MVP Discusses Leaving WWE, Benoit’s Influence On His Career
Recap of former WWE star MVP’s appearance on the Busted Open satellite radio show on Sirius 92 and XM 207
MVP on leaving WWE and if he would consider returning: “I want to make this point first because it’s very important…. I had about a year left on my deal and I asked the Vice President of Talent Relations to release me from my contract because I wanted to go wrestle in Japan. I left on good terms, the door is open for me to return if I should choose to. It’s kinda like the WWE is that ex-girlfriend that you kinda grew apart from… we just kinda grew apart. I’m happy now, man, I’m happy.
“They honored my request, there’s no animosity between us. Vince’s view for his company is more of a Disney-type entertainment company and I always wanted to be a professional wrestler and I love the fact that I’m in Japan wrestling professionally, and it’s not a bad word. The door is open as they say. People ask me all the time on Twitter…..’Will you return to the WWE? When are you coming back?’…..never say never, but right now man, I’m happier than I’ve been in a very, very long time.”
MVP on Christian’s brief title reign: “I’m sure there’s a bigger picture. Let’s look at it like this. The WWE is desperately in need of new stars. Edge is out, Taker doesn’t have much time left, Rey-Rey doesn’t have much time left, and they’re trying to take these new guys and turn them into something, and it takes time. The guys that are leaving have 15-20 years of television… and these new guys coming in have a few years and there’s just not that emotional investment. Christian is going to be a player.
“I’m not concerned about his loss because I do think there is a bigger storyline unfolding. It would make the most sense to turn Christian heel, and I like the suggestions about him (from our callers) doing the ‘I don’t get respect, I’ve always been second fiddle to Edge’. I think that makes perfect sense, which is why I think they won’t do it.”
MVP on Chris Benoit’s influence on his career: “When I was still on the independent scene and being brought into WWE as an extra, I met Chris Benoit. He was one of my favorites. I studied all of his work in Japan. One of my most watched DVD collections was Chris Benoit’s body of work in Japan. I used to talk to him all the time, he took an interest in my career. Before I got signed, he would call me up on the weekends and….’Have you had any independent matches?’…..we would talk about it. And at one point he asked me to send him a DVD with some of my matches so he could critique my work. He became my friend and mentor.
“When I got signed, I was actually sent to Deep South Wrestling…..Chris and I would train together, at the time he was on hiatus from his neck surgery. So as he was getting ready for his comeback, we’d have private workouts together at the Deep South training center just so he could take bumps and get back in ring shape. We’d hit the gym together. When I got called up, we would ride together. We became very close friends.
“I was recently on (Dave) Lagana’s podcast and I expressed this. In hindsight, Chris expressed a lot of things to me in confidence. There was a lot of inner turmoil. I didn’t realize at the time how bad. If your friend says to you ‘Sometimes I think I’m losing my mind. Sometimes I think I’m going crazy.’…..you don’t really expect that your friend is going crazy. Your just ‘ah, you’ll be alright, stick it out, hang in there, you know…’
“I was in Corpus Christi, Texas when the word came through that Chris, Nancy, and Daniel were dead. In my lifetime, I’ve lost a lot of friends to violent death, and I would have to say that this one hit me the hardest because in a short time, Chris and I became so incredibly close. It hurt me and affected me deeply.
“Chris wanted me to win the United States Championship at Wrestlemania and it was cool, we wound up having a longer storyline and did 3 pay-per-views. Chris….this was a guy, and Kaval used to come down to my house from New York to Miami to train together and watch these DVDs, and I went from sitting on my living room couch studying matches of Pegasus Kid and Liger to standing in Detroit at Wrestlemania in front of 80,000 wrestling the guy I used to study for the United States Championship……so you talk about surreal, literally a dream come true and that match doesn’t exist.
“That Wrestlemania match has been erased, but not to me. I’ll always remember it and the people who saw it remember it and people remind me all the time. That was the match that allowed people to know ‘Wow, MVP can go. He’s for real. He went hold for hold with Chris Benoit.’
What I want to express, it wasn’t steroids. My friend lost his mind. He was insane. Sane people don’t go home and kill their wife and kid. That’s not something a sane person does. In the autopsy, they found that he has severe brain damage, severe. I’m not making excuses, I’m just saying that in this nation every day, people snap and kill 30 people at a college campus or go into a grocery store, and we don’t say ‘Hey, that guy was on steroids’. We say, ‘This guy was mentally affected. There was some sort of mental lapse that took place that caused him to do that.’ And that’s what happened with my friend. So while WWE for PR purposes may want to erase his memory, in my heart he will always be very near and dear to me.”