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WWE Farewell: John Morrison, a Star Forced to Die

Kevin BergeFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2011

WWE Farewell: John Morrison, a Star Forced to Die

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    Monday night was officially the last show that John Morrison will be wrestling in WWE for the foreseeable future.

    Some would say the writing was on the wall for weeks now, perhaps months, but I know that I was one of the ones holding out hope.

    The reports were coming in for months of rumors and news stories. All I could think was that there had been similar reports about CM Punk, and they turned out false.

    Rey Mysterio is coming up to the end of his contract with those reports circulating for him as well. I never wanted to believe any of them.

    However, Morrison's career is now as good as over according to many reports. It's a shame that cannot be expressed simply.

    How do I verbalize my annoyance at one of the most ridiculous, short-sighted, and simply stupid decisions in WWE history?

    I don't care if Morrison had a bad attitude at times or had girlfriend problems. You want to talk about someone whose attitude should have affected them? How about Randy Orton?

    Honestly, I cannot begin to describe in a small way how contemptible the WWE has been by forcing Morrison out that door with poor booking and ignorant business decisions.

    Instead of going on a long rant or trying to simply explain this decision, I think it would be best to simply look back at why all wrestling fans should remember John Morrison.

    From MNM to the Guru of Greatness to the Prince of Parkour, how good was Morrison? Phenomenal.

Charisma and Presence

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    "My mission is to make believers out of all of you." —John Morrison

    I have heard it one thousand times as of the last year or so.

    John Morrison has no mic skills. He has no charisma. He has only his spot monkey wrestling.

    Not only was all this critique ridiculous, but it showed a lack of knowledge. Morrison had some weak promo work on Raw as a face in 2010.

    However, he has a seven year career spanning back to 2004. During his career, he carried WWECW with ease, played the cocky heel role to perfection, and made a nickname like the Shaman of Sexy sound cool.

    I still remember his awesome run as ECW Champion with his "15 Minutes of Fame" matches and his great bouts with CM Punk.

    Then Morrison's time with the Miz as a tag team was also phenomenal, highlighted by the Dirt Sheet, where both men shined on a regular basis.

    Most will tell you that Morrison couldn't carry himself as a face, but I remember his time on SmackDown where he had great promos especially one I remember with Edge. He also was in line for the World Heavyweight Championship, and he made a convincing star on the rise as Jeff Hardy and CM Punk were at the top.

    Not many guys in that locker room have the natural cockiness and presence that Morrison could exude as a heel or a face. Sadly, that all was forgotten with poor writing, lack of opportunities, and a burial on Raw.

    At one time, Morrison was being compared to Shawn Michaels. I still see those similarities to this day and believe that Morrison could have been a new star in the vain of Michaels in years to come.

Modern Tag Team Specialist

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    "In life, there are winners, and there are losers. We're the tag team champions. Be jealous!" —John Morrison and The Miz

    In 2004, the tag team division still existed, but it lacked some style. Some flair. In came MNM who made an immediate impact with their flashy presence and cool demeanor.

    I still remember their debut as one of the coolest tag team debuts of all time. They came out on Carlito's Cabana and instantly were given the "cool" approval of Carlito. They went on to berate Rey Mysterio and just look awesome. Melina was the immediate star, but the two quickly showed that they had in ring prowess.

    The two with Melina by their side would go on to become one of the best modern tag teams and win the WWE Tag Team Titles three separate times. They had an awesome finisher in the Snapshot, and they had phenomenal matches with guys like Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Paul London, and Brian Kendrick.

    After Mercury was taken out of the group, Morrison (under the name Johnny Nitro) would go on to serious success as a singles competitor until he would form his second great tag team with the Miz.

    This team would have a shorter run together, but it would hold both tag team titles in the company during their run.

    In total, Morrison would hold the record for longest days as a WWE Tag Team Champion at 541 days with four total title reigns. That makes him possibly the greatest modern day tag team wrestler.

    After the break up of Miz and Morrison, the tag team division severally fell to the wayside. The way I see it, we can thank Morrison for holding the division together and keeping it fresh for the middle part of the 2000s.

