Harley Morenstein Talks Epic Meal Time & Facing John Hennigan
On April 15, Creator Clash II will host the co-main event between Harley Morenstein from Epic Meal Time & former WWE star John Hennigan.
YouTube boxing continues to be a thing in 2023, and if you look at it strictly as a form of entertainment and not as a serious purist, then you may be more receptive to catching one of their shows. Following a huge inaugural event last year which sold out a 10,000-seat arena and sold over 100,000 PPVs, Creator Clash is back on April 15 live from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. The co-main event for this card features the co-founder of the widely popular YouTube show “Epic Meal Time,” Harley Morenstein, going up against former WWE superstar John Hennigan (also known as John Morrison).
Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the 37-year-old Morenstein is the youngest in a family of five. Morenstein is an interesting and charismatic person which began early in his childhood. Given his size (6’6”), one would assume he would have used that to his advantage in a sport or two. Morenstein told Big Fight Weekend, “I liked making an a%s out of myself, so I busted at the camera. I was a high school teacher for a couple of years, so that’s what I was actually doing. Then I got onto YouTube being stupid and making jokes. When it comes to athletics, I grew up playing basketball. I’m 6’6” but always trash in basketball. I played football and was much more passionate about that, so I was better at that sport. However, I’m not a naturally athletically inclined person, so it took me years. I played football for like 15 years, and it took me halfway through it to find my footing.”
Although sports wasn’t his true calling, little did he know that what would be was right in the palm of his hands. Morenstein wanted to be in entertainment, so he tried acting and was an extra in some parts, but in the end, “too big, too ugly” is what he would get out of the rejections. Then, he started to watch some more YouTube videos, and the birth of a successful business would soon follow. Morenstein told Big Fight Weekend, “At one point, I started watching YouTube and saw who was popular on it. I thought their content was so trash, so I said, ‘let me take a crack at this.’ We did Epic Meal Time, and we were so lucky. It doesn’t matter if you have the best content or the best ideas, luck plays a part, and I realize that now.”
HARLEY MORENSTEIN VS. JOHN HENNIGAN WILL STREAM LIVE ON PPV, APRIL 15
still doesn't feel real that @HarleyPlays will be boxing pro-wrestler @TheRealMorrison in april pic.twitter.com/DsA6YLbaNR
— Creator Clash (@TheCreatorClash) February 28, 2023
Morenstein continued, “Epic Meal Time popped off; we did it every Tuesday, I’m 25 years old, and I had like five friendly friends working for me. I’m 25, and big ego sh*t was going down. That was the obstacle that I never really considered. Get something like a million subscribers, and you are going to think you’re hot sh*t. That’s how I was acting, but I have these other guys that were also in their 20s, and they also had their egos. We all had these egos, and being the guy that was supposed to be in charge of that while also setting up the episodes and editing them was just very taxing. It led to some strained relationships and falling outs over the years.”
Epic Meal Time which debuted in 2010, started to take off, and just when you thought things were going really good, the pandemic threw the world for a loop. The pandemic hit Morenstein hard, and he fell into an unhealthy lifestyle that was good for him economically, but his health wasn’t in great shape. “Man, the pandemic got me. I didn’t do sh*t during that time. I literally sat in my apartment and was getting paid by Facebook to game online. So, I was gaming every day and doing Uber Eats like crazy. I was in a small apartment in Toronto with no gym, and I just got fatter and fatter.”
“When the pandemic was done, I was about 310 lbs. iDubbbz (Jomha) was like, ‘who wants to box?’ and I had been smokin’ hash, so I was like, ‘I’llll boxxxx’ (slurred). He was like, ‘cool,’ and set up the fight. All that happened, and I was like, ‘shit, it’s time to get serious.’I went from 310 lbs to 276 lbs for my last match against a YouTuber (Arin Hanson),” said the co-founder of Epic Meal Time.
For his upcoming fight, Morenstein will face John Hennigan, who spent years entertaining fans worldwide in the wrestling space. Most notably have been his runs with the WWE and his funny guest appearances on his friend’s reality TV show “Miz and Mrs,” which stars Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin and his wife, Maryse. Hennigan is 43, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at his physique and what he can do in the ring.
Morenstein is up for the challenge but knows what he is going up against, even though he’s friends with Hennigan and is a huge wrestling fan. Morenstein told Big Fight Weekend, “This time, I’m boxing John Morrison (Hennigan), who is a f*cking icon. You don’t really get guys who are 225 lbs flipping off the top rope. Those are the little boys that do that, but he was like somewhere between a big boy and a little boy. He is so jacked, athletic, and his IQ is next level. I found out that he wanted to fight me, so I said ‘yes,’ and now I’ve lost almost 50 lbs preparing for this fight. I’m close to 230 lbs now; my diet is dialed in, and I’m boxing five times a week, doing cardio 7 (days), and abs every day. I’m kinda like; I deserve this sh*t.”
Last night at @MONDOLUCHA vs. @GringoLocoOG pic.twitter.com/nOS2sW7aTe
— John Morrison (@TheRealMorrison) October 29, 2022
“I have friends who love this stuff (Boxing, MMA), but here I am wrongfully put in a boxing ring that is going to be at Amalie Arena on April 15. There’s going to be like 18,000 people watching (in attendance), and I know I’m lucky to be there. This whole experience is borrowed. I’m super fortunate,” said the 37-year-old Canadian.
While the fight and event are for charity, it’s still entertainment, and what is a fight without a bit of smack talk to go with it? I asked Morenstein what he would say if Hennigan were standing right in front of him right now. Morenstein told Big Fight Weekend, “I’d be like ‘suck this d*ck’ (laughs), I wouldn’t. I’m buddies with John, and we hung out at the last Creator Clash.”
After laughing, Morenstein said, “Creator Clash I was huge. It was a big stage, and he (Hennigan) loves that stuff. He’s a wrestler and is used to going on the big stage. He wants to prove himself in the ring where he is comfortable and prove he is really strong. What better way than to beat up a guy like me who is a YouTuber and is bigger. I think John wants to come in and handle this sh*t, but I think he fucked up a little bit. I think he wanted some fat, pill poppin, clout-chasing, delusional YouTuber that is going to go in there and f*ck it up. The truth is I’ve been dialed in. I’m not saying that I’m going in there and knocking out John Hennigan, but I’m going to say that he is not going to knock me out, and that’s going to look pretty f%cking bad for him.”
Lastly, before signing off, Morenstein had one last thing to say about his upcoming fight on April 15. “I’m going to give it my all and want to put on a show. I’m doing it for charity, and if I did it last year with a YouTuber, then let’s go all out and give me a wrestling icon (John Hennigan)”.
The event will again be on PPV, where you can purchase it early for $24.99, but if you wait until the day of the event, it’ll be $34.99 on thecreatorclash.com. You can follow Abe on Twitter @abeg718 and subscribe to “The Boxing Rush Hour Show” podcast on all streaming platforms.