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John Morrison (wrestler)

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John Morrison
Johnny Impact Alpha 1 alt (cropped).jpg
Morrison in February 2019
Birth nameJohn Randall Hennigan[1]
Born (1979-10-03) October 3, 1979 (age 42)[2]
Los Angeles, California, United States[3]
Alma materUniversity of California, Davis
Taya Valkyrie
(m. 2018)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)
  • John Hennigan[2]
  • John Morrison[2]
  • Johnny Blackcraft[4]
  • Johnny Blaze[2]
  • Johnny Impact[5]
  • Johnny Mundo[6]
  • Johnny Nitro[2]
  • Johnny Onyx[7]
  • Johnny Spade[4]
  • Johnny Superstar[8]
  • Johnny Ultra[9]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[10]
Billed weight215 lb (98 kg)[10][11]
Billed fromLos Angeles, California[10]
Slamtown, USA[12]
Trained by

John Randall Hennigan[1] (born October 3, 1979)[2] is an American professional wrestler and actor. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand under the ring name John Morrison.[10]

Hennigan was the winner of Tough Enough III, a televised competition that would award the winner a WWE contract, and was assigned to their then developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), to continue his wrestling training. Hennigan was called up to the SmackDown! roster in April 2005 under the ring name Johnny Nitro, and in his debut match (as a part of MNM) won the WWE Tag Team Championship. After leaving WWE in November 2011, Hennigan began wrestling overseas on the independent circuit under several ring names, before finding success in lucha libre wrestling promotions Lucha Underground and Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide as Johnny Mundo, as well as Impact Wrestling under the name Johnny Impact.

Hennigan is a four-time world champion, winning the ECW World, AAA Mega, Impact World, and Lucha Underground Championship once each. In WWE, he has also held the Intercontinental Championship three times and is a six-time tag team champion (one World Tag Team Championship, four WWE Tag Team Championships, and one SmackDown Tag Team Championship). In lucha libre, Hennigan was a central fixture throughout all four seasons of Lucha Underground, and was AAA's first-ever triple champion, holding the AAA Mega, Latin American, and World Cruiserweight Championships simultaneously. He has headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WWE and Impact, including the latter company's flagship event, Bound for Glory, in 2017 and 2018.

Outside of wrestling, Hennigan has also worked in the film and television industry. In film, he has mainly worked as an actor, producer and stuntman. He is also known for being a contestant on the 37th season of the competitive reality show Survivor.

Early life[]

John Randall Hennigan was born on October 3, 1979, in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in Palos Verdes Peninsula, where he attended Palos Verdes Peninsula High School.[3][14] He graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2002, where he studied film and geology.[15][16]

Professional wrestling career[]

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE[]

Tough Enough and Ohio Valley Wrestling (2002–2004)[]

After graduating college with a degree in film and geology and deciding that he did not want to pursue either path,[16] Hennigan began his professional wrestling career training at the Supreme Pro Wrestling school in Sacramento, California.[7] After failing his audition for Tough Enough 2,[17] a competition in which the winner earned a World Wrestling Federation (WWF) contract, he was accepted as a cast member for Tough Enough III in 2002, eventually becoming the co-winner with Matt Cappotelli.[18] For winning, Hennigan was awarded a developmental contract and assigned to their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), to continue his training.[19] Hennigan competed in Acolytes Protection Agency's invitational Bar Room Brawl match at Vengeance in July 2003.[2] Hennigan and Cappotelli made an appearance on an episode of Heat in January 2004, losing to Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak.[2]

MNM (2004–2006)[]

On the March 1, 2004 episode of Raw, Hennigan debuted on the main roster as a heel, under the ring name "Johnny Blaze". His gimmick was that he was the apprentice and assistant of the Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff.[20] The next week his name was changed to "Johnny Spade",[21] and three weeks after that it was changed to "Johnny Nitro".[22] The Nitro name, which finally stuck, was a reference to WCW Monday Nitro, the flagship show of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) for which Bischoff had previously worked. To drive the point home, he began using the Nitro theme as his ring entrance music.[23] Nitro acted as Bischoff's apprentice and assistant until June, when he was sent back to OVW. To explain his departure, Nitro lost a match on the June 7 episode of Raw against Eugene, which carried the stipulation that upon his loss, he also lost his job.[24]

Nitro (left) won three WWE Tag Team Championships with Joey Mercury (right) between 2005 and 2006

Upon his return to OVW, Nitro was put into a feud with Matt Cappotelli. During the course of the feud, Melina was brought into the company as Nitro's ex-girlfriend and an ally of Cappotelli, only to turn on him and side with Nitro. Not long after, Nitro and Melina were joined by Joey Mercury, forming the stable MNM. MNM wrestled in OVW for around a year, holding the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship once, before losing the titles to Cappotelli and Johnny Jeter in January 2005.[25] They were soon called up to the main SmackDown! brand in April that same year.[26]

In their debut match on the main roster, MNM won the WWE Tag Team Championship from Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio on the April 21 episode of SmackDown!.[27] MNM held the titles for three months, having successful titles defenses against the teams of Guerrero and Mysterio, and Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly, before dropping them to the Legion of Doom at The Great American Bash.[28] They won the titles again on the October 28 episode of SmackDown! in a four-way match defeating Legion of Doom, The Mexicools, and William Regal and Paul Burchill, but lost them to Rey Mysterio and Batista on the December 16 episode of SmackDown! two days before Armageddon. Due to help from Mark Henry, MNM defeated Mysterio and Batista in a rematch on the December 30 episode of SmackDown! to win the championship for the third time. They began a rivalry with the team of Paul London and Brian Kendrick that lasted over three months,[29] until they dropped the championship to London and Kendrick at Judgment Day in May 2006, with the storyline leading to Nitro and Melina suddenly turning on Mercury after the match, breaking up the group.[30] Later that night, Melina and Nitro were booked off the SmackDown! brand by having the General Manager, Theodore Long "fire" them.[31]

