John Morrison has revealed why his name changed so frequently in WWE and the names you may not know he even had. He was known as Johnny Nitro in WWE during his early career, when fighting alongside Melina and Joey Mercury as MNM, and when he won the ECW Championship against CM Punk at Vengeance 2007.
However, soon after winning the ECW Championship, Johnny Nitro changed his name. It was an abrupt change, coming during a promo after years of being known by the name Johnny Nitro. Never had a character repackaging been so blatant, and frankly lazy. Usually a wrestler would be taken off TV for a number of weeks, before video packages would introduce this new character. Usually they would not even acknowledge they were the previous incarnation of themselves, although with him holding the ECW World Championship it was hard to ignore that aspect.
The former Tough Enough winner went on to have a great career in WWE. He won mutliple tag team championships, was a former Intercontinental Champion and challenged for the WWE Championship on multiple occasions. He also used his parkour skills to good use, being the first man (NOT Kofi Kingston) to do the annual “Amazing Royal Rumble Escape” trick in the WWE.
John Morrison went through many names in WWE. He started off as Johnny Blaze, but Marvel soon put a stop to that (that was the same name as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four). He then became Johnny Spade, before becoming Johnny Nitro and finally settling on John Morrison, which he kept for a number of years. He has also been known as John Hennigan, and in his brief run in AEW he was called Johnny Elite.
During Brian Soscia’s recent interview with John Morrison, the former WWE Superstar detailed why his name changed so often and why he changed his name from Johnny Nitro to John Morrison;
“Just classic wrestling stuff. People are wishy washy. Honestly, it was because I wanted to be Johnny Blaze. Johnny Blaze was my character at OVW. I had all these fancy fire catchphrases, call the fire department, get your fire extinguishers out, ladies. By the time you hear the thunder it’s going to be too late because the lighting will have already struck. That was all my thing. And then I debuted as Johnny Blaze and WWE promptly received a cease and desist from Marvel, who had copyrighted the name Johnny Blaze for Ghost Rider.
“It switched then to Johnny Spade, which is basically a rip off of Johnny Ace. A week later it changed to Johnny Nitro, mostly because I really did not like Johnny Spade. Johnny Nitro was an homage to Eric Bischoff, who I was his apprentice at the time. I liked that name. Basically Vince McMahon thought that Nitro reminded him of WCW and when I became the ECW Champion, like, he had a couple times mentioned to me, if you’re going to be a real star you need a real name.
“Just one day he was all, you’ve got to change your name. So I made a list of names that day, mostly movie star names. John Brando Morrison, Dean Brando Morrison, Brando Brando Brando, anyway, a whole bunch of weird things. I had a couple Johnny Hollywood type things in there too. They just eventually settled on John Morrison because they liked my look as compared to Jim Morrison. It’s what they went with and it’s what I’m known as now.”
John Morrison is currently a free agent in wrestling, and fights all over the independent scene under a variety of different names. Below is a list of every name he has used in wrestling in multiple promotions all across the globe.
- 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
He is rumoured to be returning to WWE under Triple H, although no confirmation of John Morrison returning has been announced by the WWE.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.