Since it was created, All Elite Wrestling or AEW has developed a habit of scooping up former talents from its rival brand, the WWE, and recently, they managed to bring in Johnny Elite, formerly John Morrison.
Johnny Elite (real name John Hennigan) appeared last Wednesday on AEW Dynamite to participate in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament as a “Joker,” where he faced Samoa Joe. In AEW, the “Joker” is typically a professional wrestler who makes their debut with the promotion. The past has seen the likes of “Hangman” Adam Page, Ruby Soho, and Matt Sydal — all entering the company in a Casino Battle Royale.
Although Johnny Elite lost to Samoa Joe, their match was met with universal praise, including AEW President and CEO Tony Khan, who had nothing but positive words for the former WWE Intercontinental Champion. Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Khan described how great it was to have Elite in his promotion as he played the mentor role to some of the young talents in the locker room and is a fan favorite among the audience.
“Oh man, it was great to have Johnny Elite here,” Khan said, letting his excitement get the better side of himself. “What a great match-up he had with Samoa Joe. It was a great way to make his debut in the Owen (Hart Foundation Tournament). That was tremendous, and really, I am very glad he was here.”
“He’s a great mentor to some of the young wrestlers in the locker room and somebody I think fans have looked up to for a long time, and he went toe-to-toe with one of the toughest wrestlers in AEW. One of our great stars and one of the greatest stars in the history of Ring of Honor – Samoa Joe.”
Although Khan was all praises for Elite, he has not revealed the wrestler’s status with the promotion, and there have been no reports from either AEW or Johnny Elite coming to terms with a full-time deal.
Following Hennigan’s release from WWE, he returned to AAA for a brief stint before returning to the independent circuit. His role as the “Joker” entrant has raised speculations about his signing with AEW, leaving many fans hoping for a permanent role with prospects of a title run.