Singles competition and championship success (2006–2007)[]

After MNM's split, Nitro achieved success as a singles competitor, winning two Intercontinental Championships and the ECW World Championship

The next week, Nitro, along with Melina, debuted on the Raw brand in a loss to WWE Champion John Cena.[32] Nitro was immediately placed in the Intercontinental Championship picture, beginning his first reign at Vengeance in June after defeating champion Shelton Benjamin in a triple threat match also involving Carlito.[31] Nitro held the championship for four months, feuding with several challengers before losing it to Jeff Hardy on the October 2 episode of Raw.[33] Nitro recaptured the Intercontinental Championship from Hardy on the November 6 episode of Raw,[34] but lost it back to Hardy on the following week's Raw.[35] Also around this time, Nitro entered into a partnership with rapper Kevin Federline, with the duo antagonizing and beginning a rivalry with WWE Champion John Cena.[36] Federline was then, in storyline, trained by Nitro for a match with Cena, which he won after interference from Umaga.[37]

MNM reunited on the November 27 episode of Raw to accept an open challenge from The Hardys (Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) at December to Dismember, a match that they lost.[38][39] MNM and The Hardys feuded across the brands throughout December, with the two teams competing in a four-way ladder match for the WWE Tag Team Championship at Armageddon, also involving Brian Kendrick and Paul London and Dave Taylor and William Regal. However, MNM would be unsuccessful in winning the championship.[40][41] Nitro challenged Jeff Hardy for the Intercontinental Championship in a steel cage match at New Year's Revolution on January 7, 2007, but did not win.[42] MNM lost to The Hardys at the Royal Rumble later that month and again at No Way Out in February which ended the feud.[43][44] MNM disbanded as a team when Mercury was released from WWE in March 2007.[45]

After Mercury's departure, Nitro also ended his association with Melina.[46][47] Nitro was placed in a tag team with Kenny Dykstra,[48][49] until the 2007 WWE draft, during which Nitro was drafted to the ECW brand.[50] Nitro made his debut for the brand on the June 19 episode of ECW, with a win over Nunzio,[51] and few days later, on June 24, at Vengeance: Night of Champions, he won the vacant ECW World Championship by defeating CM Punk, replacing the absent Chris Benoit due to his double-murder suicide.[52] A few weeks after winning the title, Nitro was repackaged as John Morrison, a reference to musician Jim Morrison, to whom Hennigan bears a strong physical resemblance.[53] In the months to come, Morrison would retain the championship against Punk at The Great American Bash in July,[54] and SummerSlam in August.[55] Punk would again challenge for the championship on the September 4 episode of ECW, in which Morrison lost the championship to Punk, ending his reign at 69 days.[56][57] Morrison was then suspended for thirty days for violating WWE's Wellness Program,[citation needed] renewing his feud with Punk upon his return, as well as competing against The Miz for the number one contendership to the title.[58][59][60]

Teaming with The Miz (2007–2009)[]

From 2007 to 2009, Morrison teamed with The Miz, winning the WWE Tag Team Championship and World Tag Team Championship

Though rivals, Morrison and The Miz faced the dysfunctional tag team of Matt Hardy and Montel Vontavious Porter on the November 16 episode of SmackDown! for the WWE Tag Team Championship in a winning effort, marking Morrison's fourth WWE Tag Team Championship reign.[61] At Survivor Series, Morrison and The Miz were both defeated by CM Punk in a triple threat match for the ECW Championship.[62] After the defeat, the rivalry aspect of Morrison and Miz's relationship faded, as they were now portrayed as trusting friends. Morrison competed in the 2008 Royal Rumble match on January 27, but failed to win after being eliminated by Kane.[63] In February 2008, Morrison and Miz were given a streaming segment on named The Dirt Sheet in which they mocked other wrestlers and facets of pop culture. Morrison and Miz co-wrote each episode of The Dirt Sheet each week, and Morrison credits his time in college studying film with contributing to the success of the show.[13] At WrestleMania XXIV, Morrison competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match, which was won by CM Punk. Despite being unsuccessful, Morrison had a standout performance in the match, in which he performed a moonsault from the top rope to the outside of the ring while holding onto a ladder.[64]

The team of Morrison and Miz had many successful title defenses over the next few months, before dropping the titles to Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder at The Great American Bash in a fatal four-way match which also featured Jesse and Festus, and Finlay and Hornswoggle. Neither Morrison nor Miz were pinned, as Hawkins pinned Jesse to win the titles.[65]

Afterwards, they started a feud with Cryme Tyme (JTG and Shad) through each team's Internet show, which then transitioned to matches on Raw and at Cyber Sunday.[66][67][68] After winning the Slammy Award for Best exclusive earlier in the day, Morrison and Miz won the "Tag Team of the Year" Slammy Award on December 8, 2008 episode of Raw.[69] On December 13, Morrison and Miz won the World Tag Team Championship from CM Punk and Kofi Kingston at a live event.[70] Morrison and Miz engaged themselves in a feud with The Colóns (Carlito and Primo), who were the reigning WWE Tag Team Champions, which resulted in both teams defending their respective championships successfully in separate matches. Their feud culminated in a tag team lumberjack match where both titles were on the line at the WrestleMania 25, but it was The Colóns who would unify the championships with a win.[71] On April 13, as part of the 2009 WWE draft, The Miz was drafted to the Raw brand to split up the team, and as a result, Miz attacked Morrison.[72]

Intercontinental Champion (2009–2010)[]

After Morrison was separated from The Miz and drafted to SmackDown, he won his third Intercontinental Championship

