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From his high-flying skills to his ability to make you laugh, John Hennigan is an all around great guy. From wrestler (also comedian), as well as a fitness magician, John has stepped into several amazing roles throughout his career.
The Guru of Greatness
Real Name: John Randall Hennigan
WWE Ring Name: John Morrison
Birthday: October 3, 1979 (35)
Born/Billed: Los Angeles, California
Weight/Height: 6'1"/224 LBS
Trained: SPW staff, Tough Enough III trainers, and OVW Staff
Wrestling Debut: January 27, 2003
WWE Debut: April 2005
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This week, we’re looking back at Morrison’s first Elimination Chamber match with a repost from 02/17/2012.
In 2010, Morrison participated in his first Elimination Chamber during the Smackdown match for the World Heavyweight Championship on the EC PPV. The match also featured The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, and R-Truth. Like Morrison, this was Truth’s first EC match, but he only lasted a few minutes before Punk eliminated him. The four other wrestlers had some Chamber experience. Jericho had the most, as this was his fifth EC match. The Undertaker had been in two previous Chamber matches and won the Smackdown-ECW one in 2008. This match was the second EC for both Mysterio and Punk (although does the Chamber match at December to Dismember really count?)
Morrison entered second and therefore didn’t start the match, but rather was locked in one of the pods. This didn’t stop Straight Edge Society Punk from taunting him and condemning his “decadent rock life” during his mid-match promo. Morrison was third man out of the pod. When he entered, Jericho and Mysterio were the two men in the ring because after getting rid of Truth, Punk was eliminated by Rey.
When JoMo enters, he goes for Jericho, who he wrestled when he was first drafted to Smackdown. After knocking him down with a few clotheslines and a dropkick, Morrison hits Rey with a spinning heel kick, before throwing Jericho outside onto the steel. JoMo and Rey go back and forth in the ring. Morrison tries to throw him outside, but Mysterio lands on his feet. Rey tries to springboard back into the ring, but is kicked in the head by JoMo. The kick is amazing and earns Morrison some applause, along with a “That was awesome!” chant from an appreciative crowd.
In the meantime, Jericho reenters the ring and tries to sneak up on Morrison, but is unsuccessful. They go to the ropes. Y2J reverses a knee strike by JoMo and rolls him for a two count. Jericho maintains control and whips Morrison into the corner before running at him. He kicks Jericho and is about to come off the top turnbuckle, when Mysterio pushes him backwards and into the Lexan of the pod behind him. He crumbles to floor and recovers, while Mysterio and Jericho go at it again.
While the two are fighting outside the ring, Morrison runs and launches himself over the corner post to hit both men with a flying clothesline. It’s a move that looks inspired by a flying kong vault, which is a parkour move. Matt Striker actually mentions it on commentary. Morrison lands on his feet. I don’t think I will ever stop being impressed by JoMo’s amazing sense of balance. While Jericho’s still down, JoMo hits him with a stiff kick the ribs. Mysterio re-enters the ring and Morrison follows him. He hits a standing shooting star press and goes for a pin, but only gets a two count.
Rey reverses JoMo’s Irish whip and sets him up for the 619, but Jericho stops him with an Argentinian backbreaker. A pin attempt gives Morrison time to get off the ropes and recover. He hits Jericho with a Flying Chuck. Mysterio attacks JoMo with a flying headscissors that forces him face first into the second turnbuckle. Rey forces him onto the top buckle and tries for a hurricanrana, which Morrison blocks. Mysterio falls onto the mat and in perfect position for Starship Pain. Morrison hits it and eliminates Mysterio.
Morrison turns to Jericho hitting him with an uppercut, along with some knees and kicks to the mid-section. He becomes distracted and stops attacking Y2J to watch Mysterio leave the ring. When he returns his attention back to Jericho, Y2J counters his next kick into the Walls of Jericho. However, five minutes have passed and the last pod is opened, releasing The Undertaker. Jericho lets go of the hold to confront him.
JoMo gets time to rest while Taker and Jericho go at it. He pulls himself up and is clotheslined over the top to the steel grating outside. When Morrison returns to the ring, Taker catches him by the neck. He already has Jericho. Before Undertaker can do anything, Jericho and JoMo kick him in the mid-section and suplex him. Taker fights back up, but together Jericho and Morrison clothesline him over the top. Y2J and Morrison again go at it. Jericho misses an enzugiri and quickly rolls him up with a la magistral for a very close two count. Jericho rolls outside and hits JoMo with a shoulder through the ropes. He backdrops him onto the steel.
Morrison climbs back into the ring and pulls himself up into the corner. The Undertaker, having put down Jericho, splashes him into the corner twice. He then lifts Morrison up and hits the snake eyes. However, Morrison quickly recovers and hits Taker with the Flying Chuck as he’s running towards him. This is the point when he starts selling the ankle. Part of Morrison’s storyline at the time was that he had broken his right ankle during a match with R-Truth. The common belief now is the break was kayfabe, but I think he did actually injure ankle, because he still mentions it as a problem area.
The Undertaker is still laid out on the mat, but instead of going for a pin, he decides to go for Starship Pain again. Taker gets his knees up. He is able to sit up, but is still groggy from JoMo’s kick. He throws Morrison over the top and he lands on the back. Taker hits him with two strikes and throws him into the Lexan of the pod Jericho’s hiding in. He pushes his head against it while taunting Y2J. The crowd chants “One more time!” but instead Undertaker attempts a powerbomb. Jericho leaves the pod and rushes Taker and pushes him back. Morrison grabs the side of the Chamber and holds on while they fight below him.
He turns and splashes Jericho, earning some applause. Both Jericho and Morrison go back into the ring, where Morrison hits the running knee and pins Y2J for a two count. He’s about to go for another Flying Chuck, but he is caught throat first by Undertaker, who chokeslams him outside the ring. Taker pulls him back into the ring and goes for a cover. He gets a three and eliminates Morrison. JoMo had nothing to be ashamed of as he was impressive against three established veterans in Mysterio, Jericho, and Undertaker. I think Morrison’s performance in this match doesn’t get the credit it deserves and is often unfairly overlooked. However, with that being said, it’s not as amazing as his 2011 one, which we’ll look at next week.
I found an interview JoMo did right before this match with Kevin Eck (who was with The Baltimore Sun at the time.) He talks about preparing for the Chamber. I thought his comments were interesting.
Eck: You’re in one of the Elimination Chamber matches Sunday. Do you prepare differently or have a different mind-set when you’re going into a gimmick match such as that? Do you watch tapes of past Elimination Chamber matches?
Morrison: I wouldn’t say necessarily a different mind-set. You definitely have to be more psyched-up and ready than you would for a normal match. I know for sure in an Elimination Chamber match or a ladder match, you just have to prepare yourself for pain because you know that it’s going to hurt. You just have to get over the fact and accept that, “All right, this match is going to really hurt, so I’m not going to worry about that until after the match. I’m just going to go in, do everything that I need to do, stay focused and not lose my mental concentration.” That’s usually the best way to go into it. And, yeah, I have been watching a lot of old Elimination Chamber matches. I’m really excited because I think this has the potential to be the best chamber match that they’ve ever had. Both matches do, but I think the Smackdown one in particular, because it’s my first chamber match; it’s R-Truth’s first chamber match; you got Rey, Punk, Jericho and Undertaker in there also. So I think the potential for a lot of innovative, interesting and original stuff is all there.
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