After his injury angle on the RAW SuperShow to write him off of television, RAW Superstar John Morrison’s (John Hennigan) contract with the WWE expired on Wednesday (November 30). In a video on WWE.com, Interim RAW General Manager and Executive Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, in character, wished Morrison well in his future endeavors, sarcastically hoping that Morrison gets well soon and adding that he was not going to re-sign Morrison given his losing streak. This, plus Morrison’s profile being removed from the “Superstars” section of the site, signifies Morrison’s departure from the company.
There is not expected to be a formal “future endeavors” style announcement on WWE.com about his departure as the site typically only announces sudden contract releases, while Morrison’s contract expired.
John Hennigan’s WWE career began in 2002 when he, along with Matt Cappotelli, won Tough Enough III. Hennigan was then sent to OVW (WWE’s developmental territory at the time) to further his training. Hennigan made an appearance during a Bar Room Brawl at Vengeance 2003 and another during an episode of WWE Heat, where he teamed with Cappotelli in a losing effort.
On March 1, 2004, Hennigan made his official WWE debut on RAW as the apprentice and assistant of then RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff under the ring name, “Johnny Blaze”, before it was changed to “Johnny Spade” the following week. Three weeks later, a ring name was finally decided on as Hennigan became known as “Johnny Nitro”, a nod to WCW Monday Nitro. In June of that same year, Nitro was sent back to OVW with the storyline reason being given that he lost his job in a match against Eugene.
While back in OVW, Nitro was put with Joey Mercury and Melina to form the stable known as “MNM” (Mercury, Nitro, & Melina). In April of 2005, MNM made their SmackDown debut and, in their first match on SmackDown, they won the WWE Tag Team Titles from Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio. The team would rack up three reigns as WWE Tag Team Champions before being split up at Judgment Day in May of 2006, sending Nitro & Melina to RAW.
Johnny Nitro, with real-life girlfriend Melina at his side, gained quick success on RAW, winning the Intercontinental Title at Vengeance in June 2006. Nitro was then put into a feud with Jeff Hardy with the feud giving Nitro two additional reigns as the Intercontinental Champion. Later that same year, Nitro reunited with Joey Mercury to reform MNM as the newly reformed group feuded with The Hardys throughout December until Mercury was legitimately injured at Armageddon 2006. Mercury later returned from the injury as MNM once again reunited, facing The Hardys at the Royal Rumble and No Way Out in 2007 before Mercury was released from the WWE in March 2007 (though he was later rehired).
After Joey Mercury’s release, Johnny Nitro and Melina went in different directions, career-wise, as Melina was made into a contender for the Women’s Championship. During the WWE Draft in 2007, Nitro was drafted to the ECW brand, debuting for the brand on June 19. At Vengeance: Night of Champions in 2007, Nitro was called upon to replace Chris Benoit in a match against CM Punk for the vacant ECW World Championship, which Nitro won. A few weeks after winning the ECW World Title, Nitro’s name was changed to “John Morrison” and had his on-screen character tweaked to resemble legendary rock star, Jim Morrison (hence the name). Morrison eventually lost the ECW World Title to CM Punk and, shortly after the title loss, Morrison was suspended for 30 days for his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy.
After finishing up a feud with CM Punk, Morrison was put into a tag team with The Miz and the new heel tag team of Miz & Morrison would win their first WWE Tag Team Titles from MVP & Matt Hardy. Miz & Morrison then started a popular WWE.com series called “The Dirt Sheet”, which was co-wrote by the team. After losing the tag titles to Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder in a Triple Threat Tag Match (also involving Jesse & Festus), Miz & Morrison began a feud with Cryme Tyme. As 2008 came to a close, Miz & Morrison each won two Slammy Awards for “Tag Team of the Year” and “Best WWE.com Exclusive” on December 8. One week later, Miz & Morrison defeated CM Punk & Kofi Kingston to win the World Tag Team Titles. With WrestleMania approaching in 2009, Miz & Morrison began a feud with WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Carlito, which culminated in a Lumberjack Match at WrestleMania XXV where Primo & Carlito defeated Miz & Morrison to unify the WWE Tag Team and World Tag Team Titles.
As a part of the 2009 WWE Draft, The Miz was drafted to RAW before the tag team was split up with Miz turning on Morrison while Morrison was drafted to SmackDown two days later in the Supplemental Draft. After feuds with Shelton Benjamin and Chris Jericho, Morrison had his first World Heavyweight Title match against Jeff Hardy, but failed to win the title. On September 4, Morrison defeated Rey Mysterio to win his third Intercontinental Title. Morrison would defend the title against Superstars such as Dolph Ziggler and Eric Escobar before losing the title to Drew McIntyre at WWE TLC. After forming a team with R-Truth, facing The Hart Dynasty for the Unified WWE Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania XXVI in a losing effort, Morrison was drafted to RAW as a part of the 2010 Draft. After a fairly uneventful 2010 where he mentored Eli Cottonwood for season two of WWE NXT and was a part of a 7-on-7 Elimination Tag Match where Team WWE faced The Nexus at SummerSlam, Morrison kicked off 2011 challenging former tag team partner The Miz for the WWE Championship in a Falls Count Anywhere Match, but did not win the title.
Later in the year, the problems between Morrison and WWE management began when Morrison was placed in a 6-Person Intergender Tag Match, teaming with Trish Stratus and Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi at WrestleMania XXVII. The problems began because Morrison was less than kind to the legendary Trish Stratus due to Morrison believing that his girlfriend, Melina, should have been included in the match.
Morrison later suffered a pinched nerve in his neck and underwent surgery to repair, being put on the shelf for a while. For the majority of 2011, Morrison was still placed in Intercontinental Title and United States Title matches, but failed to win any of the titles. After girlfriend Melina was released in August, the talks began that Morrison was on his way out of the company. In his last appearance on WWE television on the November 28 edition of the RAW SuperShow, Morrison was booked in a Falls Count Anywhere Match against The Miz (ironically the same match the two faced off in for the WWE Title at the beginning of the year), where Miz assaulted the ankle of Morrison, sending him face-first into a stage piece, and planting Morrison with the Skull Crushing Finale on the steel stage, rendering Morrison unable to continue and having to be rolled out of the arena on a stretcher. In his WWE career, Morrison was a one-time ECW World Champion, three-time Intercontinental Champion, one-time World Tag Team Champion, four-time WWE Tag Team Champion, and two-time Slammy Award winner. The current rumor is that John Morrison will soon be heading to TNA, along with Melina.
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