'Survivor' Castaway John Morrison on Jeremy's 'Ridiculous' Showmance Claims (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
John Hennigan (aka John Morrison) has 15 years of professional wrestling under his belt, but this was one move -- or a few -- that he didn't see coming.
The 39-year-old was voted off Survivor: David vs. Goliath on Wednesday night's episode in a huge "Brochacho Blindside," with a split vote and two idols played.
"I was surprised, shocked," John told ET on Thursday, admitting he assumed his Goliath tribe would stick together. "I didn't realize it until Jeff [Probst] read the first vote with my name on it. Even though two idols were played, I still didn't put it together until that vote."
Wednesday's exciting tribal council wasn't the most headline-making aspect of John's gameplay, however. When his tribemate, Jeremy, was voted out earlier this season, he claimed that his departure was a result of John's showmance with Angelina.
Can Cam? ET's Cameron Mathison Tries an Actual 'Survivor' Challenge in Fiji
"You know, we were in at least two cyclones, and rain every day, and people cuddle and get to know each other better," Jeremy told ET. "You saw Karen and Dan, and then Alec and Natalia -- they kind of had a Mr. and Mrs. Smith situation, not a showmance, but flirting -- and Angelina had John. I made a flippant comment about it, and it got back to Angelina, and she went on the warpath."
Jeremy said that "nothing romantic" actually went on between them, but John didn't hold back when responding to the allegation.
"It's kind of sad. It's ridiculous. There's no showmance. We were in an alliance," John told ET. "I think just his feelings were just badly hurt, and it sucks that, unnecessarily, on his exit press was trying to rehash things and drag people through the mud a little bit. To me, I just... I've been dealing with that kind of thing, you experience that in pro wrestling. It's just kind of laughable to me because it's so far off base."
John -- who said the situation was even more of a "shame" because he and Jeremy hung out in New York recently -- got married to fellow wrestling star Taya Valkyrie in June. They tied the knot 10 days after he returned from playing Survivor.
"I left [to play the game] 36 hours after season four wrapped of Lucha Underground, and then I had to completely reschedule the dates that I had already agreed to for Impact Wrestling, and they were nice enough to do that. Then I got married 10 days after I got back, so everything, like, fit into this hole in my schedule," he explained. "I couldn't be happier that it did, because I feel like it was really rewarding for me to be out there."
As John explained, Survivor had been a dream for years. "I sent in my audition tape for season two and season three of Survivor," he shared. "I hadn't been religiously watching until I was aware that I had an opportunity to be on season 37, after which I binge-watched, like, 12 seasons, and I'm a huge fan again."
After decades in wrestling, John wasn't worried about the effects Survivor would have on his body, but he was surprised by the rest of the game.
"It was hard being cold, it was hard being hungry. It was hard feeling like you were on 24 hours a day, because in addition to having conversations and getting along with people, you're constantly trying to keep tabs on who is talking to who, and who might have found an idol, and how am I being perceived by this person, and is it possible that this person might be incentivized to vote me out?" he said. "Those wheels are constantly spinning in the midst of your discomfort. It's this big blend of difficulty, but that's the part of it that kind of strips you and makes you raw and emotional, and able to be introspective in a way that is harder in real life."
Still, John would consider going back out there for another chance at Sole Survivor -- as long as it fit in between his commitment to Impact Wrestling and other projects, like his movie, Boone: The Bounty Hunter, on Netflix. "My biggest regret is not winning," he said.