On April 15, Morrison was drafted to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft.[73] On the April 17 episode of SmackDown, he defeated R-Truth.[74] On the May 1 episode of SmackDown, Morrison engaged in a backstage fight with Chris Jericho after Jericho slapped him, turning face in the process for the first time in his career.[75] Later that same night, Morrison defeated Shelton Benjamin, beginning a feud between the two. On the May 7 episode of Superstars, Morrison lost a match to Jericho after a distraction by Benjamin.[76] Morrison continued to score victories over Benjamin in singles and tag team matches before defeating him at Judgment Day.[77] During this time, Morrison would soon become wildly popular with fans. On the June 19 episode of SmackDown, Morrison lost a critically acclaimed match against Edge, in which the commentators described it as a "third main event". On the July 31 episode of SmackDown, Morrison had his first World Heavyweight Championship match against Jeff Hardy, but failed to win the title.[78]

On the September 4 episode of SmackDown, Morrison defeated Rey Mysterio to win his third Intercontinental Championship.[79] Morrison then began a feud with Dolph Ziggler, after losing a non-title match to him by countout, but he would successfully defend the title against Ziggler at Hell in a Cell,[80] and again on the following episode of SmackDown. The feud between Morrison and Ziggler continued throughout the next month, with the two wrestling to a double countout for the Intercontinental Championship on the November 13 episode of SmackDown and Morrison retaining the championship in a two-out-of-three falls match the following week to end the feud. At Bragging Rights, Morrison was defeated by his former tag team partner then-United States Champion The Miz in an interbrand Champion vs. Champion match.[81] Their rivalry continued after both were announced as opposing team captains for Survivor Series, where Miz's team defeated Morrison's team.[82] Morrison then went on to feud with newcomer Drew McIntyre, who defeated Morrison in a non-title match on the December 4 episode of SmackDown, thus earning a championship opportunity against Morrison.[83] At the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, Morrison lost the Intercontinental Championship to McIntyre, ending his reign at 103 days. He received his rematch on the January 1 episode of SmackDown, but was disqualified when McIntyre shoved him into the referee. He challenged McIntyre for the Intercontinental Championship again on the January 29 episode of SmackDown in a No Disqualification match, but lost, ending their feud.[84] Morrison later won an Elimination Chamber qualifying match[85] and participated in the Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship, but was eliminated by The Undertaker.[86] On the March 5 episode of SmackDown, Morrison teamed with R-Truth to defeat Cryme Tyme and The Hart Dynasty to earn a Unified WWE Tag Team Championship match against ShoMiz (Big Show and The Miz).[87] At WrestleMania XXVI, they failed to win the championship.[88]

Championship pursuits and departure (2010–2011)[]

Morrison at WWE Tribute to the Troops in December 2010
Morrison's highly acclaimed spot in the Royal Rumble match

On April 26, Morrison was drafted to the Raw brand as part of the 2010 WWE draft, and lost his first match back for the brand later that night to Jack Swagger.[89] Later that week, in his final match on SmackDown, he lost to Cody Rhodes.[90] On June 1, Morrison announced that he would be mentoring Eli Cottonwood in the second season of NXT.[91][92] Cottonwood, however, was the second person eliminated from the competition, and was eliminated on the July 27 episode of NXT.[93] Morrison then went on to participate in the main event of SummerSlam in which he and six teammates (John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, R-Truth, and Daniel Bryan) were victorious in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match against The Nexus.[94] In October 2010, Morrison began a feud with Sheamus after he helped Santino Marella earn an upset win during a one-sided match against Sheamus. Within the following weeks, Morrison continued to save Marella from attacks by Sheamus. At Survivor Series, Morrison defeated Sheamus.[95] Morrison entered the 2010 edition of the King of the Ring tournament, defeating Tyson Kidd, Cody Rhodes, and Alberto Del Rio. Morrison lost to Sheamus in the final round.[96][97] He continued to feud with Sheamus and defeated him in a WWE Championship number one contender's ladder match at the Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view on December 19.[98] Morrison received his WWE Championship match on the January 3, 2011 episode of Raw, but lost to reigning champion The Miz in a falls count anywhere match.[99] On January 30, Morrison participated in the Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble event and despite not winning, he had a stand-out moment which was praised by critics as "arguably the spot of the decade" when Morrison was knocked off of the ring apron and performed a cat leap onto the barricade to avoid having his feet touch the floor and then went on to precision jump onto the ring steps and re-enter the ring.[100] On February 20, Morrison participated in the Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event, but was eliminated by CM Punk.[101] During the match, Morrison climbed to the top of the cage while inside the cage before dropping to deliver a crossbody on and eliminate Sheamus.[102][103] At WrestleMania XXVII, Morrison teamed with Trish Stratus and Jersey Shore guest star Snooki in a mixed tag match to defeat the team of Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (Layla and Michelle McCool).[104]

Morrison participated in feuds for various championships before departing from WWE in 2011

On the April 11 episode of Raw, Morrison participated in a five-man gauntlet match for the number one contender's spot for the WWE Championship, but was eliminated by R-Truth.[105] The next week on Raw, Morrison challenged R-Truth to a match later on in the night, with the stipulation that if Morrison won, he would take Truth's place in the steel cage match at Extreme Rules. Truth accepted, and lost the match, making Morrison the new number one contender.[106] After the match, Truth viciously attacked Morrison.[107] At Extreme Rules, R-Truth interfered in the WWE Championship steel cage match, attacking Morrison and preventing him from winning the match.[108] The next night on Raw, Morrison was attacked by Truth again, prior to a scheduled match between the two which did not happen as a result.[109] Morrison then underwent surgery to correct a legitimately pinched nerve in his neck.[110] Morrison initially returned on the June 13 episode of Raw, but Truth attacked him again prior to their scheduled match, re-injuring him.[111] Morrison returned again on the July 25 episode of Raw, attacking R-Truth.[112] At SummerSlam, Morrison teamed up with Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio to defeat R-Truth, Alberto Del Rio and The Miz.[113] The following night on Raw, Morrison defeated R-Truth in a falls count anywhere match to end their feud. At Night of Champions, Morrison competed in a Fatal 4-Way match for the United States Championship, also involving Alex Riley, Dolph Ziggler, and Jack Swagger, with Ziggler successfully retaining his title.[114] Morrison then challenged Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, but failed to win the title.[115] Following this, Morrison went on a losing streak, lasting a number of weeks.[116] On the November 7 episode of Raw, Morrison picked up his first victory in three months, defeating United States Champion Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match. Morrison then challenged Ziggler for the championship at Survivor Series, but was defeated by Ziggler.[117]

