While MVP has occasionally competed in the ring during his second tenure in the WWE, his role has been been that of a manager. He first guided Bobby Lashley to victory in the WWE Championship before turning his attention to Omos. The original period of MVP’s WWE career spanned from 2005 through 2010. For the most part, this was a prosperous period, although it did come to an end in December 2010 when he was freed from his contract, five years later. Some fans might be perplexed as to why he was fired from the company given that he was a strong midcard competitor and a very good hand.
MVP’s WWE Career Had Highs And Lows Before His Release
MVP received a great deal of interest and attention when he first made his main roster debut for WWE. He was touted as one of the top free agents, and the largest SmackDown contract in history was given to him (in narrative). These facts gave him a good boost early on, and he went on to feud with people like Kane and win the United States Championship, starting the longest reign of any champion since the title was acquired by WWE. His character work was excellent during this time, and he and Matt Hardy had a very fun ongoing rivalry.
Over the course of the following two years, MVP gradually lost popularity and was relegated to undercard, midcard, and the occasional thrown-together tag team feuds. He eventually went babyface, losing some of his appeal. Even while he continued to enjoy strong support from the crowd, little came of it until WWE let him go from his contract. However, MVP requested to be released from his contract, so the decision to release him was not made by WWE.
MVP Wanted To Wrestle In Japan
The choice was one that MVP wanted to make for a number of reasons. This was partly because he no longer felt like a potential main event star and the quality of his booking had declined. Although it had only been five years since his WWE debut, he felt as though he had hit a ceiling in the organization. Because of his standing on the card, WWE was probably happy to grant his request to leave the promotion. WWE has occasionally declined to grant a wrestler’s request for release, but in this case, they complied.
MVP continued, citing yet another factor—possibly the main factor in his decision to leave the WWE. According to MVP, who was interviewed on Chasing Glory with Lillian Garcia (via 411Mania.com), “My dream was to wrestle in Japan. Yes, I was initially exposed to Japanese wrestling when I began competing professionally. My introduction to Japanese wrestling came from Norman Smiley. He competed in wrestling for a while in Japan. I thought, “Wow, that’s intense!” Wow!’ I therefore desired to wrestle in the Tokyo Dome in my fantasy. I aspired to compete in New Japan Professional Wrestling. They were attempting to get me to re-sign a five-year contract even though I still had a year left on my current one. I simply didn’t want to at the time. My inner flame was kind of flickering, you know. And Japan was calling. I needed that fire again.”