Johnny Elite made a surprise debut in AEW in June, entering as the Joker in the Owen Hart tournament. He was a huge get for the promotion having just been released by WWE earlier that year and looked in great shape as he wrestled his first match ever for Tony Khan’s company.
Previously named John Morrison in WWE, the former tag team champion was an exciting signing for AEW. The crowd roared when he made his entrance 18 May, 2022 edition of AEW Dynamite, instinctually knowing exactly who “Johnny Elite” was without it having to be explained.
John Morrison has previously gone by many names. In recent years he had started using the name of the promotion to fashion his new name, making him instinctively recognisable to the fans. He kept this up when he joined AEW, adding to a long list of names that include;
- John Morrison
- Johnny Blackcraft
- Johnny Blaze
- Johnny Caballero
- Johnny Downunder
- Johnny Elite
- Johnny Foxwoods
- Johnny Game Changer
- Johnny Hardy
- Johnny Impact
- Johnny Mundo
- Johnny Nitro
- Johnny Onyx
- Johnny Progress
- Johnny Spade
- Johnny Superstar
- Johnny Ultra
Sadly for the newly christened Johnny Elite, his first match in AEW did not go as planned. Despite being the surprise wrestler in the tournament, he fell in the first round to eventual finalist Samoa Joe. He looked sloppy in the match (as did Joe), so it is likely that they simply did not gel well and did not have good chemistry together.
He would pick up his first win a week later, defeating Marq Quen on AEW Dark to increase his win-loss record in AEW to 1-1. The fact he was wrestling on the Youtube show made it seem that he was signed full-time to the promotion, and such big unsigned stars usually are reserved for surprise appearances on Dynamite or Rampage.
Sadly, Johnny Elite’s AEW run would end soon after. Following his win over Quen, Tony Khan granted him the ability to offer an open challenge live on AEW Dynamite. Johnny Elite made his entrance and waited to see who would be his opponent for the evening.
Unluckily for him, Miro returned from a lengthy injury spell to defeat Elite in his first match back in the company in six months. It was a hammering blow for the former WWE star, who was now without a win on AEW Dynamite in his career. His defeat to Miro would also be his last appearances in AEW and he has not been seen in the promotion since.
Johnny Elite is no longer under contract with AEW
Fightful Select have confirmed that Johnny Elite is no longer under contract with AEW. The former ECW Champion last appeared in AEW since June 1st, 2022 where he was defeated by Miro on AEW Dynamite.
After his WWE release in November 2021, Johnny Elite wrestled all over the world under various names previously mentioned. He has also won championship gold, having recently held the AAA Mega Championship under the name Johnny Mundo.
Elite has not signed a full-time deal with AEW and was likely working on a pay-per-appearance deal with the company. Having been released by WWE last year he is likely wary of tying himself down to a long-term deal given how quickly he was released with no warning during a global pandemic.
Johnny Elite recently wrestled in Australia under the name Johnny DownUnder, where he won the WSW Heavyweight Championship. However, he has not wrestled since July, indication he could be taking some time off. Alternatively, he could be re-signing with WWE after Triple H took over from Vince McMahon, although that has yet to be confirmed.