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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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Author: Joey     Date: March 22nd, 2012     Filed In: Interviews, Morrison News

John Morrison recently did an “Under the Ring” interview with Poughkeepsie Journal’s Phil Strum. John spoke on a variety of topics. Here is the interview:

John Hennigan is looking forward to facing Finlay in the main event of Northeast Wrestling’s Wrestlefest 16 at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Poughkeepsie-s Mid-Hudson Civic Center.

It will be the first domestic wrestling match for Hennigan, known in WWE as John Morrison, since he left WWE in late November.

“The door is open to go back,” Hennigan said of his current relationship with WWE. “I left on really good terms with everybody and what I wanted to do was take time off to heal, get refreshed and take a little vacation. Shows like this are a fun show and a way to keep sharp. I really like wrestling. That’s why I do it. I was working a 250-plus day a year schedule and I wanted to be refreshed. Right before I left, I felt like I was going to work. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as when I started. I’m excited to come to Poughkeepsie and do all this stuff. That’s the kind of attitude you need to have in sports entertainment,”

He said that he views Finlay as a mentor, as Finlay was a producer in WWE when he got to the company and worked with him a lot.

“He’s someone I really look up to,” Hennigan said. “But I’m also looking to kick his (butt).”

Hennigan said that Finlay’s tough-guy reputation is what that’s been earned.

“He was in the Irish army. He has thousands of stories of wrestling in Germany and having to fight off mobs of German fans. He’s been in all kinds of fights and has seen all kinds of crazy things. He’s one of those guys who can kill you 55 different ways. He knows all the little subtleties of nerve holds and joint manipulation. He’s one of the last guys you’d ever want to be in a real fight with, except that I am going to be in a fight with him in Poughkeepsie! He is a great guy. He’s always, on the road, telling stories and hanging out with the guys of the younger generation.”

These days, Hennigan said he is working on a variety of projects.

“I’m doing improv shows. I’m going on auditions and working on that. That’s a hard thing to explain. in Los Angeles, everybody you talk to is in acting…”

“They all have a story that goes something like this. ‘Oh my God, I was in the last callback for Entourage. If I would have made that one audition, I would have been huge.’ Everybody in L.A. has that story. So it’s kind of hard to say how it’s going. I’ve gotten good, positive feedback. The improv shows are really fun. I’m looking at those, also with a purpose behind it, as a way to work on my promos. That’s was something I was always lacking a bit. I never had that one breakthrough promo like Stone Cold Steve Austin did with Austin 3:16 or like CM Punk did when he ran down everything that was wrong with WWE. Improv is a good tool to keep your mind sharp.”

Hennigan said he and Chris Jericho have spoken about the latter’s positive experience doing improv.

“He definitely mentioned a positive experience,” Hennigan said. “I started doing improv during Tough Enough. It was a cool thing and I definitely saw all the correlations to wrestling and how it would help. Good wrestling is physical improv. It’s kind of like the same thing, but with slightly different tools.”

Hennigan, who won Tough Enough III in 2002 with Matt Cappotelli, said he didn’t get a lot of resentment when he broke into the business that way.

“When Matt Cappotelli and I first got to Ohio Valley Wrestling, there a little bit of a stigma attached. We had just come off TV and had made some good contacts. There were guys that had been there three or four or five years, far more talented than us. So there was a little resentment. But if you look at wrestling in general, it happens all the time. There’s always going to be the football player or the guy that gets a huge contract who isn’t that talented in wrestling. One thing that helped me is that as everybody got to know me, they got to know that I really care about wrestling and I worked very hard. There was a little bit of a testing period, but for me, it was never really a big issue.”

As far as his athletic background, heading into wrestling, Hennigan felt that he had a good base getting into the business.

“I wasn’t really so much a gymnast, but I practiced gymnastics. I also did martial arts. I wanted to be like a Hollywood stuntman. I did everything I could to prepare for that. That was huge, coming from that background. I had a lot more aerial coordination from all the hours I was spending in the gym. I could jump and twist and flip. All that skill set had a lot of carry-over into wrestling…how many steps to take between the ropes. The footwork. A lot of subtleties that people might not notice.”

He said although he might not have had the upbringing of independent wrestling that many of his colleagues had, he still has had experience in front of all sorts of crowds.

“I haven’t done too much of it, and even the shows I have done, like this one and the one in the Phillipines are stacked cards and comparable to a WWE card. It is pretty cool. But I was in OVW for two or three years and we had hundreds of shows at bingo halls and national guard armories throughout Southern Indiana and Kentucky and Ohio. I know what it’s like wresting in front of 20 to 50 people.”

Another project Hennigan wanted to mention that he was working on was something called “Out of Your Mind Fitness.” Instead of me trying to explain it, you should probably take a look at their YouTube channel here.

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