Ex-WWE Superstar John Morrison has heaped praise on his former Tag Team Partner The Miz for his longevity in the company, describing the former WWE champion and 6-time Intercontinental Champion as a ‘rare’ character.
Speaking to the Buzzards Wrestling Podcast in association with Sportskeeda, about British promotion 5 Star Wrestling’s upcoming 128 man tournament being held across the UK over 30 weeks, in which his title is up for grabs, the now Lucha Underground star, who is also known as Johnny Mundo, lifted the lid on working with The Miz, whether he’d like to return to WWE and he spoke about his new movie, Boone The Bounty Hunter.
Q: First of all, on 5 Star Wrestling's 128 man tournament, the biggest in professional wrestling, this is extremely bold and ambitious, isn't it?
"Some might even say crazy... I'm sure Dan (Hinckles, the 5 Star promoter and owner) is feeling the heat right now but I will say, everybody in the wrestling business is crazy. It's part of the fun and part of the reason why we do it.”
“It's really cool to work for a company like 5 Star that has a grand vision, because it's an opportunity for me to be a part of history and a part of something really cool, that I think I'm going to really like doing and I think people are really going to like watching too."
Q: You are the 5 Star Wrestling Champion and were involved earlier this year in the first ever live wrestling show on British TV held by them, so is this tournament the exclamation point to their ambitions and about putting them on the wrestling map?
"I've been involved in 5 Star Wrestling since its inception and as far as the exclamation point, I think this tournament is much bigger than an exclamation point. This tournament is the biggest in wrestling history and 5 Star is on the map now and with the beginning of this tournament on June 10th in Liverpool, this tournament is going to define 5 Star Wrestling.”
“This is going to be the identity of the company and after that, where it goes, is why wrestling is so interesting because it's going to be fun seeing what happens with this tournament and what happens after as well."
Q: The tournament includes a host of ex-WWE Superstars like Carlito, Shelton Benjamin and Chris Masters but also Moose from Impact, Shane Strickland from Lucha Underground and British stars like Zack Gibson, Nathan Cruz and Flash Morgan Webster, so something to please everybody?
"I think that's the other thing that's cool about 5 Star. It's a global promotion. You've also got Rob Van Dam, Rey Mysterio on the list and then El Ligero from the UK. It's going to be a fusion of wrestling styles from all over the world.”
"If you're a fan of wrestling, all of those names have to mean something to you, and what wrestling is to me, is the interaction of the people in the ring and with the crowd, the people watching.”
“My favourite matches are where I go in and I'm wrestling someone that has a clear identity, people know who they are, I have a clear identity, people know who I am and all I really need to do is be me. The wrestling and everything else takes care of itself and with that depth of roster, the types of match-ups and the number of match-ups and original matches you're going to get are off the chain.
Q: Is there anybody in the line-up that you haven't faced yet that you'd like to wrestle?
"A lot of the UK talent. El Ligero is someone who's been high on my list for some time, in terms of someone I've wanted to get in the ring with and a lot of that talent that you mentioned are people that I have had matches with, Shelton, Carlito, Shane Strickland, RVD, Rey Mysterio.”
"Some of the best matches I've had in my career have been with those guys and it's going to be really cool to wrestle them again in the UK and to wrestle a lot of the new talent from the UK that I haven't had a chance to work with yet."
Q: How do you look back on your time in WWE, fondly or was there more that you wanted to do?
"All of the above. I really loved my time with WWE, the roster, the buildings I got to perform in, the travelling. It was tiring and gruelling yes but when I think back on it now, I just think about all the fun times I had travelling with all the guys and the matches I got to do."
Q: I was watching back your WWE.com series 'The Dirt Sheet' with The Miz and it looked like it was so much fun to do. Do you concur?
“I think the reason it was fun to watch and to do was because Miz and I found this little loophole and niche and we had creative autonomy. Not full creative autonomy, because we still had to run ideas by people, but Miz and I, we wrote the episodes of The Dirt Sheet while we were travelling from town to town.”