In his last advertised WWE appearance on the November 28 episode of Raw,[118] Morrison faced The Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere match; Miz won the match by delivering the Skull-Crushing Finale on the steel entrance stage, giving Morrison a kayfabe injury. This was used to write Morrison off television, even being stretchered out of the arena after the match.[119] On November 29, WWE acknowledged the end of Morrison's contract,[120] and moved his profile to the alumni section of its website.[10] In a video published on December 9, 2011, via Hennigan's personal YouTube channel, Hennigan claimed that he was taking time off to heal and retrain for a possible return to wrestling in the future.[121] In 2015, Hennigan revealed on Stone Cold Steve Austin's podcast that WWE wanted him to sign another multi-year contract, but due to a neck injury, residual pain, and creative frustrations, he decided to not renew his contract, wanting "more control over [his] time".[122]

Independent circuit (2012–2019)[]

After leaving WWE, Hennigan began wrestling on the independent circuit under his real name, as well as his previous ring name John Morrison.[123] On his first post-WWE wrestling appearance, Hennigan rekindled an old feud, facing off against Shelton Benjamin in the main event of the World Wrestling Fan Xperience (WWFX) Champions Showcase Tour in Manila, Philippines on February 4, 2012. Hennigan won the match to become the inaugural WWFX Heavyweight Champion. On August 12, 2012, Hennigan appeared at Juggalo Championship Wrestling's Bloodymania 6 event, defeating Matt Hardy and Breyer Wellington in a three-way match.[124] On January 25, 2013, Morrison appeared at Dragon Gate USA's Open the Golden Gate, defeating Akira Tozawa in the main event of the show.[125] Hennigan took part in the WrestleMania weekend, wrestling for the Pro Wrestling Syndicate. On April 4, Hennigan defeated Elijah Burke and on April 5, Morrison defeated Japanese legend Jushin Thunder Liger in an "International Dream Match" at a Pro Wrestling Syndicate (PWS) event.[126]

Morrison competing in a ladder match in April 2016

On June 21, 2013, Hennigan defeated Carlito Caribbean Cool in FWE Welcome to the Rumble II, winning the FWE Heavyweight Championship.[127] The next day, Hennigan defended the title against Too Cold Scorpio at House of Hardcore 2.[128] On October 12, 2013, at FWE Grand Prix, Hennigan defeated Matt Morgan, retaining the FWE Heavyweight Championship.[129] On March 11, 2015, Hennigan lost the FWE Heavyweight Championship to A.J. Styles.[130]

On June 28, 2016, it was announced that Hennigan would make his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerilla in the company's annual Battle of Los Angeles tournament.[131] He won his match against Matt Sydal in the first round,[132] but was eliminated by Ricochet in the quarter-finals.[133]

On January 28, 2017, Morrison won a tournament at a 5 Star Wrestling event for the 5 Star Wrestling Championship, defeating Moose, Drew Galloway, and Rey Mysterio to win the title.[134] On February 8, 2018, he lost the title against Jake Hager after over a year as champion.

On September 22, Morrison reunited with former MNM tag team partner Joey Mercury after ten years, defeating Reno Scum.[135]

Lucha Underground (2014–2018)[]

In September 2014, it was reported that Hennigan had signed with the El Rey network's new television series, Lucha Underground,[136] where he wrestled under the ring name Johnny Mundo.[6] Mundo wrestled in the main event of the debut episode of Lucha Underground on October 29, 2014, defeating Prince Puma and winning one hundred thousand dollars, which was then taken away from him by promoter Dario Cueto, setting up several feuds.[137] He then teamed with Prince Puma during the November 5, 2014 episode, defeating Cortez Castro and Mr. Cisco. On the November 19 episode, Mundo defeated Big Ryck by disqualification after interference by Castro and Cisco.[138] Mundo then defeated Prince Puma and Big Ryck in the main event of the December 10, 2014 episode, which was a three-way ladder match, to finally win the hundred thousand dollars he was denied in the Lucha Underground debut.[139]

On January 7, 2015, Mundo participated in a 20-man "Aztec Warfare" battle royal for the Lucha Underground Championship. He was the second luchador to enter the ring, but was the last man eliminated by Prince Puma who won the Championship. King Cuerno attacked Mundo on the February 4 episode, beginning a feud between them; the second installment took place on the episode which aired March 11, where Mundo and Cuerno wrestled in a Steel Cage match, which was won by Mundo. On May 13, Mundo turned into a villain when he attacked Alberto El Patrón in his match against Hernandez, throwing him through the window of Dario Cueto's office. Mundo subsequently tossed El Patrón back into the ring, giving Hernandez the win.[140] On the June 17, episode of Lucha Underground, Johnny Mundo unsuccessfully challenged Prince Puma for the Lucha Underground Championship in an Iron Man match. On August 5, 2015, at Ultima Lucha, Mundo defeated Alberto El Patrón after an interference by his girlfriend Melina Perez.[141]

On the February 3, 2016 episode of Lucha Underground, Mundo faced Killshot in a winning effort. After the match, Mundo taunted Lucha Underground Champion Mil Muertes, only to be confronted by Cage.[142] Mundo defeated Cage on February 24, after interference from the debuting Taya, subsequently becoming Mundo's valet.[143] On the May 25 episode of Lucha Underground, Taya revealed to PJ Black and Jack Evans that their partner Fénix was injured by Mundo. As Mundo revealed himself as Fénix's replacement for their match, Black and Evans allied with the two. Later that night in the main event, Mundo, Black and Evans defeated Rey Mysterio Jr., Prince Puma and Dragon Azteca Jr. to win the Lucha Underground Trios Championship, the first championship for each in Lucha Underground.[144] The week after, Mundo, Black and Evans, now collectively billed as Worldwide Underground, retained their championships in a rematch via disqualification.[145][146] Worldwide Underground lost their titles to Aero Star, Drago and Fénix at the third and final part Ultima Lucha Dos, which aired on July 20.[147]

