Why Was MVP In Prison Before WWE Career?

Hamish Woodward


In the world of professional wrestling, MVP is a well-known and highly regarded athlete, wrestler and manager.

With a successful career spanning over two decades, he has become a fan favourite due to his charismatic personality and impressive in-ring abilities.

However, MVP’s life took a drastic turn when he was sentenced to 18 and a half years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, before he was signed to the WWE

. In this article, we will explore the events that led to MVP’s incarceration, his time behind bars, and his eventual redemption as he made his triumphant return to the world of wrestling.

Why Was MVP In Prison?

MVP spent 9 years in prison for armed robbery, when he was just a teenager.

He revealed in a 2006 interview with alanwojcik.com that he joined a gang when he was 12, labelling it as a “graffiti gang”.

However, they soon escalated into more crimes, including robbery’s and gun-related crimes. He soon became a criminal, and didn’t care about anyone else or the consequences of his actions.

He revealed in the interview that an armed robbery and shoot-out got him his first spell in prison as a youth, before an armed robbery when he got out earned him an 18-year sentence (of which he served half that).

Right around I was 12 yrs old I started hanging out in the streets. The graffiti gang I joined turned into a street gang. The street gang started fighting and that escalated to other things. I became a generally bad person that didnt care about anyone including myself.

I got involved in gunplay, robbery and drugs. I ended up committing a robbery and shootout and that led to six months in a juvenile program. I got out and kept straight until one of my friends got killed by a rival gang. I snapped inside and I pulled a robbery that got me in the papers big time. At age 16, I was sentenced to 18 years with a mandatory 3 years. All total I did 9 ½ years.

He later revealed the true nature of the crime that earned him nearly a decade a prison, in his TedX talk in 2019.

MVP revealed that he was sent to prison for robbing a casino on a cruise ship – comparing the robbery to a scene from George Clooney’s Ocean’s Eleven movie.

“I robbed a casino on a cruise ship. It was like some Ocean’s 11type shit. Nobody involved was over 21 at the time, and I had just turned 16.”

“One of my co-defendants had put together a plan because he used to work as security on the ship. I was looking for that one more lick. I went on the cruise, I checked it out and thought, You know what? With a little refining, this actually could work. 

We reconfigured his plan and pulled it off. We made off with fucking over 100 grand. One of my co-defendants, dickhead, left $80,000 behind.”

This time in prison would change MVP’s life, and for the better. He converted to Islam in prison, changing his name from Antonio Banks to H

He also met a pro-wrestler when he was on work release, who introduced him to the world of professional wrestling, and trained him in the art.

This eventually led him to the WWE, where he currently works as the manager for the Nigerian Giant, Omos.

“When I was in work release that’s where I met my buddy, Prime Time Daryl D, aka Daryl Davis, who is a correctional officer and was also an independent pro wrestler.” 

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