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MVP
MVP2
{{{caption}}}
Professional wrestling career
Height 191 centimeters (6 ft 3 in.)
Weight 114 kilograms (251 lbs.)
Billed from Miami, Florida
Debut 2002

 

Hassan Hamin Assad (born Alvin Burke Jr.; October 28, 1973)[1] is an American professional wrestler and rapper, better known by his ring name Montel Vontavious Porter (abbreviated as MVP). He is perhaps most known for his tenure with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE),[2] and has also worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).

Assad was trained by former professional wrestlers Soulman Alex G and Norman Smiley.[3] Following the completion of his training, Assad began wrestling for numerous independent promotions, including a stint in TNA.[4] During his time in these promotions, he won various championships in singles competition. Assad signed with WWE in 2005 and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), one of the company's developmental territories.[4]

After being promoted to the SmackDown! brand, Assad made his WWE wrestling debut in October 2006.[4] In May 2007, he won the United States Championship, giving him his first title reign with the company.[5] That same year, he captured the WWE Tag Team Championship alongside Matt Hardy.[6] Assad won the United States Championship for a second time on March 17, 2009.[7][8] Following his tenure in WWE, Assad joined NJPW in February 2011. He would spend the next two years with the promotion, becoming the inaugural IWGP Intercontinental Champion in May 2011.[9]

Early life Edit

Assad was born in Liberty City, Miami, but grew up in Opa-locka, Florida. His father was a police officer.[10] He joined a gang when he was 12, describing it as "a graffiti gang", which later turned into a street gang.[10] He spent six months in a juvenile detention center after a robbery.[10] He later completed 9½ years of an 18½ year prison sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping which he started at the age of sixteen.[1][11][12] While in prison, he converted to Islam and changed his name from Alvin Burke Jr. to Hassan Hamin Assad.[1][4] Due to his past criminal record, Assad's visits to other countries on international tours are subject to permits and background checks for recent behavior.[13]

Professional wrestling career Edit

Early career (2002–2005) Edit

Assad entered the professional wrestling business through the help of a corrections officer in his prison who also worked as a wrestler in the independent circuit.[13] After being trained by former professional wrestlers Soulman Alex G and Norman Smiley, Assad made his wrestling debut in 2002.[3][10] He worked for many different companies on the independent circuit using the name Antonio Banks, including appearances with Full Impact Pro (FIP) and Future of Wrestling (FOW), where he won the latter's Tag Team Championship with Punisher.[4][10][14][15] During his time in FIP, he wrestled Homicide for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Ring of Honor show Do or Die IV on February 19, 2005, but did not win the title.[4][16] He also made sporadic appearances for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), and wrestled on the April 20, 2003, episode of TNA Xplosion.[4][17] He appeared again for TNA on the August 6, 2004, episode of Impact!, with Sal Rinauro as his tag team partner, losing to America's Most Wanted.[4][18] He also wrestled for Coastal Championship Wrestling (CCW) and Elite Wrestling Entertainment in 2005, competing against wrestlers like Jerry Lynn and D'Lo Brown.[4] In CCW, he won the Heavyweight Championship on August 20, 2005, by defeating Blackhart and Bruno Sassi in a three-way match.[19]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2011–2013) Edit

In 2011, Assad signed a one-year contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling, pursuing his noted passion for puroresu.[20] TMZ reported that Assad's prior convictions had made it difficult for him to acquire a visa but that he would be debuting in February.[21] As WWE owned the rights to the name Montel Vontavious Porter, but not MVP, Assad was able to continue working under the abbreviated ring name.[22] In storyline MVP was brought in to the promotion by NOSAWA Rongai, who wanted him to join the villainous Kojima-gun, led by Satoshi Kojima.[23] In his debut match for the promotion on February 20 at The New Beginning, MVP teamed with fellow Kojima-gun member Taichi to defeat Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma in a tag team match by making Honma submit to his Take it to the Bank crucifix neck crank.[24] On March 6, MVP entered the 2011 New Japan Cup, used to determine the new number one contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, defeating Karl Anderson in his first round match.[25] On March 19, MVP suffered his first loss in New Japan, when he was defeated by Togi Makabe in the second round of the New Japan Cup.[26] The following day, MVP achieved a major victory when he tapped IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi out with the TTB in a tag team match, where he teamed with Satoshi Kojima and Tanahashi with Hirooki Goto.[27] On May 3, the returning Minoru Suzuki took over as the new leader of Kojima-gun, after its members Taichi and Taka Michinoku had turned on Satoshi Kojima.[28]