Main Event Caliber Flair and Ability

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    "Wow, dude. He's Spidey." —Matt Striker

    On to Morrison's greatest strength, he was a marvel to watch.

    His matches that he had when he had shots in the main event. His matches with guys like CM Punk, The Miz, Sheamus, and Jeff Hardy are phenomenal contests to look back on.

    In fact, his World Heavyweight Title match with Hardy on SmackDown is still one of my favorite TV matches ever wrestled. These men matched up perfectly, and, while the match was simply a side contest with Punk/Hardy still going on, these two made a face/face match convincing and engrossing.

    Other than Ziggler, I don't think there is any mid card star who could perform better when given chances at main event talent. His match against Miz for the WWE Title at the beginning of this year is still TV match of the year.

    Not only that, but Morrison could simply do the impossible. While many moves in WWE are impressive, it takes something truly amazing to do the things that Morrison could.

    His amazing cat like grab on the barricade at the Royal Rumble and his stunts in the Raw Elimination Chamber match are something no other man could do.

    The way Morrison carried himself as a wrestler matched up so well with main event stars that it was a shock to everyone that he never was given real shots at the World Titles.

    He had two singles matches for the titles, and both were on television. His greatest accomplishments amounted mainly to the IC Title and the ECW Title even though his performances in his only World Title matches deserved more.

    This man was a spectacle and a star that made every main event match he competed in special.

Working with Everything That Was Thrown at Him

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    "But I, John Morrison, am beyond good and evil. I've been called an angel. I've been called a devil and everything in between." —John Morrison

    Morrison was a worker for WWE.

    He took dumb stories and burials and played them with flair. When he was given rotten material and noticed himself being unable to commit to the material, he began taking acting classes to improve his improvisation and delivery.

    Sadly, we never really got to see how far his improvement had gone as he was rarely even allowed near a microphone after his return.

    Also, while Morrison was always good in the ring, it would have truly taken exceptional work to go from his time in MNM to his death defying work with Miz and Sheamus this last year.

    Morrison may have been said to have an attitude, but he never allowed it to affect his outward performance. He may have been given less than a minute of real action at WrestleMania this year, being overshadowed by Snookie (ridiculously), but he made the most of that time.

    There is a reason that Morrison made such an impact when he had so many people as detractors and didn't even have WWE on his side.

    He simply stood up and worked. He took every punch, every brutal beating, every horrible storyline.

    He was wasted left and right, but Morrison made the most of the few opportunities he was presented.

    He took it all in and kept improving, and that is the mark of a true legend in the making.

A Bright or Distant Future?

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    "I united the people, ignited the audience, and I set the night on fire." —John Morrison

    Yet, with all of this, Morrison is leaving. Why? Because WWE never got the memo.

    A star was staring them right in the face, and they were too blinded by other stars' improvements to see that monstrous potential right in front of them.

    The question is: what is next for Morrison?

    He might just take this time as a break away from the business and come back with WWE realizing its mistakes. Honestly, I hope it happens only if WWE can realize that they are missing their mark here. Morrison is too quick to wallow away as a mid card jobber again.

    He might wait out his thirty days and head over to TNA. As a fan who watches both TNA and WWE, I do think that Morrison would fit right in with the X-Division. He and Aries could have a phenomenal rivalry.

    However, would that be ideal for Morrison? With the way creative and the business right now as a whole has been, I don't see it as ideal unless the company plans to really push him.

    Honestly, I do believe that TNA could make him a star the way they did Christian. I just would worry that the company would make the same or maybe different but still bad mistakes with Morrison.

    Finally, Morrison could take a step away from the business that has not given him the best shot and pursue other interests. It would be a shame to see him leave the business all together, but it is his decision.

    In the end, until I know better, this will be a farewell to John Morrison in WWE. He was work horse, a phenomenal athlete, and an extraordinary superstar. He will be missed.

    Goodbye, John. Thank you for all your work in a business that has been notoriously unappreciative in return!

    Thanks for reading!

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