As most of you know, I took a long hiatus from wrestling in the earlier part of the 2000's. A lot changed from the time I left until the time I returned, but the main thing was the roster. With stars like The Rock, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, and others gone, WWE was tasked with creating new stars.
In 2007, my time of return, the cream of that crop seemed to be Mr. Kennedy and MVP. Both brash, new heels, these two made waves in the WWE with their big talking characters and lack of fear towards the veterans. While I found both to be vastly overrated upon first glance, people were already comparing the two to the men I remember as the biggest stars. It was "Mr. Kennedy is the new Austin" and "MVP is the new Rock". Perhaps these comparisons are what dug the graves for these two competitors.
Three years later, it is now official that neither man is employed with World Wrestling Entertainment. Just a couple of hours ago, MVP was released from WWE, ending a 4 year career that peaked nearly 3 years ago.
More recently, MVP started truly understanding that he would never reach the heights he wished to reach.
As has been mentioned on WWE programming, MVP (Alvin Burke, Jr.) is a former criminal. He served 9 1/2 years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping starting at age 16, which both set him back in terms of getting in the wrestlng game and also labels him for the rest of his life. On top of that, he is barred from certain countries due to his criminal past. For these reasons, it's hard to make him a top guy.
A champion needs to be able to handle the publicity attached to such a position. For a publicly traded company such as WWE to put a former criminal in its top spot would be risky at best. Plus, the inability to seemlessly travel your champion to any destination is also a problem. Lastly, MVP's age became an issue as well. With WWE in the midst of a youth movement, the 37 year old MVP doesn't fit the mold of "the future". Though his age doesn't match his experience, the fact remains that youthful bodies are at a premium and he does not posess one.
So, is this the end of the line for the once promising star? I'm not so sure. Considering MVP claims to have asked for his release, it's possible that he leaves the company on fine terms. Earlier this year, word came out that MVP was unhappy with his lack of push. Shortly thereafter, he was given an Intercontinental title shot, which he lost. That was his last chance, and the aging superstar feels like he has nothing to give at this point. Perhaps he's right.
MVP said in a tweet following his release that he wants to go international. If that's his wish, I'm sure he'll find work. He might have a big enough name to be considered by TNA, and I would care to guess that he would be put in a premium position with the company in Orlando. That said, MVP could work the Indy's and overseas if he likes and return to the WWE later on when he is content with playing the role of putting over younger talent. If he accepts that role, I can certainly see him back in the WWE.
Alvin Burke has a great personal story. He struggled as a child and overcame the stigma of a criminal past to have a nice career with World Wrestling Entertainment. I certainly wish the man formerly known as MVP a great future, or dare I say, a BALLIN' one!