In May 2011, MVP took part in the Invasion Tour 2011, New Japan's first tour of the United States. On May 13 in Rahway, New Jersey, he entered the tournament to determine the first ever IWGP Intercontinental Champion, defeating Kazuchika Okada in his first round match.[29] The following day in New York City, MVP defeated Tetsuya Naito to advance to the finals of the tournament.[30] On the third and final day of the tour in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, MVP defeated Toru Yano in the finals to become the first IWGP Intercontinental Champion.[31] Earlier in the event, MVP showed his allegiance to Satoshi Kojima by saving him from the debuting Lance Archer, thus breaking away from the newly renamed Suzuki-gun.[32] On June 18 at Dominion 6.18, MVP made his first successful defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship by defeating Toru Yano. After the match, Yano attacked him and cut his hair.[33][34] The two would face each other in a third title match on July 18, where MVP was once again victorious.[35] After the match MVP was attacked and challenged by Yano's Chaos stablemate Masato Tanaka.[36] In August, MVP took part in the 2011 G1 Climax, where he managed to win six out of his nine matches, but a loss to Karl Anderson on the final day of the tournament caused him to narrowly miss advancing to the finals.[37] On October 10 at Destruction '11, MVP lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Masato Tanaka, ending his reign at 148 days.[38] MVP received a rematch for the title on December 4, but was again defeated by Tanaka, following interference from his stablemate Yujiro Takahashi.[39]

On January 4, 2012, at Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome, MVP teamed with Shelton Benjamin, making a special one-time appearance, to defeat Tanaka and Takahashi in a tag team match.[40] MVP reunited with Benjamin on June 16 at Dominion 6.16, where they defeated Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga in a tag team match.[41] In August, MVP took part in his second G1 Climax tournament, where he won four out of his eight matches and failed to advance to the finals.[42][43] In November, MVP took part in the 2012 World Tag League, where he teamed with Shelton Benjamin under the tag team name "Black Dynamite".[44] MVP and Benjamin finished their tournament on December 1 with a record of three wins, one over the reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer),[45] and three losses, failing to advance from their block.[46]

On January 4, 2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome, MVP teamed with Akebono, Manabu Nakanishi and Strong Man in an eight-man tag team match, where they defeated Bob Sapp, Takashi Iizuka, Toru Yano and Yujiro Takahashi.[47][48] On February 26, Assad announced that he had parted ways with New Japan and would be next focusing on a television project with Lionsgate Television.[49] He later explained his reasons behind leaving the promotion, saying that he wanted to stay closer to his home in addition to just "recharging the batteries".[50]

Other media Edit

Assad made a cameo appearance in the film MacGruber, alongside fellow WWE Superstars Chris Jericho, The Great Khali, Big Show, Kane, and Mark Henry.[51]

MVP released his first hip hop song titled "Holla to the World" featuring Dwane Sweazie in June 2011.[52] A music video for the song, featuring cameos from Carlito and Hernandez, was released the following October.[53] The song was released as a single through iTunes on April 5, 2012.[54] On March 18, 2013, he released his second song entitled "Tokyo".[55] On January 30, 2014, MVP released his third single, titled "Return of the Ronin".[56] The song also became MVP's entrance theme in TNA.[57]

Personal life Edit

In August 2007, Assad was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a rare condition that causes the heart to beat faster than normal. The condition was discovered during his tenure with WWE, when he had undergone a routine check-up in accordance with WWE's Talent Wellness Policy, which otherwise would have gone undetected until it was too late.[58][59]

