Former WWE wrestler John Morrison recently made his debut on All Elite Wrestling (AEW) in last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite. Taking the name Johnny Elite, the former Intercontinental Champion participated in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament as a wildcard or “Joker” in the AEW promotion.
For days, fans were speculating who the next “Joker” would be. Typically, “Jokers” are surprise appearances of professional wrestlers from other promotions like WWE, TNA, AAA, or Ring of Honor, to name a few. Among the “Jokers” that have made their debut with the promotion are big names like “Hangman” Adam Page from Ring of Honor, Adam Page, formerly Evan Bourne in WWE, and Ruby Soho or Ruby Riott from the same promotion. All three joined the company as “Jokers,” often in Casino Battle Royales.
For Johnny Elite, it was the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, where he squared off with Ring of Honor champion Samoa Joe. The two locked horns and displayed their experience, putting each other over and complementing the other’s skillset. But, ultimately, it was Joe who got the pin.
Although Elite lost, his performance earned universal praise. Tony Khan, AEW owner and President, had nothing but positive words for the “Joker.”
“Oh man, it was great to have Johnny Elite here,” said Khan, not holding back his excitement. “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 the 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.”
Before his debut as Johnny Elite, Hennigan (Johnny Elite’s real name) was released from WWE late last year. Instead, he joined AAA TripleMania XXX: Monterrey in a three-way tag team as Johnny Caballero. Hennigan later returned to the independent circuit before finally appearing on AEW. However, there has been no report from Elite or AEW on whether the wrestler would sign permanently.