John Morrison is back in WWE. The former Impact Wrestling World champion was recently announced as having rejoined Vince McMahon’s company and fans all over the world are now wondering what will happen next.
But the WWE faithful has been here before. A veteran Superstar returns after an extended absence, only to find himself at the mercy of WWE Creative. The same is true for almost everyone on the roster of course. But for talents like Morrison, the drama is almost always amplified. So what makes this situation any different?
Expectations for any returning Superstar are high but that’s especially true for the veterans. More is expected because the amount of time served and that’s understandable. After all, WWE brought that veteran back for a reason. At some point, someone in the company believed that person could contribute to the overall product.
But fan expectation must be tempered because of WWE. The company often gets in its own way and that’s always been true when it comes to how the talents are booked. A returning Superstar may come back on a high note and bound for the main event. But then that Superstar often falls right down to the bottom in a matter of weeks.
John Morrison returns to the whimsical nonsense of WWE…
This was the case for Drew McIntyre, who also came back to WWE after a successful stint in Impact Wrestling. Drew’s potential was seemingly limitless, just as it had been during his first run in WWE. But just like the last time, McIntyre now seems to have fallen short. He came in with a spark, but he’s perhaps fizzled out. WWE has a bad habit of icing down a red-hot Superstar at the absolute worst time. When that happens, all forward progress is lost.
So now that Morrison is on his way back, just how excited should the fans be for his return? Is there truly a reason to believe that he will come in on top and remain there for the duration? Even AJ Styles was made to fall in line with everyone else when he arrived in WWE. It took some time before he climbed the ladder. Will the same now be said of John Morrison?
Then there’s the fact that the signing of Morrison is already being viewed by many as just another example of Vince McMahon collecting talent. WWE has done it for quite some time and that’s especially true over the last year, as AEW has become a player in the industry. The idea seems to be that if WWE grabs the hot ticket, then AEW can’t have it and neither anyone else.
John Morrison’s greatest moments in WWE
While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, the fact is that too much of anything can become an issue. WWE has so much talent that there’s really no way to properly handle them all. Superstars come in with promise and with a buzz, but they ultimately fall by the wayside. However, they’re bound to the contracts they signed, which means they’re not going anywhere.
The problem is that many of these talents have the ability to carry a significant portion of the program. But when they’re only being added to the roster as a means to an end, then any opportunity for them to advance is thrown out the window. John Morrison would be a great addition to any locker room and could conceivably rise to the top fairly quickly. But will that be the case in WWE?
The truth is that fans can only deal with what’s in front of them. The speculation game can be played with anyone in WWE but the possibilities are perhaps more encouraging for fans to ponder. So when it comes to John Morrison, what’s the first move? Does he come in red hot but cool down in four weeks? Or will WWE truly build around him in a top storyline?
One potentially explosive angle would involve Seth Rollins. Rollins is on the verge of becoming the most despicable heel in WWE. He’s already one of the most hated Superstars on the roster and it’s obvious that the company is planing a major heel run for him. Why not pair him with Morrison?
The moment John’s music hit and he interrupted Seth in the ring would instantly be one of the most talked about spots in WWE. Morrison would immediately rocket to the forefront and a program with him and Seth could tear the house down on any given night. Of course that would perhaps be a problem because of Kevin Owens, who is being positioned as the top babyface on Monday Night Raw. But John would definitely be an exciting addition to the show.
Relive Morrison versus Ray Fenix in Impact!
Then there’s the aforementioned AJ Styles, who is currently riding high with The O.C. Introducing Morrison into that equation would bode well for John, who could make it his mission to bring the group down. What about Shinsuke Nakamura on Friday Night SmackDown? A face-off between John and The King of Strong Style would surely be a dream match for WWE fans.
Then of course there’s the world champions. Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt are both on top of the company right now. If John Morrison came in and challenged either man, it would instantly be the primary angle in the company. But Brock rarely ever loses and The Fiend never loses. So perhaps this would not be a positive move for John’s short-term main event career?
Of course John may not come back as a babyface. In that case, he would possibly face-off with Roman Reigns. That seems to be a predictable path that WWE would take, but it’s one that could become very entertaining very quickly. Randy Orton would be a great opponent for Morrison as well, which could lead to a double turn in the end. But a WWE return without The Miz, Morrison’s former tag team partner, would perhaps not be the same. So a war between those two men could be on the way.
The only thing standing in John Morrison’s way is WWE. He’s apparently healthy and he seems ready to come back. He’s got the right attitude and the right motivation. All he needs is a logical direction and a good bit of momentum. If WWE delivers in both of these key areas, then John Morrison could become one of the biggest Superstars on the roster. The speculation game continues.
Tom Clark is a Senior Pro Wrestling Analyst and Featured Columnist for Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live