Assad has acquired numerous tattoos through his life, including; a portrait of Malcolm X on the upper left portion of his chest,[11][60] the sarcophagus of King Tut and pyramids on his left upper biceps,[11] the legend "Monte Cristo" along with the phrase "The best revenge is living well" in script on his right forearm (both references to the book The Count of Monte Cristo),[11] and an Eye of Horus on the back of his left arm.[11] He also has a star on his right shoulder. He also has a number of homemade gang related tattoos that he had done when he was a teenager.[11]

Assad has stated that he was a video game fan growing up, and that the finishing maneuver he used on the independent circuit, the Malicious Intent, was inspired by a similar move performed by a character in the Tekken series.[59] He has been a fan of Manchester United F.C. since he was 13, and his favorite player is Eric Cantona.[61] Despite his earlier conversion to Islam, Assad has since described himself as a nonbeliever and an atheist.[62][63]

In wrestling Edit

  • Finishing moves
    • 305[64]/Play of the Day[65] (Leaping reverse STO)[3][65][66]
    • Drive-By Kick[67][68][69][70] (Running big boot to the face of a kneeling opponent while using their knee for leverage)[71][72]
    • Irreversible Crisis (Crossface/Scissored armbar combination)[73][74] – 2011–2014
    • Oyasumi (Jumping single underhook DDT followed by a keylock)[74] – 2011–2012
    • TTB – Take it to The Bank (Crucifix neck crank)[24][75] – 2011
  • Signature moves
    • Ballin' Elbow[59] (Running delayed elbow drop, with theatrics)
    • Facebreaker knee smash[76][77]
    • Flapjack[76]
    • Kesa-gatame[78] – 2015–present
    • Multiple suplex variations
    • Running big boot to a standing or cornered opponent[82][76]
    • Single leg Boston crab[81]
  • With Shelton Benjamin
    • Double team finishing moves
      • Fade to Black (Aided Brainbuster)[45][83]
  • Nicknames
    • "The Franchise Playa"[84]
    • "The Ballin' Superstar"[85]
    • "Mr BDC"[86]
    • "Black Godzilla"[87]
    • "The International Baller"
    • "The Master Manipulator"
    • "Half Man, Half Amazing"
  • Entrance themes
    • "Most Valiantly Person" by Yonosuke Kitamura[88][89] (NJPW)

