REAL NAME: Sean Morley
BORN: March 6, 1971 in Oakville, Ontario
6′ 3″, 250 pounds
AKA: Steel, Scott Borders, Val Venis
Sean Morley has come a long way from Peterborough, Ontario.
In fact, if you believe everything on TV, you might even be convinced that he’s a porn star named Val Venis from Las Vegas.
“I can still play the Canadianess up a bit, and that I just moved to Las Vegas for, quote, ‘work purposes’,” he said laughing in a July 1998 phone interview with SLAM! Wrestling.
Since being training by Dewey Robertson (aka The Missing Link) in 1991, Morley, 27, has travelled the world for wrestling.
But it wasn’t what the Peterborough native originally set out to do with his life.
“I wanted to become a helicopter pilot, and was set to go to university at Colorado State for aeronautical science and what happened was, the summer that I had off between high school and university, I went to England. And as soon as I started my full-time job there, I decided this is what I want to do.”
After a year in England with the British Wrestling Federation as Scott Borders — including a stint as BWF champ — he went to Ozarks Mountain Wrestling for eight months, then Puerto Rico for the World Wrestling Council for five years.
“Puerto Rico kind of became my home base. I’d take four weeks off from Puerto Rico, and I’d work for All Japan Pro Wrestling company. And then I would return to Puerto Rico, and then spend four or five months in Mexico, and then return to Puerto Rico. I just kept boucing back and forth. I was really fortunate that I wasn’t stuck on the independents too much. I worked mostly all small territories.”
A regular tag team partner and travelling companion in many of the territories was The Canadian Glamour Boy Shane Sewell, who also calls Peterborough home.
“We were tag team partners. We went to England together, about seven years ago. We were tag team partners there. We were tag team partners in Arkansas, tag team partners in Puerto Rico. And then he left Puerto Rico, and I went singles from then on.”
In Mexico, Morley wrestled under a mask as Steel for a little more than a year.
“I had a really cool mask, a really unique mask in Mexico. It actually looked like steel, the mask looked like Steel, like I had metal on my face. It was totally unique, especially to Mexican standards. It got over really, really big in Mexico.”
He held the CMLL heavyweight belt for a spell but then the WWF came calling.
His first tryout was in the summer of 1997 in Des Moines, Iowa. Then he went back to Mexico and waiting for the call.
The WWF finally called again, and Morley did two more tryouts in November, and was invited to take part in a training camp in January.
“From there I got my contract, and we’ve been working on the Val Venis gimmick ever since,” he said.
The gimmick came from Vince McMahon and Vince Russo. And Morley just ran with it from there.
At the moment, Val Venis is sort-of turning babyface in a feud with Kaientai.
“I’m not exactly sure where I want to go with this yet. Right now, yeah, I’m working an angle with Kaientai and trying to build a storyline there. But things change day to day. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Expect to see him on the road more often from here on in.
He’s in Toronto this week for media interviews to promote the August 1 WWF SkyDome show, on which he will wrestle Savio Vega. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Morley, and he expects lots of friends and family at the show.
“As you know, [Savio’s] from Puerto Rico, and I spent a lot of years down in Puerto Rico. I know him very well. I know his wrestling style. I know his background. I think it’s going to be the first time I’ve competed against him one on one. It should be a good match, a real decent match.”
Morley is enjoying his time so far in the WWF, and is looking forward to competing against the top talent and possibly winning a belt. (He’s a little too big for the lightweight division.)
He has found that everyday is a new experience for him, and that he’s still got a lot to learning after only seven years of wrestling under his belt.
“I think the day that you stop learning is the day you stop wrestling.”