better mic skills of the pair. You cannot argue in any way that Punk does not excel in this area. He is simply wonderful at mic work. He was so good, WWE allowed him to do commentating while he was injured.
I think the biggest part of Punk's mic work that people love is not only his delivery, but simply the entertainment he brings with it. He can really make you laugh, or he can make you really think he's crazy nuts! He works well face or heel in this area.
Overall, Punk's mic work seems to be the best between he and Morrison, but arguably Punk is the best mic worker in the WWE today.
From Morrison’s weakest trait to one of his strongest in his selling ability, John Morrison is probably the best seller in the WWE. JoMo doesn’t oversell nor no-sell the opponents' moves.
For example, Evan Bourne has the tendency to oversell moves. One of the most notable over sells is when Shawn Michaels took on Hulk Hogan or when Steve Austin stunners The Rock.
In my opinion, overselling takes away from the entertainment of a match.
No-selling surpasses overselling in this department. Suitable examples of no-selling are John Cena and Hulk Hogan. For example, watch the I Quit match between John Cena and The Miz. John Cena’s offensive flurry was thwarted each time as Miz and Riley administered a brutal beat down on Cena. At one point, Cena rose to his feet as if Miz had never laid a hand on him.
This incident subsequently took away from the match and will be remembered in a comical light instead of the actual match itself.
John Morrison is a model seller. From the knee injury in the Elimination Chamber to the neck injury after the attack from R-Truth, Morrison adds a certain ingredient that leads most to believe he’s really hurt.
How can we forget the infamous crawl after the WWE Title match with The Miz?
Now the art of selling is a great one, a lot of people do not believe Punk sells, but I think the reason most think that is because he's not over the top. Now when you sell a move, it makes your opponent look good, but ask anyone Punk has faced if he made them look good and they'll give you a hell yeah!
Punk has the ability to do that, and he's not over the top: He sells what's real. You'll also not see him just sell a move if a guy misses or doesn't do the right spot, which can get a wrestler in trouble, but at home the viewer appreciates it.
Now, I will not say Punk is the best sell artist in WWE today, but he does what's needed, which is what's great about him. However, Morrison wins here.
The in ring ability of John Morrison is one of the most incredible enigma’s I’ve ever witnessed. With the addition of his parkour, Morrison can create one of the best displays in the WWE today. As of late, Morrison has risen to fame from his famous spots. From the Spiderman at Elimination Chamber and Royal Rumble to the Starship Pain off of the cage at Extreme Rules, Morrison is the go-to-guy for spots.
Is he a spot monkey?
A spot monkey is a guy who randomly attempts spots without proper planning. Morrison’s spots flow together unlike guys like Sabu or Jeff Hardy.
Besides his parkour, Morrison can ground his style and utilize traditional wrestling. His time as Miz’s partner displayed this particular style of Morrison which utilized less spots and more wrestling. A tag match featuring himself and R-Truth vs. New Nexus displayed an aggressive style of Morrison. Instead of the parkour and spots, Morrison used a number of collegiate wrestling slams and focused on his striking ability.
The exclamation point in the running knee to the temple also displays the contrast in styles of Morrison.
There aren’t many wrestlers that can utilize more than one wrestling style.
Now Punk is always going to be considered in the top five of in ring workers where ever he goes. Right now, he could be at the very top of WWE.
His in-ring style is one that offers us many styles. He really gives us a great marriage of UK and Japanese Style in that it's very technical and story telling, but also offers a martial arts type of move set along with it.
Now, Punk was a major fan of the workers in Japan, especially KENTA. This is why his move set looks a lot like what you see in that area of the world. However, that's not his total move set. So, if someone wants to say it is, look at his work in the independent and early WWE, all of it offers UK and Japanese style.
Both styles are fun to watch and give us great matches with just about anyone. There are many former WWE talents and current one's who want to work with Punk simply because of the fact he offers great in-ring work to the table.
Storyline wise, John Morrison has yet to receive a feud worthy enough to benefit him. The feud with R-Truth would’ve been Morrison’s first serious feud in the WWE but his neck injury halted it. The feuds with Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, and Sheamus produced great matches. The WWE failed to give each superstar promo time to sell the feud to the audience.
