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1040 Abroad

June 25 2021

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MVP on his time in WWE, NJPW and TNA
The international wrestling star talks to The American's Josh Modaberi
February 6, 2014

MVP in Glasgow
Montel Vontavious Porter or MVP for short is one of the most talented wrestlers of his generation, having wrestled in North America with WWE, over in Japan with NJPW and he made his debut for TNA at their Live episode of IMPACT! from Glasgow.

However it wasn't all plain sailing for the Miami, Florida grappler. When he was younger he spent six months in juvenile detention for robbery and spent a further 9 1/2 years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping which started when he was sixteen. It was spending time in jail that led MVP to a career in the ring.

"It was my correctional officer who introduced me to professional wrestling," MVP exclusively told The American. "He was an Indy wrestler and I used to ask him questions and he asked me if wrestling is something that I would be interested in.

"I was looking for a hobby as I was going to be getting out of prison and it is through my correctional officer that I met Norman Smiley. By the time I met Norman I was already in wrestling school and training so the building blocks were there and he added to it."

MVP, whose real name is Hassan Assad, made it to the WWE in 2006 and spent four years with the company becoming a two–time United States Champion and winning the tag titles with Matt Hardy. For most the WWE is the ultimate goal but not for MVP.

"The WWE is the NFL or the Premier League, it is the top of the tops," he continued. "For me WWE was my goal and Japan was my dream. You can say the Tokyo Dome is the Madison Square Garden of Japan, and again it was a dream for me to wrestle in the Tokyo Dome, and I can say I've wrestled in Madison Square Garden, I've wrestled in Korakuen Hall and I've wrestled in the Tokyo Dome.

"There are a lot of similarities; the language of wrestling is the same regardless of what language you speak. You've got good guys and you've got bad guys and it's the age–old tale of good versus evil. I think the primary difference in Japan is it's more sport and less entertainment, and it's probably a bit more physical but that is just the nature of the beast."

MVP made his return to action with another North American company TNA during their Live episode of IMPACT! from Glasgow, Scotland on January 30 and it was a moment the grappler enjoyed.

"It was spectacular, it was exasperating to have been away for so long and to come back and receive the reception that I did was humbling," the 40–year–old added. "The fans remembered me and they were glad to have me back. The whole tour was awesome, after Glasgow we did Manchester and London and it reminded me of why I love it so much.

"The confirmation didn't come until less than two weeks before I came over, I still don't have a signed contract, our lawyers are working out the last little bit of the deal so I'm here on a handshake. But I expressed to the company, when I did make my debut I wanted to do it on the UK tour."

'Return of the Ronin': MVP is back from the Land of the Rising Sun
MVP has originally come into TNA as an investor, but says that he can't wait to tie up his laces and have some dream matches: "I made the stipulation very clear, if I were to come to TNA I would absolutely have to work with Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode at some point," he said. "Those are the guys that are on my list. Fortunately I had my first match with Bobby Roode the other night at Wembley and we had probably about nine minutes, so it was a chance to test the water, I definitely like his style, I like his work.

"Kurt Angle is a legitimate legend and Joe and I have been friends for a long time, he is a guy I've wanted to face for years going back to the Indys. Those are just a few of the guys I'm looking forward to working with, one of the things that attracted me to TNA is the overall roster – they have top tier talent."

Outside of wrestling MVP has a massive passion for music and when he made his debut with TNA he also debuted his new single as his theme music. "Right before I left WWE I composed my own theme song and it made it to the air a few times before I left. With TNA it was definitely something we discussed and I expressed that if I come over I do want to compose my own theme music.

"I had seen what they had done with Mickie James and Jeff Hardy musically and that is an aspect of my creativity that I would like to explore some more. They were completely supportive and it is something we will delve into at some point.

"My new theme song in TNA is called 'Return of the Ronin' and for those that don't know, a Ronin is a Japanese word for masterless samurai and in the wrestling industry that is how I see myself. I serve no master, that is why I have been able to go from WWE to NJPW and TNA."

For more information on MVP you can visit www.mvp305.com and follow him on Twitter @The305MVP. MVP's new single and TNA theme song, 'Return of the Ronin' is available on iTunes. TNA's MAXIMUM IMPACT 7 Tour tickets are available via the TNA UK Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tnawrestlinguk, www.gigsandtours.com, and www.ticketmaster.co.uk



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