The World Wrestling Fan Xperience (WWFX), an international touring wrestling company that showcases talents from the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Total Non-stop Action (TNA) Wrestling, hits town this week with the Champions Showcase Tour 2012 slated this Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Several former WWE champions are on the card, including John Morrison (who'll be wrestling using his real name John Hennigan). John will be going up against another former WWE titleholder Shelton Benjamin for the WWFX World Championship.
The 32-year-old Hennigan/Morrison, who also once went by the names Johnny Nitro and Johnny Blaze, is a former three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, former five-time WWE Tag Team Champion, former ECW World Champion and a veteran of RAW and Smackdown. He'll be up against the 36-year-old Benjamin, who's also won a few belts himself. Like Hennigan, he's also a former three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, aside from being a former WWE United States Champion and former two-time WWE Tag Team Champion.
Also in the card is former 10-time WWE Tag Team Champion Billy Gun, who at 48 is a veteran of many ring wars. The guy started out in the WWE as one half of the Smoking Gunns (where he teamed with his onscreen brother Bart Gunn), and they won the tag team belts three times. But he became best-known for teaming up with Road Dogg Jesse James as the New Age Outlaws, who went on to become five-time tag team champions in the late 90s and early 2000s.
I corresponded with both Hennigan and Gunn via e-mail and asked them about their wrestling careers. Here are their answers.
You went to college first before trying wrestling. When did you decide you wanted to be a professional wrestler?
I was a big fan as a kid. I remember watching all the big WWE PPV's with my friends, then wrestling in the yard afterwards when we were kids. I idolized guys like Macho Man, HBK (Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels), and Hulk Hogan when I was a kid, but I didn't think of professional wrestling as something that I could actually do as a career until I saw the first season of Tough Enough. ( Note: Tough Enough was a wrestling reality show competition where the winners were awarded a WWE contract. Morrison competed and won in the third season.)
You earned your spurs, so to speak, working your way up to the WWE. Describe those days when you were still an aspiring young wrestler learning the ropes.
Wrestling at OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) was great, I was lucky to be there at the time I was there. Everyone was great, it's funny now to watch old tapes of Johnny Blaze/Johnny Nitro at OVW, I was so green.
What's been your biggest win so far?
I've always been more about the journey than the win. Pro Wrestling to me is about constant improvement, finding accomplishment in evolving into a more complete, precise entertainer. Some of my favorite moments are my debut match, MNM vs. Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, and beating Sheamus to become the number 1 contender at TLC 2011. When I think about it, other than that, most of my favorite moments are of matches that I lost - losing the ECW championship to CM Punk in August 2007; Falls count anywhere versus Miz; MNM vs. the Hardy's, Morrison vs. Ziggler any given night of the last Europe tour; the infamous Limo explosion on Z True Island story (not a match, but I definitely wouldn't count it as a win).
What was it like battling John Cena?
John Cena always goes full force.
Your tag team MNM with Joey Mercury was pretty successful while it lasted, and you guys won the WWE Tag Team belts. What was it that made you guys click?
What I loved about MNM was that it was our idea, us being Melina, Mercury, and myself. We were MNM in OVW (developmental wrestling) for a year before we were brought up to Smackdown. MNM was the first time I really felt at home in wrestling.
Among the many championships you've won, which one was the most memorable?
Winning the WWE Tag Team Championships on my Smackdown debut match, MNM vs. Eddie Guererro and Rey Mysterio.
Who was the toughest opponent you've ever faced?
What can Manila fans expect from John Morrison in WWFX Live on Feb. 4?
Expect to see the Saturday Night Delight, in his prime, at the top of his game.
You've been in wrestling for a long time now. How do you keep the competitive juices flowing and what's the secret to your longevity?
I love what I do, and I love being in front of fans and entertaining them.
You've won several belts already. If it's possible, could you pick which one was the most memorable?
The tag belt was my fave. Every time I won them with a different partner.
Who was the toughest opponent you ever faced in the ring?
They all had their challenges. Each team was different.
Which of the new wrestlers impresses you the most?
Ziggler he has a ton of talent and is on his way to becoming a huge star
How much longer do you plan to wrestle?
As long as I'm having fun and the people still like me
Any wrestling idols when you were growing up?
No, I never watched wrestling growing up.
As a veteran tag team wrestler, what's the best thing about being in a tag team? The most difficult?
There is so much going on during a tag match that i think it's a lot of fun for the fans to watch, keeping track of everything going on.
What can fans in Manila expect from Billy Gun at WWFX Live on Feb. 4?
A great match and very entertaining and I hope the fans have a great time like I know they will. There is a lot of good talent on this card and I would like to thank them all for having us.
Other wrestling stars on the card include M.V.P. (the wrestler, not the Filipino tycoon), who will be going up against Chris Master, and a slew of former WWE champions like Carlitos, Hurricane Helms, and Rhino, plus two former WWE Divas Champions Melina and Jillian Hall facing off against each other.
Tickets for this wrestling showcase are available at all TicketNet outlets.