It’s almost impossible to rank Morrison’s storyline ability if he has yet to receive a solid feud.
If I were to go off my intuition alone, because Morrison’s status as one of Raw's top babyface, if the WWE reignites the feud with Truth and sets up a shocking angle, the feud would prosper. For example, if Truth were to harm Melina, the interest and anticipation would sky rocket.
As a heel, I think Morrison could produce a great feud. His feud with CM Punk in 2007 was the best feud of the ECW brand.
Rating: 7(face), 8(heel)
Now when it comes to Punk, he gives us excellent stories, not only with his in ring work, but overall storyline entertainment. His storyline with Jeff Hardy that meshed his gimmick with Hardy's past gave us a great story that could be one of the best WWE has done in years. No one thought they would do it, but they did, which we were more than willing to be happy about as fans.
His stories with Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton also stand out very well. But also, his storyline with John Morrison is up there.
His story with Morrison was actually very interesting because it only happened because of the Benoit tragedy. Without Benoit gone, Punk would be facing off numerous times with Chris and not John Morrison.
So, this gave us an impromptu storyline that was great for both men at their time with WWE. Rize spoke about it above, and I could take it another step and say it was one of the best storylines in the history of WWE's ECW.
But overall, Punk has given us great storylines that very few can match.
As a heel, Morrison’s mic skills are exceptionally better. Like I stated in the last slide, his feud with CM Punk was gold. In my opinion, it added a certain allure to both men as future World Champions. The two years of teaming with The Miz featured a number of great tag matches and promos.
It also gave us the infamous, Dirt Sheet. It’s hard to argue against a heel John Morrison as an entertaining superstar.
On the other hand, the face John Morrison is a crowd pleaser. The innovation of his wrestling style and insane spots are great for a superstar as a face. The face John Morrison has given us Starship Pain, great matches, and numerous sub-par feuds.
Overall, I believe John Morrison focuses on different traits of a superstar as a heel or face.
The heel is the arrogant, funny, and entertaining superstar. The face is the innovative, exciting, silent superstar.
Rating: Heel (8), Face (7.5)
I think most would agree with me that while Punk as a face worked, Punk as a heel was even better. The best work Punk has put out was when he was a heel. In Ring of Honor, or any other promotion he was in, the gimmick he had of straight edge was one that many liked.
The idea of the gimmick was great, but when he acted as if he were better than you for every little thing, you wanted to hate him. He brought a version of that to WWE, and when he did, fans were immediately drawn to him.
Punk being a face will always be something fans like, but most fans want him to stay a heel because he shines far more in that light.
One word that can describe John Morrison is exciting. Morrison is arguably the most exciting superstar in the WWE today. After the Royal Rumble, numerous fans were discussing Alberto Del Rio’s win and destiny to become World Champion. Despite Del Rio’s win, more fans were discussing Morrison’s Spiderman spot during the match
After the Elimination Chamber, many were upset to see John Cena headlining WrestleMania again. But once again, more fans were discussing John Morrison and his performance inside Satin’s Structure. At Extreme Rules, it was inevitable that R-Truth interference would cost John Morrison the championship. John Cena winning the WWE Championship was almost predictable.
Despite this, a number of fans (and writers for that matter) believed Morrison’s performance was equivalent to a main event talent.
No matter what Morrison does, from TLC 2010 to Extreme Rules 2011, John Morrison has been a frequently discussed topic.
Morrison’s spots and parkour are huge beneficiaries toward this notion.
The average fan would say that Punk really isn't exciting to watch, but for wrestling purists, his style makes us real happy. It's a throw back to the actual style guys like myself grew up watching, and that's one reason why the older fans love Punk.
More over, Punk is mostly exciting on the mic and in his storylines, so to me, he doesn't have to really go overboard to excite me in the ring. And his style would be one that helps him last longer in wrestling too. So, we'll see him more, which is great of course.
To me, Punk is exciting, because of his entire body of work. But his total game may not be the most exciting thing you see in pro-wrestling today
Rize and I feel strongly about our picks and we both think we're right. So, to the B/R faithful, vote below to help us out. It's up to the Bleacher Creatures now, who do you think is better, Punk or Morrison?