WWE's John Morrison cashes in on career choice
HUNTINGTON -- Doctor. Lawyer. Policeman. Fireman. Those are some of the professions youngsters list when asked what they want to be when they grow up.
When that question was put to John Morrison, the response was professional wrestler.
"Why wrestle? Because I was a fan as a kid," Morrison said in a telephone interview Thursday from his home in Los Angeles. "I watched it every week. I saw a show on MTV and thought it would be a cool thing to do."
Right now, it would be difficult to question Morrison's career choice. He won World Wrestling Entertainment's Tough Enough III competition in 2004 and began the climb up the ladder. He's gone from developmental ranks (Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville twice) to WWE Tag Team champion now with The Miz, who once was his rival. They'll defend that title tonight in a Triple Threat Match in the WrestleMania Revenge Tour stop at Big Sandy Superstore Arena. Their opponents are Jesse and Festus and Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins (Edgeheads).
ECW's Morrison and The Miz became the first Superstars from the Land of the Extreme to strike gold thanks to SmackDown and ECW's working agreement. The two beat MVP and Matt Hardy on the Nov. 16 Friday Night SmackDown and they've continued to dominate.
"Absolutely, I can believe it," Morrison said when asked if the rapid rise to the top could happen this fast. "This is what I envisoned. My goal ... the main event at WrestleMania."
When Morrison started in ECW, he was known as Johnny Nitro. Trademarks are the sunglasses and lavish fur coats he wears to the ring. He later teamed with Joey Mercury and manager Melina -- known as MNM -- and they won the WWE tag titles. In May 2006, he made his debut on "Monday Night Raw" with Melina and would later capture the Intercontinental crown. He went over to ECW in the supplemental draft in June 2007 and captured that division's heavyweight title. In July, he changed his stage name to Morrison and now holds tag belts with The Miz.
When asked why he changed his last name, Morrison, known as the Shaman of Sexy, said, "That's who I am."
Morrison said he has 15 coats. Which one will he wear to the ring tonight? "Depends on the mood," he said.
The champs enjoy success outside the ring. They have a popular video on WWE.com called "The Dirt Sheet." Fans frequent this Web site and get the inside scoop/dirt on the superstars as new episodes are posted each Friday/Saturday.
"Nobody is as clever as I am. We say what we want about who we want," Morrison said. "It's a cool thing to have."
When it comes to ring expertise, Morrison has it. His views on life are interesting, too. He sees himself as a "palace of wisdom."
"I'm an enlightening person," he said. "My life changes other people's lives. I'm how a man should look and how a man should act. I say what I want to say. Brash? You assume correct. If you try, anything's possible."
When wrestlers make that walk to the ring and their music plays, they receive pops ... rousing cheers or boos from the fans. The intensity of those pops can dictate whether wrestlers stay at entry level, mid level or move on up.
"A crowd can make or break you," Morrison said. "Be creative as you can be and still be efficient. The crowd made me. They don't necessarily like me."
Whether it's WrestleMania or a house show like tonight, Morrison said fans will get maximum effort from the champs.
"We treat every performance the same. We give the best we can every time," he said. "We'll walk into the ring as champs and leave West Virginia tag team champions."
On May 17, they'll defend their titles against Kane and CM Punk at Judgment Day in Omaha, Neb.
Despite appearing on all three WWE shows and having a popular video on the WWE Web site, Morrison takes nothing for granted.
"Continue my domination, continue our domination, continue the climb," he said.
WHEN: 8 p.m. today.
WHERE: Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
TICKETS: $60, $40, $30, $20.
MORRISON FILE: Hometown, Los Angeles. Height, 6-2. Weight, 220. Finishing move, The Snapshot and The Moonlight Drive.
MATCHES: World Heavyweight title, Undertaker vs. Edge; Triple Threat Tag Team title, John Morrison-The Miz (champs) vs. Jesse/Festus vs. Edgeheads (Zack Ryder-Curt Hawkins). Also appearing Matt Hardy, Hornswoggle, Finlay, Kane, MVP. Others, including Divas, TBD.
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