On the October 26 episode of Lucha Underground, Mundo defeated Sexy Star to win the Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods Championship after he knocked out Sexy Star with brass knuckles while the referee was unaware.[148][149] On the November 23 episode of Lucha Underground, he cashed in his Gift of the Gods Championship on Sexy Star before defeating her to win the Lucha Underground Championship, becoming the second Triple Crown Champion in Lucha Underground history.[150] On the December 21 episode of Lucha Underground, Mundo successfully defended his championship in a rematch against Sexy Star inside a steel cage. He lost the title to Prince Puma at Ultima Lucha Tres.[151]

Mundo made his return on the fourth season's premiere, competing in Aztec Warfare entering at number 11. Mundo eliminated Ricky Mundo and Daga before getting eliminated by Marty Martinez and being attacked by the Reptile Tribe. On November 17, 2018, Mundo wrestled on the final episode of Lucha Underground, Ultima Lucha Cuatro, defeating Matanza Cueto in a Sacrifice to the Gods match.

Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2015–2018)[]

On May 24, 2015, Mundo made his debut for Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA) at the Lucha Libre World Cup event representing Lucha Underground as a member of "Team TNA/Lucha Underground" alongside TNA wrestlers Matt Hardy and Mr. Anderson. They finished in second place, losing in the finals to the "Dream Team" (El Patrón Alberto, Myzteziz and Rey Mysterio Jr.).[152]

On June 4, 2015 in the main event of Verano de Escándalo, Mundo established himself as a rudo (or villain) and teamed with El Mesias and Pentagón Jr. losing to Myzteziz, La Parka and Rey Mysterio Jr.[153] On September 27, Konnan announced Mundo as an official member of the rudo stable, La Sociedad, while he subsequently stepped down as the leader of the group.[154] On October 4, at Héroes Inmortales IX, Mundo unsuccessfully challenged El Patrón Alberto for the AAA Mega Championship, when he was defeated by disqualification.[155] After Alberto left AAA, Mundo was scheduled to face Rey Mysterio Jr. for the vacant AAA Mega Championship at Guerra de Titanes, but after the matches of the event were officially announced, neither Mundo nor Mysterio were featured for the event.[156] Mundo participated in the 2016 Lucha Libre World Cup as a member of "Team Lucha Underground" alongside Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Brian Cage, defeating "Team Mexico Leyendas" (Blue Demon Jr., Canek, and La Parka) in the quarter-finals,[157] and "Team Mexico International" (Rey Mysterio Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr., and Dragon Azteca Jr.) in the semi-finals. Mundo's team won the tournament defeating "Team AAA" (Pentagón Jr., El Texano Jr. and Psycho Clown) in the finals.[158]

Mundo, wearing USA-themed ring attire, in a match against Pentagon Jr. in June 2016

After adopting an "anti-Mexico" attitude and teaming with El Mesías and Hernandez to defeat El Texano Jr., El Hijo del Fantasma and Pentagón Jr., Mundo challenged the latter to a match at Triplemanía XXIV for the AAA Latin American Championship, to which Pentagón accepted.[159][160] At the event, on August 28, Mundo defeated Pentagón to win the Latin American Championship, marking his first championship in AAA and becoming the first non-Mexican to hold the title.[161] On October 2 in the main event of Héroes Inmortales X, Mundo successfully defended his title against Garza Jr.[162] On March 19, 2017, at Rey de Reyes, Mundo defeated El Texano Jr. and El Hijo del Fantasma in a three-way match to not only retain the Latin American Championship, but to also win Texano's AAA Mega Championship and Fantasma's AAA World Cruiserweight Championship.[163] In his first AAA Mega Championship defense, on June 30, Mundo successfully retained his title against Texano.

In July 2017, Mundo and his fiancée Kira Forster, known as Taya, were involved in controversy with AAA and its Director of Talent Vampiro, which led to Taya's departure from the company. According to Wrestling Observer, AAA asked Mundo to turn in Taya's Reina de Reinas Championship for a photo shoot the day prior to an event on July 1. A few weeks later, Vampiro addressed to the live crowd that Forster was stripped of the title due to not appearing to defend her title, despite not being scheduled to appear.[164]

On August 26, at Triplemanía XXV, Mundo successfully defended his three championships against Fantasma and Texano in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. On October 1 at Héroes Inmortales XI, Mundo wrestled in three matches, retaining the Mega Championship against Rey Wagner, but losing the Latin American Championship to Fantasma in the annual Copa Antonio Peña battle royal, and the World Cruiserweight Championship to Lanzelot in a ten-way match, ending his triple championship reign at 196 days.[165]

On January 26, 2018 at Guerra de Titanes, Mundo lost the AAA Mega Championship to Rey Wagner, ending his reign at 314 days.

Impact Wrestling[]

Championship pursuits (2017–2018)[]

Johnny Impact wrestling Eli Drake at Bound for Glory

In August 2017, despite not being signed to the promotion at the time,[166] Hennigan appeared for Impact Wrestling at some live events.[167] On August 17, a video package was shown at Destination X revealing his ring name as Johnny Impact.[5] His first feud in the promotion was with Eli Drake, when Impact made his televised in-ring debut on the August 24 episode of Impact!, participating in a Gauntlet for the Gold match for the vacant Global Championship, but was eliminated by eventual winner Eli Drake. Impact would face Drake for the title at Victory Road and Bound for Glory, where he failed to win the title. Since the Bound for Glory match ended after Alberto El Patrón made an interference, Impact, Alberto and Drake had a three-way Last Chance Six Sides of Steel match on the January 25, 2018 episode of Impact!, where Drake retained the title.[168]

