BANK STATEMENT #18 - Mike Morgan, Jr.
Today’s Bank Statement on Hardway HQ is going to deviate from the usual subjects, instead, I’m going to write a little bit about my friend Mike Morgan, Jr, AKA Michael Viruet.
Or as we all knew him, MIKEY.
I met Mikey when I first started going to American Championship Entertainment shows in Union City, NJ in 2007. Mikey would tag along to the shows with his dad, Mike Morgan, and his family.
The more I went to shows, I noticed that Mikey slowly started to integrate himself into ACE shows. In 2008 he started to do ringside camera work, by 2010, he was editing wrestling shows. Under the tutelage of editor extraordinaire William Wyeth, Mikey handled the full edit of St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in February 2010. In 2011, he handled the full shoot of the 2010 Year in Review DVD with Jon Harder as host.
He also helped the team come up with creative ideas during booking meetings, and handled pre-show promos in the locker room, Mikey became a sponge of information and talent.
He wasn’t even 18 years old.
By the time 2013 rolled around, Mikey became an official character on ACE shows. He became the heel authority figure and co-owner of American Championship Entertainment. He performed alongside Stockade, Chris Raze, Vince Steele, and Big Game James, otherwise known as The New Age Wrecking Crew. Mikey and company ran roughshod over the promotion in 2014.
His final moment in an ACE ring was a six-man tag, as Mike Morgan, Sr. and Jr were on opposite ends at Crossroads X in Union City, NJ. Senior pinned Junior to win the match and ultimately gain control of the promotion fully. It was awesome to see it live.
That was the last time I ever saw Mikey.
Weeks later, Mikey sacrificed himself to protect his brother and sister in Union City on the way home from the movies from a drunk driver that went up on the sidewalk. He took the brunt of the hit and was sent to the hospital. For nearly 3 weeks, Mikey fought to survive. He even wrote on a piece of paper in the hospital #ACE4LIFE to signal what he wanted to do after making it through the accident.
Sadly, on December 4, 2014, Mikey Viruet passed away in the hospital. Before he passed, he did learn that the driver of the car that hit him and his siblings was found in Maryland and was placed under arrest and sent to jail.
He was only a few months shy of his 21st birthday..
February 7, 2015, one week before Mikey would have turned 21, ACE ran A Hero’s Celebration at the Jose Marti Freshman Academy in Union City, NJ, the same location of Mikey’s last performance.
After a phenomenal card which included the likes of Jay Lethal, EYFBO (Santana and Ortiz), Eddie Kingston, Dan Maff, Stockade, the night culminated with the Mike Morgan Jr. Memorial Rumble. The winner would receive the Hero’s Cup, in honor of Mikey. William Wyeth, a close family friend of the Viruets and a mentor to Mikey, eliminated both Jamal Jackson and FNB to win.
There was a huge display of emotion from Mike, Will, the Movement, fans, staff, and the entire ACE locker room. Mike was raised up on talents’ shoulders and proceeded to point to the sky, honoring Mikey. It was an amazing moment for everyone.
It was in that moment, I knew the ACE locker room was truly family.
Every February from that point on, “A Hero’s Celebration” has taken place in ACE, where the winner of the Hero’s Cup is honored.
William Wyeth, as stated, won the inaugural one in 2015. Jamal Jackson defeated his partner and best friend FNB to win in 2016. Style and Finesse team of Rob Vegas and Mike Donovan beat the Midnight Sensations in 2017 to win the tag team tournament. Adam Payne, local Wallington legend (and the bane of my existence) won in 2018, pinning Astro Morales. And in 2019, Stockade beat Rob Vegas in the finals of a tournament to win in Bogota, NJ.
Sadly, due to the pandemic, there was not one in 2020 nor 2021.
However, A Hero’s Celebration is returning NEXT Saturday in Teaneck, NJ with a tournament honoring the Fight for Flight Division, where every tournament match will be a multi-man match. The survivor of it all will hold the Mike Morgan Jr. Hero Cup. A wonderful tribute celebrating the return of the tournament.
Mikey Viruet was a kind soul, was a great person, and had a smart mind. His father and stepmother have done an amazing job keeping his memory alive. His passion for learning and, ultimately, teaching are some things that can never be forgotten.
I’ll be there in Teaneck, Mikey. And I hope everyone else will too.
We all miss you. I miss you.
Bank on it.