A former WWE star has come out swinging against the establishment, saying that indie wrestling is the new “hot” scene.
John Morrison (AKA Johnny Impact, Johnny Mundo, or Johnny Nitro) left the WWE six years ago over creative differences and “more control over [his] time”. Since then, Morrison began wrestling on the independent circuit, gaining experience overseas before returning to North America to wrestle for Lucha Underground under the ring name Johnny Mundo.
Morrison found great success there becoming the first Triple Crown champion in the company's history, having held the Lucha Underground Championship, the Gift of the Gods Championship and the Lucha Underground Trios Championship.
Morrison's star continued to rise in 2015 after joining Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (AAA) where he is the current reigning AAA Mega Champion as well as the former AAA Latin American and AAA World Cruiserweight Champions (as well the first wrestler in history to hold all three titles simultaneously).
Now, Morrison joined Impact Wrestling (formerly Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) where he hopes to become the Global Champion.
In an interview with the Mirror, Morrison says that the best wrestlers aren’t found in the WWE, but on the independent circuit.
"In my opinion the cutting edge of professional wrestling, the coolest stuff is happening on the edge, on the fringes, at independent wrestling shows. People are lifelong fans of WWE because they grew up on it. I grew up on it. I want my kids to watch it and I'm going to take them to shows. But the product feels watered down. It doesn't feel as cool as it does to wrestle for DEFY in Seattle. Because at that show, it feels like a smarter audience that expects more and there's no creative limitations. I don't feel there's any limits to the story I can tell. That's cool man."
WWE contracts prevent their wrestlers for wrestling for other promotions, but independent promotions like Impact allow their wrestlers to compete wherever they want. This allows Morrison to battle in as many different events as his schedule allows.
As for why Morrison decided to sign on with Impact, he was offered a regular slot in their Thursday night show without requiring him to dump his current gig with AAA. “It seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up," he admits.
While certainly pleased to be wrestling with Impact, Morrison remains critical of the promotion resting on their laurels in the past. "Impact was hot and it was cutting edge when they had AJ Styles, Samoa Joe,” Morrison recalls. “Then they fell into that kind of WCW trap, where they said 'we've got money, let's get the biggest stars'... but the biggest stars aren't cutting edge usually."
At 38, Morrison is on the older side when it comes to wrestling but says that fighting against up and coming talent keeps him in top form. “It's really forcing me to stay in the best shape of my life and with regard to my wrestling, to keep evolving, keep figuring out what to do to stay competitive with these young lions man.”
Morrison competes for the Global Championship at Bound For Glory Nov. 5, 2017, in Ottawa, Canada.