The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Release Date: May 11th, 2017
Guest: John Morrison
Recap by: Josh Coulson
- John Morrison’s movie Boone: The Bounty Hunter is available now on iTunes and Amazon.
- Morrison left WWE so that he could start working on the movie.
- Morrison released a workout video right after leaving WWE which was very unsuccessful.
- Back in WWE Morrison would try and use the wrestling style that he does now but his superiors would tell him to tone it down.
- John sold his house to help pay for the production of Boone: The Bounty Hunter.
- Morrison filmed and produced videos while in OVW that got The Heart Throbs called up to the main roster.
- There were initially plans for Chris Cage to replace Joey Mercury as Morrison’s tag partner in WWE.
Subjects covered (with timestamps)
0:00 – Sponsor/ads
0:36 – Introduction
8:53 – Song of the week
9:49 – Interview begins
17:34 – Life immediately after WWE
27:45 – Lucha Underground
34:38 – Financing Boone
45:40 – OVW and WWE
53:54 – Return to Boone
1:02:58 – Close of show
Colt starts the show by introducing himself and running through his sponsors and ways you can support the show.
He then announces his upcoming guest, John Morrison, and that this show will feel like one big advert for Morrison’s upcoming movie, Boone: The Bounty Hunter.
Colt then tells a story about a PR woman who offered up Shawn Michaels as a guest for the show, but because he wouldn’t be in Chicago the woman said it couldn’t happen. Then Colt bumped into Shawn on a plane two weeks later despite his PR representative saying he wouldn’t be in the city anytime soon.
Colt then plugs a movie called Bodyslam: Revenge of the Banana.
This week Colt has been wrestling in Iowa and for AAW in his native, Chicago. Plus doing some more commentary elsewhere.
Colt then introduces and plays the Song of the Week, which fittingly, is “Boone” performed by the show’s guest, John Morrison.
John Morrison interview
Being with WWE vs wrestling on the independents
Colt and John start the interview by announcing it’s the second time Morrison has been on the show and that it’ll be one of those times where the sequel is better than the original.
As promised, Morrison then gets his first plug for his new movie Boone: The Bounty Hunter in nice and early.
Colt then asks if John was released or quit WWE and that it was neither and his contract just ran out. Morrison didn’t want to work 250 days a year anymore and wanted to start making his movie so didn’t renew his contract with the company.
Morrison discusses how it takes some time to adjust to the ‘real world’ after you’ve been with WWE for so long.
Morrison then quickly switches back to plugging his movie, announcing the dates that it’ll be available on iTunes, Amazon and DVD.
John says the reason it feels like you’re back in the real world is because all of a sudden WWE isn’t organizing your life anymore and you have to sort things like travel out yourself. Cabana chips in that he likes that and being able to piece together his schedule and being his own promoter. Morrison gives the example of having the freedom to call OVW and wrestle there this coming weekend as he’ll be in Louisville anyway for a bachelor party.
Both agree that they prefer managing their own schedule versus being micro-managed by WWE.
Unsuccessful beginnings following WWE
Colt then steers the conversation to Morrison’s unsuccessful workout video. John says he still has a lot of units left and that he lost a lot of money on the project and it came nowhere near breaking even. He then equates that back to it being his own failure, unlike any failings he had at WWE and hammers home that he much prefers living life that way.
Morrison cites the price point of the workout package, $127, as being the reason it wasn’t popular.
The two then joke about how they didn’t learn anything at college. Colt spent the whole time wrestling while John did gymnastics. During the middle of one of his routines, he ripped a phone book in half which didn’t go down too well with the judges.
Morrison tells a story of another guy on his gymnastics team at school in a wheelchair who was incredible at all the events that only required his upper body.
Colt then segues the conversation into Morrison’s time on the independents. John admits when he first left WWE he envisioned being a part of some big movies and that he had some unrealistic expectations, so when he first had to take independent bookings he somewhat phoned it in.
He believed that because of his time with WWE people would want him for high profile roles but then quickly realized casting directors aren’t necessarily impressed that you were a wrestler.
Cabana is very eager to steer the conversation back to John ‘phoning it in.’ Morrison says that he wasn’t trying to have bad matches but that his head simply wasn’t in the game. Colt backs up his point saying that he probably didn’t actually want to do the shows but was offered a lot of money to do so. John says he was focused on movies at the time and he normally picks and pursues just one thing at a time.
Colt describes Morrison being in Lucha Underground as somewhat of a comeback. He tells Morrison that he knows he appreciates the wrestling scene from back when they first met in WWE.
Morrison says that wrestling is working for him again now because he’s focused on it and that he’s opened his eyes to a new style of wrestling, the type you’ll see a lot of at Lucha. A more acrobatic style.
He describes how he used to try and do it back in WWE but higher ups would always put a stop to it.
