Johnny Mundo Reveals What His Current Relationship With WWE is Like

Illustration: Paul Cooper / The World According To Wrestling

Former WWE Superstar and current Lucha Underground talent Johnny Mundo (a.k.a. John Morrison) recently spoke to Wrestle:List to speak on a variety of pro wrestling topics. Check out the highlights here:

What his current relationship with the WWE is like today:

“Well, right now I’m under contract with Lucha Underground. And I’m really happy with Lucha Underground. In my opinion it has the best wrestling on TV currently. Rey Mysterio, Fenix, Pentagon Jr., Son of Havoc, Angelico, PJ Black, Taya, Dragon Azteca, Brian Cage – the roster of Lucha Underground – the product, the polished one hour TV show is really cool for me. And it’s in Los Angeles, where I live, we’re shooting three of four months, and then taking time off during which I can do things like make movies, like with Bounty Hunter, and wrestle for promotions, like Five Star Wrestling. So, right now I’m really happy with where I’m at. Will I go back to WWE? I don’t know. It’s what I grew up on and I always dreamt of headlining a Wrestlemania, and it’s one of the few things that I haven’t achieved that I dreamed of as a kid. Never say never in wrestling.”

Making the transition from pro wrestling to acting:

“There’s a learning curve, for sure. Acting for film is more nuanced than professional wrestling. I had to learn to tone down my reactions. In acting for TV and film, a lot of the time you have to think big, but don’t react big because the camera is so close and takes everything. A lot can be told by just your eyes. In pro wrestling, you’ve got to be a lot bigger, because it’s ultimately the crowd that you’re working for. Even if it’s a TV taping, the crowd is a part of the show. In addition, the stunt fighting and choreography is very similar and very different. In wrestling, you’re doing one take of everything and making contact, because there’s no camera angles. You have to learn the difference between a stunt punch, a wrestling punch, and to really be good at stunt fighting, the difference between a boxing style punch, a kung-fu style punch, a taekwondo style punch. There’s a million different ways to throw a punch. In pro wrestling, you are creating your own character, all the coolest things you’ve seen and your best attributes are what you do. And you refine that over time, and it becomes, for me, Johnny Mundo. And for El Ligero it becomes El Ligero. But you step into the world of film and TV, and the character could be fighting as Hercules, the Eternal Warrior, or an android. So, you have to learn a different movement style, quickly.”

Difference between working in Mexico and the United States:

“There’s a couple of differences, and some of them I really liked. The crowds in Mexico get angrier than they did with WWE. I’d regularly get stuff thrown at me like bottles of water and trash. It’s kind of cool. It’s also a really built-in character I’m doing out there. I’m currently the Absolute Champion of AAA. So being an American, and cheating to keep all the titles, you can understand why the crowd is upset. But as far as the culture of the locker room, I felt really welcomed down there. Even if I can’t communicate very well with some of the wrestlers, because my Spanish is limited. Wrestling locker rooms are globally pretty similar and pretty accepting, as long as you show up and you’re there to work, and you’re respectful. I’ve never been anywhere that’s tough to deal with in that regard. There’s a lot of finishing the show in Mexico and having a shot of tequila, and a lot of the time there’s no water backstage, just beer. But that’s what makes the experience cool, and traveling cool.”

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