After eight years away from a WWE ring, John Morrison has returned. The WWE Superstar, known for his impressive athletic prowess, has reunited with his old tag team partner The Miz. The two will challenge The New Day for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship at Super ShowDown in Riyadh on Thursday, February 27.
Before the big event, we were able to catch up with Morrison. The wrestler, 40, shares with us how he feels returning to the WWE, his thoughts on heading to Saudi Arabia and what he learnt about himself and the wrestling scene while he was away.
How does it feel to be back in the WWE after eight years?
“Surreal. I never really meant to leave for as long as I did. I travelled all over the world for a bunch of different companies but you can’t compare wrestling for WWE to wrestling for any other place. It is the biggest platform for wrestling in the world. Every detail is done to perfection.”
What are your thoughts on going to Saudi Arabia for the first time?
"I'm excited. I've been to the Middle East before, but I am big on 'first time ever' experiences and I've seen Crown Jewel and it just looked wild. I'm excited for this and I can't wait to feel the energy of the crowd."
Has anyone in the locker room offered any tips for competing in the kingdom?
“The general consensus is that it’s very hot. Be prepared to wrestle in a very hot place.”
During your time away from the WWE, you explored other opportunities. What were some things you learnt about yourself or about the wrestling scene while you were away?
“The first time I was with WWE I feel like I was still growing up. It’s crazy that, while you are with WWE, it’s like an express train – you just fly through life leaving a great legacy and creating content that is seen all over the world. It does mean you can miss a lot of things about life that people in other jobs don’t miss, like family occasions.”
Did it help give you a fresh perspective on things?
“It can sometimes be difficult to be introspective about who you are as a person when you are so focused on who you are as a performer. It was so important to unlock who I was as a person, because those things should go hand in hand. While I was away I realised I really enjoy having creative autonomy and storytelling, and it was great to realise that because that’s what professional wrestling is. The main thing is that I really feel now that I know what I want and what’s important.”
Coming back to the WWE, what do you hope to accomplish both in and out of the ring?
“If you asked me that question 10 years ago the answer would be to main-event WrestleMania and that is still the answer, but because there are a lot of things about wrestling you can’t control it is really now about being the best version of myself. Keeping up physically and unlocking new movement patterns is something I’m always interested in, different combinations of movements. Outside of the ring it is about realising the people closest to me are the most important.”