Sean Allen Morley (March 6, 1971) better known by his ring name Val Venis, is a Canadian professional wrestler whom spent the majority of his career in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He's perhaps best known for his 11-year run with WWE from 1998 to 2009. He has also competed for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) under his real name, and also for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre in Mexico and for both New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in Japan as well as spending time on the independent circuit.
During his career in WWF/E, Morley held the Intercontinental Championship two times, the European Championship once, and the World Tag Team Championship once with Lance Storm. In CMLL, he is a one time World Heavyweight Champion.
Professional wrestling career
Training and early career
He began his wrestling training in the early 1990s under the tutelage of Jason and Dewey "The Missing Link" Robertson and debuted on the Canadian independent circuit before making his way to the international circuit, finding work with All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in Japan, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in Mexico, and World Wrestling Council (WWC) in Puerto Rico. In Japan, he was known as Sean Morgan as the name Morley was difficult to pronounce due to the lack of phonetic differences between the L and R in Japanese. In Mexico, he adopted a robot-like mask and gimmick, changed his name to Steele, and won the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship.
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1998–2009)
Debut; European and Intercontinental Champion (1998–2000)
Morley was signed to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1998 and given the gimmick of a porn star named Val Venis. The character was introduced with a series of vignettes that showcased Venis' life style on and off the set, the most notable of these featuring Venis in bed with prominent real-life porn star Jenna Jameson.
He debuted on the May 18, 1998 edition of Raw is War, defeating Scorpio. Almost immediately, he was involved in an angle with the Kai En Tai stable, involving him having an affair with Yamaguchi-San's kayfabe wife, Shian-Li Tsang. As a result, the members of Kai En Tai had a series of unsuccessful matches against him. Venis made his pay-per-view debut at In Your House 23: Fully Loaded, defeating Jeff Jarrett. On the August 3 edition of Raw is War, his tag team partner Taka Michinoku would eventually betray him, which led to him and Kai En Tai tying Venis up backstage where Yamaguchi-San attempted to castrate him with a sword. The next week, however, he reported that he was saved by "a little shrinkage" and help from his friend, John Wayne Bobbitt. He then challenged the four Japanese wrestlers to a match, which they accepted under the conditions that it must be a gauntlet match, meaning that Venis would have to fight all four of them individually in one match. The match ended with Michinoku executing the Michinoku Driver on Venis and getting the three-count, ending his undefeated streak. The feud ended a week later, after Venis fought Michinoku to a no contest.
After feuding with Kai En Tai, Venis got his first title shot in the WWF at SummerSlam 1998 against European Champion D'Lo Brown for his championship. Venis was disqualified and as a result, Brown retained the title. Venis got involved in a storyline where he slept with other people's wives. He started a feud with Dustin Runnels, on the September 14 edition of Raw is War when Venis showed Runnels his new porn movie, featuring Venis in bed with Dustin's wife, Terri Runnels. She then became his on-screen girlfriend. This culminated in a match at Breakdown: In Your House, which Venis won. On the October 12 edition of Raw is War, Venis participated in a tournament for the Intercontinental Championship, defeating Marc Mero in the first round before losing in the semifinals to Ken Shamrock. On the same night, Runnels returned to his Goldust gimmick. Venis continued his feud with Goldust, with Goldust gaining a victory at Judgment Day: In Your House. The two faced each other again at Capital Carnage, and Val went on to win the match, to end the feud.
At the end of the year, he formed a short lived tag team with The Godfather, unofficially dubbed "Supply and Demand". They began teaming on the December 7 edition of Raw is War against The Acolytes. Their team only lasted a week, including a match against Mark Henry and D'Lo Brown at Rock Bottom: In Your House, and a match against the Brood. On the February 1, 1999 edition of Raw is War, he started a feud with Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock after Venis made a film starring him and Shamrock's kayfabe sister Ryan called Shaving Ryan's Privates. At St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House, Venis defeated Shamrock with the help of special guest referee Billy Gunn to win the Intercontinental Championship. The next night on Raw is War, Venis defended the title against Gunn and retained the title.
A few days later, he broke up with Ryan and eventually lost the Intercontinental Title to Road Dogg after only a one-month reign as champion. Venis began a feud with Road Dogg and made his WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania XV, where he challenged for the Intercontinental title in a Four Corners Elimination match which also included Ken Shamrock and Goldust. Venis failed to win the match. Throughout the rest of the year, he found himself having "woman troubles" with Nicole Bass, Chyna, and Debra. Venis reunited with the Godfather and they began challenging for the Tag Team titles. On the July 12 edition of Raw is War, they faced the Hardy Boyz for the titles, but the Hardy Boyz retained the titles by getting disqualified. Venis and the Godfather started a feud with Droz and Albert. The next week on Raw is War, Venis and Godfather, Droz and Albert, and the Acolytes challenged the Hardys to a fatal four-way elimination tag team match for the titles, where the Hardys went on to retain the titles.
