Recently on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness, professional wrestling greats Edge and Christian welcomed to the podcast their fellow WWE alumnus, MVP. Among many other things, MVP talked about why he never became WWE Champion and the current trends in professional wrestling. Specifically, MVP discussed why he is not a fan of The Young Bucks' in-ring style and intergender wrestling. Additionally, MVP hypothesized as to why the genre has moved away from simulated fighting to a highly athletic and heavily choreographed live stunt show.
MVP, who recently participated in a moving and inspirational TEDx Talk on the subject of criminality in the United States, indicated that there was talk of making him WWE Champion. According to MVP, his world title run never happened because there were countries that would not let him enter due to his criminal background.
"There was a time, it was relayed to me by some of the writers who I had become friends with and people higher up on the chain, that there was talk about me having a world championship run. But there was a lot of hesitation because there were certain countries that wouldn't allow me in because of my violent felony past. And I can't blame [WWE] for that. That's a business decision. But I'm like, 'damn, I'm still paying. All these years later, I'm still paying." MVP explained, "if the laws are set up that you are released from prison then once the rules of our society have established that you are allowed to be back in society, then you should have the rights of every other member of society. That's my take."
During the interview, MVP shared that he is not a fan of the ring work of The Young Bucks, but is a fan of their industrious spirit.
"Now, I'm the greybeard looking that's around, going, 'f--k, things have evolved.' The only difference is I'm not one of those bitter pricks going, 'aw, you guys are killing the business!' I'm going, 'okay, I'm not a fan of a lot of what it's becoming, but I recognize what it is.'" MVP continued, 'you take The Young Bucks. They are the hottest act in the world. I was on a tour with them in Australia, The House Of Hardcore. And you had me, Tommy Dreamer, Billy Gunn, Jack Swagger… you had a bunch of name guys on the card and the longest line every night was [for] The Young Bucks. They sold out of t-shirts. They brought boxes of t-shirts and they sold out on like the second night. Booker T and I, we often argue, good naturedly of course, about The Young Bucks and I would defend them. And I say, 'I'm not a fan of The Young Bucks' style of wrestling, but I am a fan of The Young Bucks because to create your own lane, and you find a niche, and you get your groove on, if people are buying tickets to see it, how could anybody say, 'you're be doing it wrong?''"
According to MVP, the current generation of professional wrestlers always knew pro wrestling was predetermined and this has changed the trajectory of the business.
"This generation of pro wrestling didn't grow up on pro wrestling being real," MVP averred. "They've never known pro wrestling to be real. It [has] always been sports entertainment to them. We grew up with kayfabe. We grew up with wrestling be MMA before there was MMA, so our whole perspective on what it is and what it isn't, what it should and shouldn't be, is totally different. We grew up watching old westerns where a bar fight was throw a punch, block it, punch. And then later on, [Jean-Claude] Van Damme came along and the game changed a little bit, but then The Matrix hit and that changed everything! Fight choreography in movies was changed forevermore. Now, every movie you see, John Wick, The Transporter, Jason Bourne, all the fight choreography is a martial arts barrage that's really cool. The Avengers, it's every fight scene. This is how they fight now! And that's kind of what happened in pro wrestling. When these kids who are wrestling now, they don't look at it so much as simulated combat. It's entertainment. They're superheroes. They're video games. It's larger than life."
On the subject of intergender wrestling, MVP said he is not a fan because of the suspension of disbelief. MVP noted that if professional wrestling was real, striking would be involved and women cannot hit as hard as men, generally speaking. With that said, MVP acknowledged that pro wrestling fans and performers who look at the genre in a similar light as a superhero movie or a fighting video game, would be able to enjoy intergender wrestling for its entertainment factor.
"Because I grew up on pro wrestling being simulated combat, I'm not a fan of intergender matches because for me, wrestling was MMA before MMA, so there's no intergender MMA because there's physiological/biological differences between men and women. But if your take on wrestling is that we're superheroes or scripted entertainment, then sure, a woman can wrestle a man. If you play video games, [Street Fighter] Chun-Li kicks ass! Wonder Woman will whoop Batman's ass. There's no discussion there!" MVP added, "it's just a different mentality, it's a different presentation, and it's being consumed differently. Again, I don't like intergender wrestling, but I'm not going to crucify those kids that are doing it today because they are doing it in front of audiences that are people buying tickets to go see it, so if you're an old-timer going, 'oh, that sucks!' Okay, maybe. But all of those people that are filling up those buildings watching it, they're enjoying it, so instead of bemoaning the state of wrestling, either get with it or move to the side."
Listen to the podcast here or via the embedded player below. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.