John Morrison’s return was on everyone’s minds since the rumours started floating last summer. After many months of speculation, WWE finally confirmed JoMo’s re-signing in the final few weeks of 2019, slowly re-introducing him to the mainstream audience through social media posts and an appearance on The Bump. Morrison was fairly cagey about his official return date, as were WWE, so many assumed that they would keep ‘The Shaman of Sexy’ tucked away until the right moment.
Of course, with the Royal Rumble approaching fast, plenty of fans were expecting Morrison to enter the Rumble match as a surprise, which would have made for an incredible return for the former Intercontinental Champion. The smarkier crowd would have given Morrison the necessary fanfare to make him look like a superstar once again. Having made a name for himself on the independents and adapting his character for a new generation of wrestling fans, Morrison deserved a huge comeback pop and a substantial run in the match itself to position him in either the upper mid-card or the main event scene.
However, Morrison emerged a little sooner than everyone expected.
As part of last week’s episode of SmackDown Live, Morrison’s former tag team partner, The Miz, announced him as his special guest on MizTV. Miz has recently undergone a renewed heel turn, aggressively assaulting Kofi Kingston after a singles match the week prior. It makes perfect sense for a heel Miz to realign with John Morrison, being that their team was one of the top heel acts of their time as part of WWE’s ECW and Friday Night SmackDown. Miz and Morrison were soon made to go their separate ways after a few tag team title runs, but they definitely left their mark as a duo.
It’s a great way to give Morrison an easy route back into the fray, but perhaps a little too safe? Morrison has instantly been reduced to just being another generic mid-carder, only used as a means to put eyes on The Miz. Both have a fantastic chemistry as a tag team, a chemistry which should certainly be exploited as part of his second run with the company, but it seems a little premature for WWE to forgo a potential main event run and insert Morrison straight back into a meagre feud with The New Day.
Admittedly the inevitable tag match between Miz/Morrison and The New Day is tantalising enough for me to want to watch it, but regardless, I can’t help but feel like I wanted and expected more from John Morrison upon his return. This feud with Kofi and Big E will run its course, leaving JoMo on a bit of a flat note for him to then struggle to try and springboard himself off of.
This isn’t to say that The New Day aren’t worthy opponents for Morrison upon his return, after all, Kofi became one of WWE’s top stars in the space of a few months in 2019. This might even be doing Kingston a huge favour, giving him a credible feud for him to sink his teeth into after being pushed to the curb after losing the WWE Championship. Kofi and JoMo both come from the same cohort of professional wrestlers, growing up in the OVW developmental system and breaking out onto the singles scene together as part of WWE’s ECW. Both men traded reigns with the IC and US titles and each spent plenty of time with the Tag titles. It’s definitely a match-up with a lot of history, a history which has become background amongst the heel turns and generic squabbles.
Of course there’s plenty of dream match material for WWE to start delving into once WrestleMania season comes around, but it might end up being less impressive than it should have been thanks to this less than spectacular return for ‘The Guru of Greatness’.
Luckily for JoMo, there was plenty of flash and flair during his first appearance. The rainbow pyro made a return, the swagger and retro entrance theme all gave Morrison the presence of a total megastar. Despite it being a lowly episode of SmackDown Live, fans were excited enough to give him a welcome return. Morrison became one of the biggest highlights of the show, which only goes to show how much star power he holds. Regardless, this might have been even bigger if it were saved for the Rumble, or even the following pay-per-view to save on that post-Rumble lull.
With WWE’s top-tier talent all lining up for a chance at competing in the Royal Rumble match, perhaps we’ll start seeing JoMo lay the foundations for some rivalries worthy of his star power. Superstars like AJ Styles, Ricochet and Shinsuke Nakamura could all share the same ring as ‘The Shaman of Sexy’, which could lead to some very intriguing match-ups after the dust has settled on this minor feud with The New Day. So there’s definitely room for things to improve as time goes on.
Morrison could still end up being the top star he deserves to be, but quite frankly, has that opportunity already passed WWE by? Will we see Morrison return to his former spot in the mid-card, or might he start to claw back some momentum during this tag feud alongside The Miz? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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