“The Prince of Parkour” John Morrison has wowed wrestling fans with his high risk offense and Spidey-like defense. From 15-foot leaps off WWE sets to cat-walking over barricades, Morrison definitely gives fans a reason to watch. But is his style making him into a main event star or merely a special attraction?
Recently, The Miz listed superstars who critics believed would have been WWE Champion if not for the interferences of Alex Riley and Michael Cole. John Morrison, who despite being attacked by Riley during his championship bout, was absent from the list, indicating that he’s not a serious threat.
Not to sell him short, Morrison is a former 3-time Intercontinental champion and a tag team specialist, with two of his associations ranking him in PWI’s 25 Greatest WWE Tag Teams of All-Time, but his commitment to generate a positive reaction from the fans every night is keeping him from becoming a viable World Champion.
An instance where parkour cost JoMo a valuable win was during last Monday’s Raw Royal Rumble. Instead of focusing his attention on eliminating the other six competitors, Morrison concentrated on his parkour to keep from being eliminated. After a few suspenseful close calls, it was Morrison’s failure to telegraph Sheamus’ Brogue Kick that finally knocked him over.
Now, instead of contending for the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Morrison will have to compete inside of the structure for a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XXVII. And though the steel chain-links of the chamber may call for parkour, Morrison would be wise to elevate his offense and to use parkour for evading elimination only.
Since the start of the year, Randy Orton and Jerry Lawler have stayed consistent by taking turns at Miz’ WWE title, while Morrison continues to struggle through the mid-card ranks. What Morrison needs to do is start flapping his gums if he ever wants another shot at the WWE Title.
Morrison used to be a great interview during his rebirth in ECW as “The Shaman of Sexy.” His Shaman gimmick allowed his natural arrogance to captivate fans, and feel comfortable holding a microphone. But since leaving his rule breaking ways, he’s had trouble adjusting to a more fan-friendly persona.
Morrison doesn’t have to pander to the crowd with parkour to get himself over, but he doesn’t necessarily have to eliminate it from his repertoire either. He has the natural ability needed to win the matches necessary to progress his career. And if Morrison throws in a little parkour now and then, or he has the urge to scream at the top of his lungs that he’s the most watched superstar and proclaims that he will be champion, there’s nothing wrong with any of that. As long as he backs it up, Morrison can get his way into another title match.