MVP On After The Bell: Podcast Recap

MVP recently appeared on The After The Bell podcast with Corey Graves and Vic Joseph. They discussed MVP’s role as the manager of The Hurt Business and his relationship with WWE Champion and close friend Bobby Lashley. They also discussed the rain delays at WrestleMania and more. The most notable quotes can be found below:

On what a difference a year makes:

“It’s funny I just posted that on my Instagram a few days ago. Sometimes it’s so surreal, how things have changed in a short span of time. I was going to retire, and here I am standing next to one of my best friends and business partners at WrestleMania. Also celebrating a bit of history.”

The formation of The Hurt Business

“Bobby Lashley and I have a very natural chemistry. We are friends in real life and we play friends and business partners on television. It’s organic. Bobby, contrary to popular belief, had an idea for some time to do something like a Hurt Business. Bobby said for quite some time, actually Bobby and Shelton discussed it. When I came in, me and Bobby talked about it. Fortunately Paul Heyman was on board, he was like let’s try it out. Me and Bobby discussed how we would like to go about it, and everybody said cool lets give it a try. It was this seamless transition. I remember at the Performance Center, we shot a backstage vignette where I was asking Bobby ‘Hey when are you going to let Lashley out?’ We all go from that vignette, and the seeds were planted. It was historic for both me and Bobby.”

On how The Hurt Business is a natural fit for both MVP and Bobby Lashley:

“It really is. It’s one of those things. I’ve always told up and coming wrestlers that if you try to play a character that is not you, then it’s going to be difficult. And the fans can register that, sometimes it’s subconsciously, like this isn’t right. But Bobby Lashley really is that combat athlete. Bobby loves to train, Bobby is happy when he is training and fighting. The Lashley that you see on the screen is Lashley with his own personality turned way up. MVP is myself, Hassan, personality volume on 11 for fans of Spinal Tap. If you look, that’ the reason that we work so well. If you look historically, all of the greats [do that]. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Steve turned the volume up on his personality. Same with Dwayne Johnson and The Rock. Me and Bobby work so well together because of the dynamic. Bobby is a man of few words. I’ve always got something to say, just ask for my opinion I’ll give it to you.”

On adjusting to a more managerial role:

“It’s one of those things that’s just organic. People ask me ‘When are you going to turn on Bobby and go after the WWE Championship?’ I have no desire to work that hard man! I’m at a point in my career where it’s like ‘Hey MVP you got to go after the United States Championship.’ No I don’t. In terms of adjustments, I’m just adjusting to life after wrestling. While I can still wrestle and I will periodically. For the most part, I enjoy stepping into a Paul Heyman like role. In my case, I can still climb into the ring, sit behind the commentary table and film backstage vignettes. Many years ago in Tampa at Steve Kerns school of hard knocks, before FCW, I had the pleasure of cutting a promo. I saw Bobby Heenan walk into the garage, he was standing in the corner. As I was cutting my promo, in my opinion, the greatest manager of all time and greatest commentators and brains of all time, is standing there watching me cut this promo. When I finished, Mr Heenan called me over to him. He said ‘that was great kid, has Vince seen you yet?’ I said ‘I don’t think so.’ I only started maybe a year and a half to two years ago. I was super green. He gave me some advice that stuck with me about natural flow and being sharp, fearless, making it real. Every time I saw him after that, he was very complimentary and he remembered me. So now when I hear people compare the role I’m in to the role that Bobby Heenan made so famous, that’s one of the highest complements I have been paid in my entire career.”

On transitioning to new roles in this run:

“I never really saw myself as a producer. But there were times where I thought potentially after my in ring career, I could go onto being a commentator, general manager, something like that. But this role that I stepped into was nothing that I had ever planned. It fits like a glove though, it’s organic and natural. I really like the role that I am playing now. It’s weird because realistically time flies. You blink your eyes and 20 years have gone by. I was thinking about it the other day. The age I am now, I recall the age I was when I started in WWE. Some of the guys I work with are around that age. So I am a mentor to a lot of young guys, and I don’t even think about it that way. I’m just being me, but other guys have mentioned it. It was cool when the OGs from my era talked me through the business. So it’s cool to have a guy like an Apollo Crews and help him improve, or Cedric or Ali. A number of young guys hit me up and ask me for advice, mostly about promos. They will seek my council about this should go about. That’s the role I am in now for real. I am playing that role in front of the camera, but behind the camera I’ve kind of slipped into that OG role.”

On how his mindset is different this time around:

“I guess the biggest difference in my mindset is the confidence that comes with experience. I’ve been everywhere, there’s not a big wrestling company that I haven’t worked for one way or another. Everywhere I have been, I’ve done well for myself. So I know I am a proven commodity. My very first time in WWE, I was a much younger guy. I didn’t have the being confident that comes with experience. I had the confidence that just comes with knowing what I was capable. The first run, you are really concerned about making mistakes or stepping on egg shells. That is not an issue for me anymore. I know where I belong and I know who my peers are. I know my value and I know what I know. I have an open door with Vince, so I can discuss ideas with Vince. Before, I was scared, I was like know your role. I wasn’t confident to say to Vince ‘I don’t like this, let’s try something else.’ Now it’s a situation where ultimately I’m not worried about getting fired. I’ll speak up and I will say what I feel about a situation, and I understand the dynamics. I am free to be the best person of myself I can be without stepping on a landmine.”

On the rain delay at WrestleMania 37:

“In that situation, my heart went out to Bobby and Drew. I know the adrenaline that you feel knowing you’re about to go out and tear the house down. You are literally seconds away from this historic moment. It’s WrestleMania, first time in front of a live crowd. Then it’s oh we have to wait for 30 minutes. I was fine because even though I was hyped, my role wasn’t to be in the ring delivering the first match of a historic WrestleMania. My responsibility was to be a part of it from the outside of the ring. I felt terrible for Bobby and Drew. We knew it was a rain delay, we didn’t know how long. When you’re stretched and warmed up and then you’re told go cool off, that was awful.”

On what it was like walking out at WrestleMania once the rain had calmed down:

“There’s so many levels to that. Personally I had every intention on retiring. So while I’ve had the honour and the pleasure of being in a few WrestleManias, I never thought I would be in a WrestleMania again. That was my time, it’s cool. I never thought I would be in another WrestleMania, yet along walking out as a representative of the WWE Champion. So to be back in the role of talent at a WrestleMania in itself is exhilarating. To be a part of this WrestleMania, the first one with a crowd in over a year because of the pandemic, I understood the historical significance of it. I also got to walk out again with one of my best friends and business partners. This journey we made together week after week, it was emotional on that level. To once again experience the energy, there’s no way I can convey what it feels like standing in front of a WrestleMania crowd. That passion is unbelievable. And the more they give, the more we give. To go from working in an empty warehouse and trying to feel that passion, that was a very difficult thing. To go from that to the ThunderDome, which was a huge improvement, to being in front of a crowd. Feeling that passion is almost indescribable. There were so many levels to unpack there.”

On trying to find his cane at WrestleMania:

“I didn’t find it, but fortunately the props crew, they found it. Moving from Tropicana to Raymond James, some things got lost. One of my canes is still MIA, I’m not totally convinced that someone stole it. Fortunately, because I am MVP, I had a backup cane. I have two canes and one made it’s way to Gorilla. The crazy thing was that it was wet. People were slipping, and a lot of people don’t realise my knee is legitimately injured. So that cane isn’t just for show, the cane replaced the crutch. When I walk out, I need that cane. If I slip and tear my knee up even more. Poor Mandy, she handled that bump like a boss.”

The podcast audio can be found here.

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Featured image credit: WWE

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