At the end of WWE Backstage on FS1 this week, WWE confirmed the long rumored return of former WWE Tag, Intercontinental and ECW Champion John Hennigan.
Hennigan, who competed under the WWE banner under numerous names. He was introduced to fans in 2002 under the name “Johnny Blaze”, before showing up the next week as “Johnny Spade.” 3 weeks later, he debuted the alias “Johnny Nitro”, where he’d breakout to become one of WWEs premiere players. Teaming with Joey Mercury under MNM, Nitro played a pivotal role as MNM would become a staple in WWEs tag team division. With Mercury, he won his first 3 of 5 Tag Team Championships before he and then real-life girlfriend Melina went to Raw in 2006. He spent the next year working television programs with John Cena and Jeff Hardy before going to ECW in 2007.
Morrison became notorious for taking advantage of one of WWEs biggest tragedies of recent memory, as he filled in for Chris Benoit at the 2007 Vengeance: Night of Champions event against CM Punk, winning the ECW World Championship just 2 days before the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Benoit Family was released to the public. Switching his persona to “The Tuesday Night Delight John Morrison”, his character shifted to that of a Hollywood Guru. He became the focal point of the brand for months until his first suspension under the Wellness Policy.
Upon return, he teamed with the Miz in one of the most popular tag team acts of the century. He did this until he went solo again in 2008. In December of 2011, Henigan opted to pursue other opportunity on the Independent Circuit, while healing a neck injury.
All in all, Hennigan’s first run with WWE was successful, albeit never reaching the pinnacle. He captivated fans with his otherworldly athleticism, combined with his personality and impressive physique. Since his departure, he has been a top figure on the independent wrestling scene as outside opportunity has grown more than ever. Winning prestigious belts worldwide such as the Impact World Championship, LU Championship, AAA Mega Championship, as well as multiple others, there’s no denying that even 8 years removed from his original stint and at 40 years of age, Hennjgan is as hot of a commodity as ever.
The return was originally reported by PWInsider 2 months ago, but shot down by both WWE and Hennigan. How WWE uses Hennigan toward the end of his career remains to be seen, however, he’s a prime return candidate for the upcoming Royal Rumble match, where he’s notorious for the “Spider-Man” save in 2011. The deal is multiple years and if the rumored deal has been reached between WWE and top female independent star Taya Valkyrie (Hennigan’s wife) is not clear at this time.
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