He started a feud with Steve Blackman and defeated him at Unforgiven. His next feud was with Mark Henry, whom he beat at Rebellion. He engaged in feuds with several main eventers including The Rock, Mankind, and Steve Austin. In late 1999, Venis started a feud with European Champion The British Bulldog over the title. At Survivor Series, Venis teamed up with Mark Henry, Gangrel, and Steve Blackman to face the British Bulldog and the Mean Street Posse with his team winning the match. At Armageddon, Venis pinned the British Bulldog in a triple threat match with D-Lo Brown to win the WWF European Championship.
On the February 10, 2000 episode of SmackDown!, he dropped the European Title to Kurt Angle, ending his two-month reign. At King of the Ring, he participated in the King of the Ring tournament where he was defeated by Rikishi in the semi-finals. This culminated in a feud between Venis and Rikishi which led to Venis turning heel by aligning himself with Trish Stratus. With Stratus as his manager, and a new look - including a haircut, white boots and trunks - and the near total disposal of the porn star gimmick, he defeated Rikishi to win his second Intercontinental Championship, and aligned himself with Test and Albert.
They continued their rivalry as Venis defended the title in a rematch at Fully Loaded 2000. During the match, Venis was put over by taking a splash from Rikishi from the top of a 15-foot high steel cage and still going on to defeat Rikishi later in the match to retain the title. Val's manager, Stratus, inadvertently lost Venis' Intercontinental title to Chyna in a mixed tag team match involving the pair against the team of Chyna and Eddie Guerrero at SummerSlam 2000.
Right to Censor (2000–2001)
Shortly after, Venis underwent a complete change in persona and became a member of the Right to Censor (RTC) stable. Venis joined RTC after being kayfabe abducted by Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather. He became a censorship-based character, directly contrasting with his previously provocative on-screen character. RTC feuded with the Acolytes and the Dudley Boyz, culminating in an eight-man tag team match at Unforgiven 2000, which RTC won. At No Mercy, Venis teamed up with Steven Richards to face Chyna and Mr. Ass. After interference from Eddie Guerrero, RTC picked up the win. Venis started a feud with Chyna, culminating in a match at Armageddon which Venis won.
At WrestleMania X-Seven, RTC faced Tazz and the APA in a six-man tag match which RTC lost. The next night on Raw is War, he faced the champion Kane for the Hardcore Championship but lost the match. Venis stayed in RTC until they disbanded right before the The Invasion storyline, feuding with Chyna and "The One" Billy Gunn during his tenure with the group. When RTC broke up and the Invasion began, Venis disappeared from WWF television while recovering from surgery on his hip to remove bone spurs from his motorcycle racing days. After recovering, he was kept off television along with several other wrestlers, for whom WWE bookers could not come up with any storylines.
The Big Valbowski (2002)
Venis returned to action back in his old gimmick, at the 2002 Royal Rumble, where he entered at #20 in the Royal Rumble match but was shortly after eliminated by Stone Cold. On Raw he had two very short feuds with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mr. Perfect before being drafted to SmackDown! during the brand extension.
On SmackDown!, he began calling himself "The Big Valbowski" and he aligned himself with babyfaces Edge, Randy Orton, Billy Kidman, and Hardcore Holly and feuded with Chris Jericho, Deacon Batista, and Reverend D-Von. He was soon sidelined, however, after a legitimate injury caused by gym equipment falling on him at a gym in Canada during late July 2002. After his accident, he was removed from television until doctors cleared him to return to in-ring action.
He returned to working SmackDown! dark matches in September 2002 and made one last televised appearance as Venis on October 26, 2002 at Rebellion, where he returned to team with Chuck Palumbo in a losing effort against Reverend D-Von and Ron Simmons.
Chief of Staff (2002–2003)
He returned to television on the November 18 edition on Raw under his real name, Sean Morley. He was appointed "Chief of Staff" by Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff, turning heel once again by acting as Bischoff's assistant and going by Chief Morley. Morley began a feud with the Dudley Boyz in March 2003. On the March 24, 2003 edition of Raw, he officially became one half of the World Tag Team Champions with Lance Storm after Storm's partner, William Regal, was sidelined with an illness. Storm and Morley successfully defended the World Tag Team Titles on an edition of Heat prior to WrestleMania XIX against Rob Van Dam and Kane with help from the Dudley Boyz, only to lose them to Kane and RVD the next night.