Championships and accomplishments Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Inmate Release Information Detail . Florida Department of Corrections. Archived from the original on 2011-09-16. Retrieved on 2007-05-26.
  2. MVP's WWE Profile . World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved on 2007-04-14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Montel Vontavious Porter profile . Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved on 2007-04-07.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Xamin, Mark. Slam! Sports — Wrestling — Montel Vontavious Porter . Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved on 2007-10-15.
  5. Montel Vontavious Porter's first United States Championship reign . World Wrestling Entertainment (2007-05-20). Retrieved on 2008-06-13.
  6. MVP and Matt Hardy's first WWE Tag Team Championship reign . World Wrestling Entertainment (2007-08-31). Retrieved on 2009-02-18.
  7. Caba, Carlos 2009-03-18. WWE News: Full results from Smackdown TV taping — major return of WWE divas (contains spoilers) . PW Torch. Retrieved on 2009-03-18.
  8. Montel Vontavious Porter's second United States Championship reign . World Wrestling Entertainment (2009-03-20). Retrieved on 2009-03-21.
  9. New Japan Pro Wrestling profile . New Japan Pro Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2013-02-26. Retrieved on 2011-07-18.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Wojcik, Alan 2003-03-22. Alan Wojcik interviews Antonio Banks . Alan Wojcik Archives. Retrieved on 2006-12-21.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Zeigler, Zack. Ink from the clink . World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved on 2007-11-10.
  12. Baines, Tim 2007-04-14. Slam! Sports — Wrestling — A true MVP — take it to the bank . Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved on 2007-10-15.
  13. 13.0 13.1 MVP looking to be a ‘beacon of hope’ . GoTricities. Archived from the original on 2008-08-05. Retrieved on 2008-08-01.
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  26. Caldwell, James 2011-03-19. Japan News: Updated – MVP loses second round New Japan Cup match Saturday, watch highlights of MVP's first round match (w/video) . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2011-03-19.
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  28. (Results) New Japan, 5/3/11 . Strong Style Spirit (2011-05-03). Retrieved on 2011-05-03.
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  33. Dominion 6.18 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2011-06-18.
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  36. (Results) New Japan, 7/18/11 . Strong Style Spirit (2011-07-18). Retrieved on 2011-07-18.
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  44. 11月20日(火)開幕!! 『World Tag League 2012』の出場メンバー決定!! 棚橋はなんとキャプテンとタッグ結成!! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling (2012-11-11). Retrieved on 2012-11-28.
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  49. Caldwell, James 2013-02-26. News: MVP announces end of New Japan run; returning to WWE? . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2013-02-26.
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  51. [1]
  52. Csonka, Larry 2011-06-06. Various News: MVP Debuts Hip Hop Song, Jesse Ventura Appearance . 411Mania. Retrieved on 2011-08-03.
  53. Video – MVP's first music video, who made cameos? . Pro Wrestling Torch (2011-10-03). Retrieved on 2011-10-04.
  54. Caldwell, James 2012-04-05. MVP's first single released . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2012-04-05.
  55. Thomas, Jeremy 2013-03-18. WWE News: Canada House Show Dates, MVP Releasing New Rap Track . 411Mania. Retrieved on 2013-03-19.
  56. Return of the Ronin – Single . iTunes (2014-01-30). Retrieved on 2014-02-01.
  57. Assad, Hassan 2014-01-31. "Return Of The Ronin" – By MVP TNA theme song available here . Twitter. Retrieved on 2014-02-01.
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  60. Image of MVP . World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved on 2007-08-05.
  61. Daily Mirror interview . Daily Mirror. Retrieved on 2009-06-19.
  62. Assad, Hassan 2012-11-11. I'm a NON believer. I'm not attacking anyone's faith. I just feel religious organizations should NOT be tax exempt. Believe what you will. . Twitter. Retrieved on 2012-11-28.
  63. http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2014-03-06/news/wrestler-mvp-tna-opalocka/full/
  64. Parks, Greg 2010-04-30. Parks' WWE SmackDown report 4/30: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the show, including Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2013-08-26.
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  72. Gee Schoon Tong, Chris 2013-06-23. Show results – 6/22 HOH in Philadelphia, Pa.: MVP vs. Sami Callihan, Dreamer vs. Storm main event, Steiners, J-Mo, more . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2013-09-01.
  73. ブシロード Presents G1 Climax XXI ~The Invincible Fighter~ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2011-08-01.
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  75. 旗揚げ記念日~New Japan Cup 2011~ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2011-06-07.
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  84. DiFino, Lennie 2007-08-24. MVP and Matt Hardy Ballin' together? . World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
  85. Fuhrman, Alissa 2007-08-10. Answer to the challenge? . World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved on 2007-09-26.
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  87. G1 Climax 22 ~The One And Only~ Entry Fighter . New Japan Pro Wrestling. YouTube (2012-07-07). Retrieved on 2012-07-10.
  88. ja:新日本・携帯サイトの"着うた"で、アンダーソンの新入場曲! ベンジャミンの入場曲を8月3日(金)配信!! 真壁独占インタビューも掲載!! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling (2012-07-31). Retrieved on 2012-07-31.
  89. Kitamura, Yonosuke. Prowrestle theme music list (in Japanese). RMLabel. Retrieved on 2015-07-07.
  90. Ironman Heavymetalweight Title . Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved on 2016-08-29.
  91. Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2008 . Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved on 2015-02-04.
  92. 92.0 92.1 Meltzer, Dave (January 30, 2012). "Jan 30 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Gigantic year-end awards issue, best and worst in all categories plus UFC on FX 1, death of Savannah Jack, ratings, tons and tons of news". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California. ISSN 1083-9593. 
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