Vince McMahon Forced Former Champion To Change Their Name Because It Reminded Him Of WCW

Vince McMahon

Vince McMahon has been accused of holding onto the grudge of the Monday Night Wars where WWF battled WCW on cable for national supremacy. Even after buying WCW in 2001, McMahon never embraced the brand and throughout the years would often make sure through angles and pushes that nobody would forget that the World Wrestling Federation won the war.

Another example of this comes in the form of Tough Enough III winner John Morrison, who has undergone many name changes in his twenty plus year career. It started when he made his debut on Raw as Johnny Blaze in 2004. However, he quickly went through a series of name changes before finally settling on Johnny Nitro. Despite using this moniker for a few years, Vince McMahon, the boss of WWE, asked him to change it again due to its resemblance to WCW’s flagship show of the same name.

John Morrison Says Vince McMahon Asked Him To Change His Name Three Times

In a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, Morrison discussed the impact of this name change on him, stating:

“It definitely was [a big shift]. Vince did not like Nitro, I don’t think. Because it reminded him of WCW. He asked me to change my name three times. The third time was when I won the ECW title [in 2007]. I didn’t say no that time because I was like, ‘All right. I am not gonna fight this anymore’.”

When questioned about how he managed to refuse McMahon’s requests twice, Morrison revealed:

“You just say you’ll think about it and then hope he forgets. Sometimes he does.”

He went on to explain the reasoning behind McMahon’s desire for a name change and the final conversation they had about it, stating:

“He said, ‘You gotta change your name. You gotta have a champion’s name if you’re gonna be a champion. Make a list of names. Write down 10 names.’ Then an hour later, I had like a list of all these names. Morrison was off Jim Morrison from the Doors but I had like Brando Morrison, Johnny Brando, Johnny Blaze Morrison, Blaze is already copywritten, but a bunch of stuff.

“He looked at this list that I’d spent an hour googling names and meanings and different celebrities like James Dean and making this list. He just looked at it and was like, ‘John Morrison’.”

If you use any quotes from this transcription, please credit Insight with Chris Van Vliet and link back to this article with a h/t to Inside the Ropes.