Highspots Presents: Developmentally Speaking with John Morrison & Brian Cage

This was filmed in April 2017

Bull James is your host

It runs at fifty minutes long


Cage talks about how he got signed to Developmental. He originally got a tryout at Deep South after Chris Kanyon put in a word for him with Mike Bucci (Nova). He said that the one day John Laurinaitis came down to hand out contracts he was driving and the freeway was shut down so he knew he was never going to make it there in time and turned around to go back home. However, he did get to work some dark matches during the Smackdown tapings before the 2008 Australian tour where he got signed to a deal and reported to FCW. Cage told a story how Jimmy Yang knocked him out in a dark match after jumping in the air to catch his crossbody but he ended up landing on his head.


Morrison is asked about being on “Tough Enough.” He looks at it as a golden ticket and says he was rejected for the second season but they remembered him when he tried out again for the third season and got on the show.


On his transition from Tough Enough to OVW, Morrison said he knew what he was getting into and glad he got the chance to “suck” while wrestling in bingo halls in Kentucky instead of being on National TV. He puts over the talent down in OVW then mentions how he got called up for six months as Eric Bischoff’s assistant. However, Morrison said he busted up Jericho during a save (He was wearing dress shoes and supposed to catch him but was late then slipped and ended up elbowing Jericho in the head and giving him eight stitches) then Laurinaitis pulled him aside and said he needed to be in the ring for at least two hours a day. Morrison also said that Jericho put him in the “stiffest” Walls of Jericho after that as Morrison said he deserved it and the two of them laugh about the incident today.


Both guys put over Tom Prichard as being one of the best trainers. They also think DeMott is a good choice to work with guys that have zero experience but started to become more bitter as things went on and took things to far in getting up trying to “teach respect.”


Morrison puts over how great Jim Cornette and Danny Davis were in OVW. They said Davis is a one-man production crew as Morrison adds that he is going back to OVW for a night because of Davis. He also thought Lance Storm’s method of training was great. Morrison said Storm’s philosophy was that its the wrestler’s responsibility to condition themselves and as a result never did “blowup” drills but would immediately show different ways how to do things, such as selling, and have you work it out in the ring.


Cage talks about being in FCW and how they started having TV shows.  His name was “Kris Logan” then as the first name as after Chris Kanyon and he took Logan because he loved The Wolverine. Morrison notes that Cage is a huge comic book fan. He was teaming with Justin Gabriel and had a feud with Caylen Croft & Trent Baretta where they won the titles. They both talk about Tyson Kidd for a bit and say he has a great mind for wrestling as James adds Kidd would watch NXT while on the road and send guys DM’s on how to improve.


Morrison said he was teaming with Matt Cappotelli as part of a babyface team in OVW. He talks about Cappotelli’s struggles with cancer and how he still helps with the rookie classes in OVW today. When asked about the Tough Enough incident between Cappotelli and Bob Holly, Morrison said he thought at the time Holly was a bully but now realizes Holly had an undiagnosed broken neck from wrestling Brock Lesnar and was told he had to go to TV and work a bunch of rookies, understanding that he would be pissed off too.  Morrison also  believes some of what Holly does is missing in wrestling today. Morrison also tells a story about wrestling Holly on his birthday where Holly asked how old he was and then gave him a chop for each year he was alive, which was 24 at that time. Morrison said Holly called them “birthday chops.”


James asks the guys about ideas they pitched during the tenure with the company. Cage says Dusty Rhodes pulled him aside once and told him to be like the Wolverine as Cage talks about that for a bit, noting Dusty at first did not know the Wolverine name and first thought it was the “Honey Badger.”Morrison said he hated being a generic babyface and always wanted to be a heel. He started calling himself “Johnny Blaze” but was told by a few of the OVW vets to stick with what you are known as from Tough Enough and keep your name. Morrison said he pitched an idea where he was an adrenaline junkie character similar to Patrick Swayze from “Point Break” and even set up a tripod on the beach and filmed himself doing backflips in the sand and surfing. Morrison then said he got paired with Joey Mercury and started doing a rich, LA kids gimmick and even filmed themselves along with Melina, paying for it themselves. All the guys put over Mercury for having a lot of knowledge.


Morrison talks about two matches he always wanted to do in the WWE. The first was a “Tanning Bed” match against Sheamus where the loser spent 20 minutes in a tanning bed then having a “Port-a-Potty” match where you have to win by locking your opponent in the port-a-potty and tipping it over. He then talks about having a lot of bad ideas and had one move called the “intestinizer” where he would slam a guy then spin his head on his opponent’s stomach. Morrison said he did it a few times and once Arn Anderson came to him backstage and said “I don’t know how you did that but really I don’t know why you did it.”


They all put over Norman Smilay as a great guy and trainer. Cage said he is still in tremendous shape and used to be incredibly jacked up back when he was younger.


Morrison tells a story of his first day in OVW. He was with Cappotelli and they felt awkward as Rip Rogers motioned them towards the ring. After ten minutes, Rogers told them to get in then told them to get out as they looked sloppy as Rogers said they were the “shits.” Twenty minutes later, they were both in the ring taking suplexes and super kicks as Morrison said that helped acclimate them to the environment and it was better than standing around watching people.


Cage talks about Matt Walsh, some model who was aloof, that was unable to even perform a forward roll. He then talks about “Gustav” some guy who spoke several languages, hailing from Brazil, but was legendarily awful. On Gustav’s first day, Cage said they were doing a criss-cross drill and he ended up falling through the middle and bottom ropes onto a crash pad.


On the experience in Developmental, Cage said it helped push him to the next level and has nothing bad to say about his opportunity. Morrison talks about the more you wrestle the better you get and how guys can spend six months or years in Developmental, like Damien Sandow, and get called up just because they need someone to fill TV time on the main roster.


Final Thoughts: This was a series originated by Curt Hawkins. I would call it one of the best shoot interview series out there at the time. Its nice to see that it is being continued after he left to go back to WWE but its not even close to being the same as before. James offered little as a host. He only asked a few questions and it could have been worse with him talking over everyone so there’s that but he did not get the most out of his subjects. James was unable to get the most out of his guests, who were willing to talk about things behind the scenes and really just blended in with the scenery. With Hawkins, who seems to have a great rapport with all of his guests, this would have been better. I will say that the length (just 50 minutes) is far too short to go really in depth and that hurt things but at the same time it was an easy listen you can bang out in one setting.

If you are subscribed to the Highspots Wrestling Network, where you can listen for free, then I’d check it out. However, the length alone makes it tough to throw down for a DVD or Digital Copy. If you are really curious there is an option to rent for $4.99, which you can inquire about here

You can purchase the DVD or download a digital copy here


Next week, I will be recapping the RF Video Reflections with Kurt Angle Interview


Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/8/90

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 12/2/82

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/14/90

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/15/90

Tuesday: WWF Prime Time Wrestling 4/16/90

Wednesday: EVOLVE 89 7/9/17

Thursday: RF Video Reflections with Kurt Angle