After Drake lost the renamed Impact World Championship to Austin Aries, Impact began pursuit of Aries's championship, facing him at Crossroads special, where he lost again. On the April 19 episode of Impact!, Johnny Impact was attacked and injured by Kongo Kong, which was performed to write him off television in order to film for reality television show Survivor.[169] Impact returned at Slammiversary XVI, when he won a four-way match against Fenix, Taiji Ishimori, and Petey Williams.[170]

Impact World Champion (2018–2019)[]

Impact began a feud with the Impact World Champion Austin Aries, which led to a match at Bound for Glory.[171] As the PPV moved closer, the feud started to blur the lines between a work (something scripted) and shoot (something real), beginning with the two wrestlers trading insults on Twitter that they appeared to take personal, with Aries later deleting many of his tweets.[172] Specifically, Impact mocked Aries' short stature and the champion responded by making fun of his wife's weight. Aries and Impact both alleged in the media that they authentically took issue with comments.[173] TMZ Live also pushed the angle "like [it] was a shoot".[174] The two wrestlers got in a brawl the night before Bound for Glory during Abyss's Impact Hall of Fame induction.[175] At the event, Impact defeated Aries to win the Impact World Championship. Throughout the following weeks, Impact successfully defended his title against Fénix, Killer Kross, and Matt Sydal. At Homecoming on January 6, 2019, Impact defeated Brian Cage to retain his championship.

During the February tapings for Impact Wrestling, Impact defended his title in a four-way contest involving Killer Kross, Moose and Brian Cage. Impact hit his finisher on Moose, barely seconds prior to Cage hitting his Drill Claw finisher on Killer Kross. As Impact was able to cover his opponent first the referee was able to provide the count and therefore Impact won the match as Brian Cage went to cover his opponent.[citation needed] On the March 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, Impact's wife Taya Valkyrie would low blow Cage, which allowed Impact to attack Cage, turning into a villain.[176] At United We Stand, Impact won a five-way Ultimate X match to become the number one contender for the Impact X Division Championship. Throughout April, Impact successfully defended his title from Cage, often with interferences from Valkyrie and former referee John E Bravo.[177] At Rebellion, Impact, accompanied by Valkyrie and Bravo, lost the title to Cage in a match where Lance Storm was special guest referee; this left Impact's reign to end at 196 days, leaving it the longest reign since Bobby Roode's 2011–2012 reign, and therefore the longest reign in seven years, as well as the third-longest reign in history.[178][179]

On the May 31 episode of Impact Wrestling, Impact challenged X Division Champion Rich Swann to a title match at Slammiversary XVII. Later that night, he teamed with Michael Elgin to face Swann and Willie Mack in a tag team match, in which Swann pinned Impact.[180] At Slammiversary XVII, Impact was defeated by Swann.[181] On July 8, Pro Wrestling Insider reported that Hennigan's contract with Impact Wrestling had expired several weeks prior to the event, and the two sides agreed to have Hennigan work until Slammiversary.[182]

Return to WWE[]

Reunion with The Miz (2019–2021)[]

On September 26, 2019, it was reported by Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider that Hennigan had re-signed with WWE, which was officially confirmed by the company on December 3 during WWE Backstage.[183][184][185] He made his return on January 3, 2020 episode of SmackDown under his John Morrison ring name and resumed his partnership with The Miz, thus re-establishing him as a heel for the first time in WWE in 10 years.[186][187] They would feud with the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, The New Day, with Morrison winning singles matches against Big E and Kofi Kingston.[188][189] At the Royal Rumble, Morrison participated in the Royal Rumble match as the fifth entrant, but he was eliminated by Brock Lesnar.[190] At Super ShowDown, Miz and Morrison won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship from The New Day.[191][192][193][194]

On March 8, Morrison and Miz had their first title defense in a tag team Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber event, successfully defending their titles against The New Day, The Usos, Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker), Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado), and Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.[195] At WrestleMania 36, after the Miz's absence due to illness,[196] Morrison defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championships by himself in a ladder match against Kofi Kingston and Jimmy Uso, in which he was successful.[197] On the April 17 episode of SmackDown, the duo lost the titles back to The New Day after Miz unsuccessfully defended the titles by himself in a triple threat match against Big E and Jey Uso ending their reign at 50 days.[198] At Money in the Bank the following month, Morrison and Miz unsuccessfully attempted to regain the championship in a fatal four-way tag team match also involving Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) and The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake).[199] Morrison and Miz then started a rivalry with Universal Champion Braun Strowman.[200][201] At Backlash, the duo competed for Strowman's title in a two-on-one handicap match, but lost.[202] As part of the 2020 Draft in October, both Morrison and Miz were drafted to the Raw brand.[203] Prior to the draft, Morrison and Miz entered a feud with Otis for his Money in the Bank contract. At Hell in a Cell, Morrison accompanied Miz in his match against Otis for the contract, which Miz won.[204][205]

"He's come back and he's kind of been, like, the handyman. He ain’t the handyman [...] Put some respect on his name because John Morrison is a superstar when given the right opportunity."

Bobby Lashley on Morrison's role in WWE in March 2021.[206]

On the December 7 episode of Raw, Morrison ended a nearly seven-month losing streak after defeating Drew McIntyre and Sheamus in a 3-on-2 handicap match alongside The Miz and AJ Styles.[207][208] Morrison entered the 2021 Royal Rumble match on January 31, lasting over eight minutes before being eliminated by Damian Priest.[209] At the Elimination Chamber event on February 21, 2021, Morrison defeated Ricochet, Elias, and Mustafa Ali in a fatal four-way match for an opportunity at the United States Championship.[210][211] Later that night, he failed to win the title in a triple threat match against Riddle and reigning champion Bobby Lashley, as Riddle won the match.[212][213] After this, Morrison and Miz feuded with rapper Bad Bunny and Damian Priest.[209][214][215] At WrestleMania 37 on April 10, Morrison and Miz faced Bad Bunny and Priest in a tag team match, but lost.[216]

Return to singles competition (2021–present)[]

After the Miz suffered an injury at WrestleMania Backlash, Morrison would embark on singles run, starting by defeating Jeff Hardy on the June 14 episode of Raw. The following week, Morrison defeated Randy Orton to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match at the namesake pay-per-view event,[217] which was won by Big E.[218] On the August 23, 2021 episode of Raw, The Miz was defeated by Xavier Woods. After the match, The Miz turned on Morrison by attacking him, turning Morrison face in the process.