Morley was relegated to mid-card status due to some tension he created in the locker room. Rumor has it that Morley claimed that his genitalia was of greater size than that of former wrestling great, Andre The Giant. Several wrestlers took great issue with those comments and word spread to Vince McMahon. Due to this, Morley was "fired" from his assistant job by Bischoff after he lost a match to Jerry "The King" Lawler in which Jim Ross' job was on the line. He was quickly "rehired" by co-General Manager, Stone Cold Steve Austin. After returning as Val Venis, he participated in a battle royal at Judgment Day 2003 for the vacant Intercontinental Championship, won by Christian. Throughout mid-2003, 2004, and the first half of 2005, Venis became a face again, but did not get much in the way of a push. Venis began wrestling as a mid-carder on Heat and on an edition of Heat, he faced Intercontinental Champion Christian in a match for the Intercontinental Title, which Christian won. He reformed his previous tag team with Lance Storm as faces, but the partnership faded and Venis became utilized mainly as a "jobber to the stars".
In the summer of 2005 he formed another team, V-Squared, with Viscera. While wrestling on Heat, they squashed a number of other tag teams including the World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch in a non-title match. On the December 5 edition of Raw, V-Squared participated in a fatal four-way match for the World Tag Team Championship, including the champions Kane and The Big Show, The Heart Throbs, and Snitsky and Tyson Tomko but were defeated. Venis and Viscera continued to team in 2006, getting another shot at Kane and The Big Show's title, while occasionally having solo matches. In March 2006, Venis suffered a kayfabe injury at the hands of the Spirit Squad which allowed him to take time off for legitimate elbow surgery, during which about a dozen more bone spurs were removed, six others were shaved down, and a nerve was transplanted.
While he was out, Viscera began teaming with Charlie Haas, leaving Venis to team with Snitsky upon his return in a team that didn't last long. Venis began a feud with Eugene on Heat when Eugene interrupted and attacked him during a "Kiss Cam" segment on December 4. On the following edition of Heat, Venis and Eugene had a match which Eugene won. On the December 18 edition of Raw, Val participated in a #1 contender's battle royal, won by Edge. In February 2007, Venis was given a video program entitled Sex University on WWE.com, which lasted until April when it and its archives were removed from the site. On the March 19, 2007 edition of Raw, he participated in a Money in the Bank qualifying battle royal, won by Edge.
In late 2007, he began a feud with Santino Marella. During the feud, Marella gave Venis a sneak attack, causing him an injury. The two had a match on the October 15 edition of Raw, which Marella won. On the February 18, 2008 edition of Raw, he lost to Mr. Kennedy in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. On the March 25 edition of ECW on Sci Fi, he participated in a twelve-on-twelve tag team match involving all the participants of the battle royal. At WrestleMania XXIV, he participated in a pre-show number one contender's battle royal, with the winner facing ECW World Heavyweight Champion Chavo Guerrero later that night. Kane went on to win the battle royal. Morley spent the rest of 2008 out of action due to an injury. On January 9, 2009, Morley was released from his WWE contract after over a decade of working for the company. Morley toured in Japan with NJPW, losing to Hiroshi Tanahashi on March 22, 2009, and with Hulk Hogan's Hulkamania tour of the world which started in Melbourne, Australia.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2010)
On the January 4, 2010, live, three-hour, Monday night edition of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Impact! television show Morley made his debut for the company in a backstage segment with the The Beautiful People. On the January 14 edition of Impact! Morley had another segment, complete with revamped theme music, where he explained that he was no longer an adult film star, but rather an adult film producer. This led to Daniels coming to the ring and attacking him, setting up a match at the Genesis pay-per-view. At the pay-per-view Morley defeated Daniels in his first match for the company with his patented Money Shot. On the March 4, 2010 edition of Impact!, Morley pinned Jeff Jarrett in an impromptu Falls Count Anywhere match by order of Eric Bischoff, turning heel for the first time in TNA. However, the next day Morley announced on his Facebook page that largely due to the move of Impact! to Monday nights, his original plan to wrestle for both TNA and CMLL had to change and therefore he was done with TNA.
Morley is married to a Mexican woman named Lourdes and speaks social Spanish, which he learned during the time he spent in Mexican Lucha libre promotions. They have two daughters, Celina Rose and Jordan Maree. Sean's sister, Alanah Morley, married Adam "Edge" Copeland on November 8, 2001. Alanah and Copeland divorced on March 10, 2004.
Before becoming a wrestler, Morley was a motorcycle racer.
Morley identifies himself as Libertarian in his blog. He is also a big fan of the libertarian talk radio show Free Talk Live, and endorsed Marty Gobin of the Ontario Libertarian Party as his choice candidate during the March 2006 by-election in the Ontario riding of Whitby—Ajax.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Council
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment