We’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of Tough Enough, which has sent countless Superstars through the annals of WWE. And it’s not just those that won the various seasons that earned WWE contracts, as there are even more who simply participated who were signed by the promotion.
Some notable Tough Enough competitors include Maven, Ryback, The Miz, Matt Morgan, Velveteen Dream and John Morrison. Morrison was the winner of the third season and is a 10-time champion in WWE. He was asked if he’s the most successful person to come out of Tough Enough when he joined The Chris Van Vliet Show.
“The most successful winner for sure. It depends if you count Miz as coming off Tough Enough or not because he was on that weird season that wasn’t like? then, no. I mean, I can’t say I had a more successful career than The Miz. Everyone except Miz,” stated Morrison. “I mean, I think that guy has just really had his nose to the grindstone, and been bootstrapping it for years, and proves everybody wrong, and now, it probably paid off for him because he finally gets to tag again with John Morrison.”
Miz and Morrison have won two WWE tag titles together while Miz is also a Grand Slam Champion. The two of them were paired together upon Morrison’s WWE return, and he recalled coming back after a nine-year absence earlier this year.
“I’m laughing right now because I debut in a backstage segment vignette with Miz, and if you really think about it, my debut was, ‘Hey, is Miz there?’ Here, John Morrison. ‘Nope, Miz isn’t talking right now. Thanks, see ya, and close the door.’ So basically, my debut was telling the interviewer that Miz was unavailable,” said Morrison. “And I walked after that aired, and they were following you with cameras for The Chronicle, and we saw Ziggler. We kind of crossed the hallways, and he just goes, ‘Hey! Sweet debut bro!’ and we high fived.”
Miz and Morrison started off as rivals in WWE before coming together and forming a tag team in 2007. Morrison discussed what he’s learned about The Miz’s personality and why it’s helped him be so successful.
“I’ve learned a lot from the guy. I’ll go back to some of that energy stuff we were talking about. So, he’s always been really authentic with himself, and I don’t think he was ever as introspective as I am about it because I drive myself nuts taking notes and writing stuff down for ideas. And a line that Errol Flynn might have said in the movie, Robin Hood in the 30s, and like, ‘Oooh, what if Bruce would’ ? stuff like that. That’s almost obsessive, but what he’s always done is be authentically himself,” said Morrison. “So there are no cracks in him and his character, and there are no gaps, basically. I believe him; That’s, I think, the biggest factor in success or failure in entertainment.
“If you have cracks and people see through you, it shatters that theatrical reality, the suspension of disbelief. And you feel like, ‘Oh, this is dumb. I feel insulted. I feel like changing the channel.’ So, because I feel like he never does that, I think I attribute a lot of what he’s achieved to that.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Chris Van Vliet Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.