Professional wrestling style and persona[]

Morrison performing Starship Pain, a split-legged corkscrew moonsault

Hennigan was described by WWE as having "lightning-fast offense", "high-risk aerial expertise", and "incredible agility".[219] He is known to utilize a split-legged corkscrew moonsault, dubbed Starship Pain, as a finishing maneuver. During his singles run as Johnny Nitro, he used a standing shooting star press as his finisher.[220] After transitioning to his John Morrison character, Hennigan began using a corkscrew neckbreaker dubbed Moonlight Drive, in reference to the song of the same name written by Jim Morrison.[221][222] He also prominently used a superkick as a finisher in 2008 during a feud with D-Generation X, as a way to mock Shawn Michaels's Sweet Chin Music maneuver.[223][224] Hennigan is a practitioner of parkour and often incorporates it into his wrestling style, giving him the nickname "The Prince of Parkour".[10][225] He also has a background in amateur wrestling, breakdancing, gymnastics, and martial arts.[226] Regarding his unique wrestling style, Hennigan stated in a 2021 interview with Sports Illustrated:

"My movement background is different from everyone on the roster. I was an amateur collegiate wrestler at UC Davis. I also did gymnastics at UC Davis. I've studied kung fu, boxing, capoeira, stunt fighting, parkour—I am a master at all those disciplines. Applying those movement patterns is what I do in the ring."[227]

Alongside his team MNM, Hennigan debuted on WWE television as Johnny Nitro, presenting himself as an arrogant wrestler with "elite Hollywood status".[228] After winning the ECW World Championship in 2007, he changed his ring name to John Morrison and his gimmick was tweaked to be even more conceited and self-aggrandizing[229] — in addition to being modeled after Jim Morrison, the legendary frontman of the 1960s rock band The Doors, to whom he bears a strong physical resemblance.[53] Following his return to WWE and reunion with his tag team partner the Miz in 2020, Hennigan added a comedic aspect to his villainous character, with WWE describing him as using "quirkiness and quick wit to shine every time he is on screen".[10] He also began to refer to himself as "Johnny Drip Drip", a reference to the song "Drip" by rapper Cardi B.[217]

Outside of WWE, Hennigan began referring to himself as the "Mayor of Slamtown", a fictional town he first coined in Lucha Underground in 2015. Hennigan filed to trademark the term "Slamtown" in November 2020.[230]

Other media[]

In 2009, Hennigan and Maryse Ouellet were interviewed on Eurosport.[231] In 2009, Hennigan appeared on two episodes of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, which were both aired on September 29.[232][233] Hennigan is the subject of a WWE DVD, called John Morrison – Rock Star, which was released on February 16, 2010.[13][234] The DVD covers his career from his name change to John Morrison up until his Intercontinental Championship win in September 2009.[13][234] He appeared on an episode of Destroy Build Destroy on March 3, 2010.[235] Hennigan was on the cover of Muscle & Fitness in June 2010, with the issue also featuring an interview and photo shoot.[236] In 2016, Hennigan, Rey Mysterio, and King Cuerno appeared on ESPN to promote the second season of Lucha Underground.[237]

Hennigan is also a frequent collaborator with comic book-based film producers Bat in the Sun Productions, appearing in two episodes of their well-known Super Power Beat Down series; playing as Casey Jones against Kick-Ass in episode 13,[238] and as Winter Soldier against Nightwing in episode 19.[239] Hennigan portrayed Eternal Warrior in the web series Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe, produced by Valiant Entertainment and directed by Bat in the Sun.[240][241]


After leaving WWE in 2011, Hennigan pursued a career in the film industry as an actor and filmmaker. In 2013, he appeared in 20 Feet Below: The Darkness Descending with Danny Trejo, as well as served as co-producer of the film.[242] In 2017, Hennigan released his first feature film titled Boone: The Bounty Hunter, which he starred in, co-wrote, and served as executive producer of. Hennigan sold his house in order to finance the film.[243] In 2018, Hennigan began working on his directorial debut, a short film titled The Iron Sheik Massacre which he also produced and co-wrote with his wife Kira Forster. It was expected to be released in 2020, but has yet to have an official release date.[244][245]

Survivor: David vs. Goliath[]

Hennigan was a contestant on the 37th season of Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath where he was originally part of the Goliath tribe and later Tiva before making it to the merged tribe Kalokalo. He finished 12th and became the second member of the jury after the former members of the Goliath tribe were blindsided at tribal council; two contestants used hidden immunity idols, causing Hennigan to be eliminated despite only having three elimination votes, as Christian Hubicki, who received seven, was immune.[246]

