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MVP on Why He Left WWE in 2010, Vince McMahon’s Reaction, Taking 10 Years to Return And His New TV Role

June 6, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Bobby Lashley MVP

Speaking with Lilian Garcia on Chasing Glory, MVP recalled leaving WWE in 2010, why it took so long to return and Vince McMahon’s reaction to his exit. MVP is of course back with the company now and serving an on-camera role as a manager to Bobby Lashley, Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink. He explained why it took so long for him to return to the company and why his new role in WWE transitioned from producing to being on camera again.

Highlights from the discussion and the full video are below:

On why he left WWE in 2010: “Because my dream was to wrestle in Japan. Yeah, when I started professional wrestling, I was first introduced to Japanese wrestling. Norman Smiley, he introduced me to Japanese wrestling. He wrestled in Japan for some time. And I was like, ‘Woah, that’s intense. Wow!’ So, I had a dream that I wanted to wrestle in the Tokyo Dome. I wanted to wrestle in New Japan Pro Wrestling. And I had a year left on my deal. And I asked Vince McMahon — actually, I asked Johnny Ace at the time because we used to talk. A lot of people don’t know Johnny Ace made his career in Japan for All Japan. So, there would be times where me and John would drink a beer, and we’d talk about pro wrestling. And I would just sit there, and I would drink up all of his stories about Japan and the guys I used to watch on VHS tapes that he worked with.

“And I had a year left on my deal, and they were trying to get me to re-sign a five-year deal. And I just, I didn’t want to at the time. My inner flame was kind of flickering, you know. And Japan was calling me. I needed that fire again, I needed that motivation.”

On Vince McMahon’s reaction to his decision to leave: “I will always say this. Love Vince McMahon or hate Vince McMahon, no matter what you feel about him he has always treated me well. He gave me an opportunity when no one else would. When I said I wanted to leave to go fulfill a dream, he didn’t have to let me out of my contract. He could’ve said no. He said, ‘Okay. Come back, door’s open for you to come back. Come back in a year, two years. You’ll be a bigger star when you come back.’ And Johnny Ace was like, ‘You’ll only get better. So you’ll came back, you’ll be better and it’ll be ‘Oh, MVP’s back!” And it took me 10 years to get back.”

On why he didn’t come back to WWE right away: “I went and wrestled in Japan for a couple of years, and I loved it. It was everything I dreamed it would be. And then I just took a year off. And that’s when I started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. And that became my new love and I started doing tournaments, and competing.

“And then when I was ready to come back to WWE, I got a call from TNA. And they offered me a really good deal. You know, less workload for a considerable amount of money. And I was like, ‘All right, yeah let me try this for a little while.’ … I had an opportunity to something I wanted to do the way I wanted to do it. And then when things wrapped up over at TNA, I wasn’t ready to come back to WWE yet at that time. And I was working on the indies, which I enjoyed. I was making my own schedule, working when I wanted to work. And going from that to going to, ‘Okay, I’m going to go back to working 52 weeks a year, three to four nights a week. It’s a big jump.”

On transitioning back to an on-camera role with WWE: “They offered me a position as producer. And I had intended to retire this year anyway. Yeah, I was like 46 now … I was ready to start winding down. And they offered me a producer’s position and I accepted it. But they still had value in me as MVP. So, ‘Hey MVP, could you do an MVP Lounge segment? Hey MVP, could you do this match real quick?’ “Hey MVP, could you–‘ And the next thing I know, I’m doing TV stuff more than I’m doing producer stuff. And then the COVID hit, and the next thing I know, all these layoffs start to hit and there’s all of these crazy things happening. And fortunately, I’m still on TV. And they asked me, ‘Hey MVP, would you like to come back full-time? … And I still intend to retire, but what a great way to close out the chapter, you know?”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

MVP, TNA, WWE, Jeremy Thomas