“We got to a TV taping and we would go into the pre-tapes room and we would usually get 1 hour to tape our episode and it was really cool. It was creatively fulfilling and it gave us a chance to get our personalities across to fans of WWE in a way we didn’t get because it’s really hard to get TV time, in which you can do that kind of talking and cut those kins of promos.”
Q: What have you made of what The Miz has done with his career and the fact he's still there after 11 years on the main roster?
“I can’t say I’m surprised (by his longevity)… He’s an extremely hard-working guy and one thing to note on successful professional wrestlers, in my opinion, is people believing their own hype, living their own gimmick, people who are emphatically themselves, The Miz is all those things.”
“I think that's why, when you’re watching him, he seems like The Miz all the time, there’s no slipping in and out of character and that's because he’s doing him, that’s who he is, obviously with the volume turned up on TV.”
“It’s rare that you can find somebody that’s so all-encompassing as a character and I think that's why he’s been so successful.”
Q: You're obviously very busy at the moment with 5 Star, Lucha Underground and your new movie but would you like to return to WWE at some point?
“Right now, I couldn’t be happier with Lucha Underground. It’s really enabled me to do some of the things that I wanted to leave WWE to do, like my movie, Boone The Bounty Hunter, aside from that, I've been an actor in 15 other low budget movies, I've done maybe a dozen TV shows.”
“Aside from that, I feel the work that I've done for Lucha Underground is the best of my career, so am I interested in going back? Possibly and when, if, how, I don’t know. But I’m really happy with where I am, with Lucha Underground and now with the start of this 5 Star Wrestling tour, the biggest tournament in wrestling history, I feel like I’ve got a lot going on.”
“I’ve got places to work, as much as I want to, if I want to and I have the option to take more time off to do more film and TV projects.”
Q: Lucha Underground is full of creativity and also your movie, you've been really hands on with that?
"As an actor, I've done 15 or so movies, a tonne of stunt and cardio training in general but as far as having creative autonomy within movies, the first movie I've done as a writer, producer and star is Boone The Bounty Hunter."
"I've spent about 4 and a half years on it, from picking up a laptop, writing it to revising it, to trying to raise money, to not finding money, to finding some money, to having that guy flake, to figuring out a way to fund the entire project, to shooting it, to doing pick-ups, to doing rounds and rounds of posts and revisions and re-shoots, to finding a distribution company and getting it released in the States.”
"The distribution company, Vision Films, are at Cannes Film Festival right now selling 'Boone' internationally. Potentially, they could be making a deal for distribution in the UK, as we speak. That whole process has been fascinating. It's been something I've been interested in my whole life and I think having the opportunity to do that and purse that has been really cool for me.”
"What's also been cool is that training for 'Boone The Bounty Hunter' has really levelled up my Parkour and unlocked a lot of things for me in a wrestling environment as well."
Q: Lucha Underground is innovative in the way it's filmed and their style has been lovingly borrowed by Impact with the Total Non Stop Deletion and WWE's House of Horrors. Is that a compliment because Lucha Underground was the first promotion to try it?
"Totally agree. I feel like Lucha Underground was the first promotion that's really integrated the gritty, action movie feel with wrestling. Shooting the vignettes that stitch Lucha Underground together, with coverage like a TV show or a movie has set that trend.
"You're right, the Total Deletion and WWE House of Horrors and even some of the costumes in WWE, I feel the trends were started in Lucha Underground."
5 Star Wrestling's 128 man tournament begins on June 10th in Liverpool and will last 30 weeks at arenas across the UK, with tickets on sale now for the first 9 dates at www.5starwrestling.co.uk.
John Morrison's movie 'Boone The Bounty Hunter is available now on VOD, via iTunes, Amazon Prime and Google Play.
Feel free to use excerpts of this interview citing The Buzzards Wrestling Podcast and Sportskeeda.com
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