Hennigan's performance as a contestant and the episode of his elimination received critical acclaim. Chris Chase of USA Today praised Hennigan for being "true to everything we’ve seen from him this season, [and] a class act after his shock defeat".[247] Writing for People, former Survivor contestant Stephen Fishbach highlighted that "in a tribal council that was meant to take out the Davidest David [Christian Hubicki], it was really the Goliath of the Goliaths [Hennigan] who fell. How perfectly Biblical."[248] The show’s executive producer and host Jeff Probst was "so impressed" with Hennigan, describing him as "the guy who catches the winning touchdown pass in the final moments of the Super Bowl, and then, instead of some crazy celebration, he casually tosses the ball to the ref, kisses his wife and hugs his kids", alongside stating that he would "absolutely" have Hennigan back on the show.[249]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 John Morrison – Rock Star Himself Credited as John Morrison
2012 Legion of the Black Lead Shadow Creature
2013 20 Feet Below: The Darkness Descending Razor Co-producer
2014 Ascent to Hell Roman
Hercules Reborn Hercules Stunts performer
2015 Wrestling Isn't Wrestling 80s Russian Wrestler
American Justice Officer Reid
Russell Madness The Hammer
2017 Boone: The Bounty Hunter Boone Co-writer
Executive producer
Dave Made a Maze The Minotaur
Never Leave Alive Rick Rainsford
2018 Strange Nature Sam Co-producer
2020 Birds of Prey Lords Gang Member Stunts performer
The Speed of Time Johnny Killfire Producer
Fight coordinator
TBA The Iron Sheik Massacre N/A Short film
Director, writer, and producer
Year Title Role Notes
2002–2003 Tough Enough III Himself 14 episodes; Co-winner
2009 Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Himself 2 episodes
2010 Destroy Build Destroy Himself 1 episode
2013 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Sammy Episode: "A Hard Drive to Swallow"
2014–2018 Lucha Underground Johnny Mundo
2016 Shameless Cody Episode: "Hiraeth"
Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Brash Roderick Episode: "Predator Party"
2017 Days of Our Lives Goon #2 1 episode
Baby Daddy Ryan Davidson Episode: "Ben Rides a Unicorn"
GLOW Salty Johnson Episode: "Pilot"
The Last Ship Ares 3 episodes
The Guest Book Steve Episode: "Story Four"
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming Rodolfo Television film
2018 Survivor: David vs. Goliath Himself 14 episodes; 12th place and 2nd jury member
2018–2020 Miz & Mrs. Himself 5 episodes
Year Title Role Notes
2014 Video Game High School Crazy Napalm Suit 1 episode; cameo
2014–2016 Super Power Beat Down Casey Jones / Winter Soldier 2 episodes
2016 Free Play Himself Episode: "Lucha Libre with Johnny Mundo"[250]
2017 Haus of Pain Himself Documentary[251]
2018 Ninjak vs. the Valiant Universe Eternal Warrior 6 episodes
2019 Being The Elite Himself Episode: "What Time Is It In London?"
2020 Dad: Andan's Run Aelpha Youtube movie based on Dad Feels series[252]
Video games
Year Title
2006 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007
2007 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008
2008 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009
2009 WWE Legends of WrestleMania
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010
2010 WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011
2011 WWE All Stars
WWE '12
2021 RetroMania Wrestling

Personal life[]

Hennigan is good friends with fellow professional wrestlers The Miz,[253] Dolph Ziggler,[253] Zack Ryder,[253] Jeff Hardy,[13][254] and Randy Orton.[217][255] He was also good friends with Shad Gaspard, and still is with JTG, of Cryme Tyme, and was a part of the search team after Gaspard's disappearance and death.[256]

Hennigan was involved in an on-off relationship with former WWE Diva and on-screen manager Melina Perez from 2003 to 2015. The pair met during the auditions for Tough Enough III, in which Perez was cut and Hennigan eventually won.[257] Since 2016, Hennigan has been in a relationship with Kira Forster, better known as Taya Valkyrie.[258] The pair met through the affiliation between AAA and Lucha Underground, with Forster becoming Hennigan's on-screen partner in the latter promotion prior to their real-life relationship.[259] They became engaged on June 14, 2017,[260] and were married on June 1, 2018.[261]

Championships and accomplishments[]

Morrison (as Johnny Impact) is a former Impact World Champion in Impact Wrestling...
...a three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion...
...and an overall six-time Tag Team Champion in WWE (shown here with the WWE - now Raw - Tag Team Championship, which he held four times)
  • 5 Star Wrestling
    • 5 Star Wrestling Championship (1 time)[262]
    • One Night Tournament (2017)[263]
  • ACW Wisconsin
    • ACW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[264]
  • The Baltimore Sun
    • Tag Team of the Year (2008) – with The Miz[265]
  • Blackcraft Wrestling
    • BCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[266]
  • Continental Wrestling Federation
    • CWF United States Championship (1 time)[267]
  • DDT Pro-Wrestling
    • Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship (1 time)[268]
  • European Pro Wrestling
    • EPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[269]
  • Family Wrestling Entertainment
    • FWE Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[127]
  • Impact Wrestling
    • Impact World Championship (1 time)[270]
  • Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide
  • Lucha Underground
    • Lucha Underground Championship (1 time)[150]
    • Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods Championship (1 time)[149]
    • Lucha Underground Trios Championship (1 time) – with Jack Evans and PJ Black[271]
    • Second Triple Crown Champion
  • Mondo Lucha
    • Mondo Lucha Championship (1 time)[272]
    • Mondo Lucha Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Matt Cross[273]
  • Next Generation Wrestling
    • NGW World Championship (1 time)[274]
    • NGW World Title Tournament (2013)[275]
  • Ohio Valley Wrestling
    • OVW Southern Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Joey Matthews[2]
  • Pacific Coast Wrestling/PCW Ultra
    • PCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[276]
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2009)[277]
    • Tag Team of the Year (2005) – with Joey Mercury[277]
    • Ranked No. 24 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017[278]
  • Qatar Pro Wrestling
    • QPW Souq Waqif Championship (1 time)[279][280]
    • QPW Souq Waqif Title Tournament (2015)[281]
  • Rogue Wrestling
    • Rogue Championship (1 time)[282]
    • Rogue Championship Tournament (2019)
  • World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
    • ECW World Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Intercontinental Championship (3 times)
    • WWE Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Joey Mercury (3) and The Miz (1)
    • World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with The Miz
    • WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with The Miz[283]
    • ECW World Championship Tournament (2007)[284]
    • Tough Enough III (2003) with Matt Cappotelli[18]
    • Slammy Award (2 times)
      • Tag Team of the Year (2008) – with The Miz[69]
      • Best Exclusive (2008) – with The Miz[69]
  • World Series Wrestling
    • WSW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[285]
  • World Wrestling Fan Xperience
    • WWFX Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[286]
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Tag Team of the Year (2008) – with The Miz[287]


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