The Story Behind MVP’s 2010 Release From WWE

With his in-ring career all but over, MVP has successfully become one of the top managers in WWE, despite his release 13 years ago.

The former United States Champion had a brilliant in-ring career for the WWE, although his release in 2010 is still a sore spot for wrestling fans.

MVP had some incredible moments and matches in WWE. Matches with Chris Benoit and Matt Hardy defined his reign, as he cemented himself as one of Smackdown’s best heels over the years.

WWE released MVP from the company in 2010, and it took him a decade before he would be seen in a WWE ring again.

A shock appearance in the 2020 Royal Rumble saw him make his comeback, and he was so liked backstage that he was soon rehired in the company – not as a wrestler, but as a manager.

He soon forged a relationship with Bobby Lashley, and formed the much beloved Hurt Business faction. Under his tutelage, Bobby Lashley became the WWE Champion for the first time in his career, marking a historic moment for the former ECW Champion.

He has ascended to be a top manager in the company, just below Paul Heyman. He is well respected and valued by the company, although that is not something he felt when WWE released MVP in 2010.

WWE Released MVP In 2010

Montel Vontavious Porter, more commonly known as MVP, started his WWE run in 2006.

He was brought in as the most coveted free agent in Smackdown history, with commentary claiming he had signed the largest contract for a rookie in WWE.

He based his character on the young sports stars that were drafted in the NFL and NBA, which immediately drew incredible heel heat from the crowd.

Feuds with Kane, Chris Benoit and Matt Hardy over the United States Championship made him a featured part of Smackdown, but just four years later he would be out of WWE for a decade.

He would turn face and go on a losing streak leading up to his 2010 firing, which changed his character for the worse. He should less charisma, and the arrogant, cocky character that he had crafted was suddenly thrown aside.

After a poor run that saw his love from the crowd wavering, MVP was released by the WWE on December 2nd, 2010. This came as a shock to many, as he had been featured regularly on Smackdown in the weeks leading up to his contract termination.

In a statement on, the company said;

“World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar MVP as of December 2, 2010. WWE wishes MVP the best in all future endeavors.”

However, MVP immediately corrected the record, informing the fans that he had not been fired from the company, and he had actually asked for his release.

He Tweeted out on his personal Twitter account following his release;

No need for alarm. I did not get fired. I asked for & received my release. I felt it was time to go international & freshen things up.

This came as a shock to many, although looking back, MVP had good reasons for leaving the company. He was no longer a main-event str in the company, and wasn’t being pushed as a big deal anymore.

Meanwhile, companies like TNA and NJPW were pulling in big numbers, with millions of fans watching non-WWE wrestling across the world.

MVP’s Dream Was To Wrestle In Japan

One of the main reasons that MVP was released by the WWE was to follow his dream to wrestle in Japan.

When he first began training in wrestling, after he was released from prison, he was introduced to Japanese wrestling, and tried to emulate their style when he joined the WWE.

He briefly wrestled in Japan as a young wrestler, and found it so “intense” that he felt he needed to get back there.

Needing to follow his dream to wrestle for NJPW in the Tokyo Dome, MVP requested his release from WWE and went over the Japan to work.

“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… 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. I needed that fire again.”

Rejecting a five-year deal offered by WWE, MVP signed for NJPW in 2010 as one of their biggest foreign signings in years.

He made a huge impact in Japan. MVP became the first man to hold the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Taking part in a tournament a Philadelphia, MVP defeated Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito and Toru Yano to claim the first ever IWGP Interncontinal Championship.

MVP wrestled in NJPW for one year, and later spent some time in TNA. However, his WWE return did not happen until 2020, when he faced off with Brock Lesnar at the 2020 Royal Rumble.

Despite his release 10 years prior, MVP was welcomed back into WWE with open arms.

He was immediately put together with Bobby Lashley, helping him to win the WWE Championship for the first time in his career.

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