Colt then questions how exactly Morrison got his break in Lucha, whether it was something in the background at first and John tells him there’s a lot of truth to what he’s saying:
“I hadn’t thought about applying myself 100% to wrestling in a while, but then when I started getting back into doing a TV taping, doing Lucha Underground and hearing the crowd really appreciate a lot of the skills I had been working on my entire life, I did get really excited about it and I was like holy s**t I should apply myself harder than ever.”
Colt then states that because of that when John is booked now they don’t want Morrison or Nitro, they want Johnny Mundo. That before, people booked him for his time in WWE but now it’s for work he’s done since which is much cooler. Morrison replies with now he’s part of Lucha Underground he feels like a part of a collaboration and has a creative autonomy that he didn’t have in WWE.
Colt says that the independents feel like everything that isn’t WWE, even a big company like Lucha Underground.
Financing Boone: The Bounty Hunter
The interview then shifts back to the main topic of the whole show, Boone: The Bounty Hunter. Morrison describes how he initially believed that he was going to be able to make a $10 million movie and runs through all these expensive stunts that were in the original script. Once it came to filming, the script had been revised about sixteen times and all of that had been lost.
After cutting the budget in half following being told that he had no hope with the original idea Morrison filmed a sizzle trailer that featured some other independent wrestlers, but that still didn’t change much. Despite people liking the trailer another year went past with no takers.
John got to a point that the only way to raise the money for the movie was to put his house on the market. He sold the house thinking that he was putting his money in an account with a company that would match the funds, but they continually messed him around.
After finally finding a director, Morrison cuts the script again and finally has enough money to shoot the film, the money from selling his house. Morrison says it was basically all the money he made during his WWE run, but he wouldn’t change anything as it all worked out in the end.
Colt then questions how worried he was or is, as it could have easily been another venture like John’s work out video. Morrison replies by saying he knows what he’s doing this time and has had much more experience and put in a lot more research with this product and that this movie has to be a success.
Time in OVW and WWE
Colt then tells us that Morrison produced the skits that got Cryme Tyme and The Heart Throbs their jobs. He followed them around at OVW with a camera then edited it together and they wound up getting called up on the back of it. He did the same for himself and Joey Mercury.
Morrison tells a story of how he would send videos he and Mercury would make, M&M, to John Laurinaitis. He includes a time when WWE tried to replace Joey Mercury with Chris Cage and it caused some friction between the three of them.
Cole remembers Stephanie McMahon saying that they would never hire Mercury but Vince McMahon went against that and kept him and Morrison together.
Cabana recalls seeing Morrison on his debut and the difference between how nervous he looked then compared to now.
John tells the story of how he wrestled on Raw as Johnny Nitro and got that name because he was Eric Bischoff’s apprentice. After that, he said he was lucky to get a second chance as most wrestlers who are sent back to OVW are released not long later. It was a year later though that he got called up as part of M&M.
Colt then asks Morrison about the fur jackets he used to wear while in WWE. At first, they were cheap coats that he found and bought a bunch of them, but as time went on he wore more expensive ones to parallel the evolution of his character.
More Boone talk
A swift return back to the movie discussion and Morrison describes a scene it that revolves around how he wanted to get a friend’s pig into the film which wound up being a lot more work than it was probably worth.
Morrison tells Colt that it took almost two years just to get through all of the post production for Boone The Bounty Hunter. Colt then adds to that by saying when you buy this movie you’re not simply buying a movie but you’re supporting the people and process behind it.
John says that they had a screening the night before in Chicago and Colt saw it too and says that he loved it. The two joke about how he was probably like everyone else and only liked it because his expectations were so low.
Colt describes it as a fun, campy film but Morrison prefers the term action-humor, referring to it as Lethal Weapon meets Big Trouble in Little China. He then runs down everywhere you can access the movie.
Colt recommends that Morrison pin the trailer to his Twitter but John admits he doesn’t know how to do that. He then returns to plugging social media and listing everywhere you can watch Boone the Bounty Hunter.
The pair then wish each other luck, thank each other, and bring the interview to a close.
Colt closes the show the same as always by quickly running through how you can support the show, where you can buy his merch and listing where you can find him at upcoming events.
Those of you who only know John Morrison, or Mundo, from his WWE days, may not realize how far he has come and how much he has accomplished since his departure from the company. While I knew of his work at Lucha Underground, I certainly didn’t know everything else along with it before listening to this podcast. While the talk of his movie Boone: The Bounty Hunter may feature a little heavily for those of you listening for purely wrestling stories, it is an extremely interesting ride that has taken over Morrison’s career for the past few years. Plus in all fairness, he is appearing on the podcast to plug the movie. All in all a good interview and never fear wrestling fans, there are a fair few in-ring stories sprinkled among the Boone talk.
About the writer
Josh Coulson is a journalism graduate from Bristol, England. He has been a pro wrestling fan since the age of 10 and truly fell in love with the business during the build to WrestleMania X-Seven, citing the rivalry between Austin and The Rock as what really got him hooked. Other than wrestling he is a keen soccer fan and a long suffering supporter of his local team Bristol City. You can find him @BristolBeadz on Twitter.
For more, check out last week’s recap of The Art of Wrestling.