John was a martial artist. His movies didn't get much attention, but once he had an invitation to an island where he could show the world his real strength. John travels there, and meets the director and his men who reveal themselves to be Raiden, Liu Kang, Kobra and other warriors that would fight in a tournament to determine the fate of the realm. John thinks they are mad, but on the way back he finds that his ship had been captured by Black Dragon members. John followed them and witness their leader Tasia killing a man named Lance. They had captured another girl and John beats the thugs and save her. Her name was Sonya.
Sonya told him about the Black Dragon and Kano. They went to the palace to understand what's going on. When they entered an old man named Shang Tsung was announcing the start of the tournament. John realized that was a real tournament. He accepts to fight first, his first opponent was a brute warrior named Torr. John defeats him.
Johnny later was defated by Ermac, but spared. After Liu Kang won the tournament, John parted ways with Sonya. He also left his movie career.
After awhile he was once again approached by Raiden, informed about the grand tournament in Outworld. John accepted and joined with Liu Kang, Kung Lao and others to go and paticipate in Outworld. There they went on a mission to save the Shaolin Masters from the Tarkatans. There they thought that Liu Kang was lost and Johnny and Lao continued to the coliseum of Shao Kahn.
In the tournament Johnny defeats some Outworlders including Rain and Baraka. He then gets eliminated by Kitana. After Kung Lao was killed Liu Kang returned and defeated Shao Kahn.