MVP interview with MiamiHearld’s Scott Fishman The RCWR Show January 23, 2012 News Former WWE superstar MVP has dedicated the majority of his time to New Japan Pro Wrestling, but he has explored his other passion and opportunities the past year. Among them was the Wrestling Retribution Project, from the mind of Hollywood producer Jeff Katz. Frustrated with the current product the major companies were creating, Katz raised $100,000 and approached stars like MVP to join the cast. WRP filmed 13 shows on a serial schedule over the course of three days in October. The idea of playing someone other than MVP and being part of something outside the box attracted the entertainer. “I was adamant about not being on TV in the US,” MVP said. “I don’t do very many indies. All I want to do really is work in Japan, but when he told me about his concept of doing a wrestling show that was broken down into episodic TV. Having a wrestling show for ‘smart’ fans with more intense intellectual content, that is what caught me. When he told me about the character he had for me, I enjoyed it. “I thought it was a challenge to be a professional wrestler on a show and not be MVP. That is what everybody would recognize me as, so I went out of my way to adopt a persona and in-ring style that was totally different from MVP would do or has done. So the challenge of performing as someone other than MVP was the main thing that caught my attention. I liked Jeff’s vision. It’s not competing with WWE. In fact, the WRP is a really cool concept and goes beyond your typical wrestling show.” Another unique facet of the show is it tackles some controversial and worldly issues. Look no further than MVP’s character the Lord of War for an example. “My character is the Lord of War, an Iraq war veteran returning to the US with a sense of entitlement,” MVP revealed. “He feels betrayed by his country. Typically in the world of wrestling your war hero is a good guy. You want to cheer for him. In this case, the Lord of War is not a good guy at all. He is very anti-American. He feels he and his brothers in arms have been betrayed by his country and the establishment. It says a lot of truth that most people find hard to stomach. You have the good old red, white and blue who are all the good guys. No, we are not all the good guys. That is what we are told and perception, it’s not always true. “When you see how the U.S. government has treated a lot of the war veterans returning, it’s atrocious. Many of them young guys, 19 and 20 years old, lost limbs for a war in Iraq that personally I don’t think we should have been in. I don’t think the U.S. should have gone there. When I look at the veterans returning who are homeless, or can’t find work, or just aren’t being taken care of. You ask these guys to fight, and they did. “Some of them have sustained so much psychological and emotional damage, their families have suffered, and now you don’t want to take care of them. It’s ridiculous. That is part of where the Lord of War comes from. It’s not something you see on a wrestling show.” Stay up to date on where you can see WRP at wrestlingretributionproject.com. Aside from wrestling, the South Florida native has loved music. He took the stage for the first time to perform his song “Holla to the World” live at the Los Magnificos Custom Car Show in San Antonio. It was exhilarating,” MVP said. “I’m a performer. I laugh at those who have not responded positively. There are the detractors. Most of the people who are detractors haven’t done or accomplished anything in their whole lives. They love to take away from people who are doing things. I was a rapper before I was a wrestler. I wrote my first rap when I was in sixth grade after hearing Run-DMC’s ‘Darryl and Joe.’ I thought, ‘Man that is awesome. I want to do that.’ ‘Holla to the World’ is originally something I wrote for fun. It grew legs.” MVP financed the music video for his single and shot it in two days at his house. The finished product can be seen on YouTube where it currently enjoys more than 133,000 views. For the driven entertainer, it’s just the beginning. “I’m working on an EP/mixtape in the next year,” MVP said. “I’m going to just have fun with it. There are some things in the works. Once I release my EP/mixtape there are going to be a lot of performances in support of it. I don’t know where just yet, but I have a plan. I’ve been working with Wendy Day, who is well known in the rap community for representing up-and-coming artists or taking established artists to the next level. “She is representing me now, so that is going to help me so I don’t make a lot of mistakes. I’m familiar with the entertainment world, but the music world is a completely different animal. I have momma Wendy holding my hand so I can be successful in this endeavor.” A certain “Master of Thuganomics” may even collaborate on the project down the road. “John and I talked about that recently,” MVP said. “It irks me when I hear people talk about John Cena in a negative way. John Cena draws so much ire from people because WWE has literally shoved him down people’s throats as the All American good guy babyface. People get sick of it. Whether you like him or not, you can’t deny John is an amazing entertainer. I think some of that shallow dislike and hatred for him goes into people who say as a rapper he sucks, which he doesn’t. “The guy is exceptionally good. His freestyle abilities are better than most. For the people who say that he sucks, he could probably beat your favorite rapper in a freestyle competition. We sat in my studio in my house listening to a few beats and wrote a few things. They were really good. The one that I liked the most was something we worked on called ‘Urban Desperado.’ We were both very pleased with what we came up with, and I had the idea that I wanted to have R-Truth on it as well. “At the time I was with WWE, my idea was the three guys who actually perform their own entrance music to all work on the track and for it to be released by the company. I thought it could have been a big hit, but I ended up leaving before that could come to fruition. I still have it in the vault. It’s possible it could surface. “I talked to John when WWE came to Tokyo. I was there. We stayed in the same hotel and hung out. I told him I was working on some stuff and asked if he wanted to get together to record some new stuff. He said, ‘Give me 16 bars, and I got you.’ So who knows? John Cena may make an appearance on this EP/mixtape I’m going to put out.” His road to the big time has the making of a New York Times best seller or hit movie. So it’s no surprise MVP explored his options when it came to penning a book. “Paul [Heyman] and I met with a publishing agent and discussed shopping a book deal,” MVP said. “It was something I was eager to do. Since then, I have kind of stepped back from it a bit. I talked to Paul about this recently. I almost feel like it is premature. I think it might be too soon for me to come out with my book. If I did, I may have to do what [Chris] Jericho did and break it down into two parts. “My story from the way I grew up and everything I’ve been through, my journey to WWE and post-WWE, my time in Japan and some of these other projects I’m undertaking. There is so much to write about it. We’ll see what happens. I do intend to put out a book, but not as soon as I said I initially would.” The 38-year-old is happy in NJPW, but doesn’t rule out another stint in WWE one day. “There are some new guys there that show some promise,” MVP said. “I’ve never had the opportunity to work with Daniel Bryan, who is one of my favorites. On the indies I loved the American Dragon. I thought he was an incredible talent. Randy Orton and I almost had a feud when I came over to Raw, and for whatever reason, they put the brakes on it. I’d like to work a program with Randy. The one match Randy and I had was awesome. We just went out there and worked. He praised me afterward. “Some people say Randy can be a hard guy to get along with. I get along great with Randy. The one time we actually got to work on Monday Night Raw, we had a great match, and I had an awesome time. I can’t forget CM Punk, my boy from FIP [Full Impact Pro Wrestling]. He is at the top of his game now. We had the opportunity to work once on the indies, and we had one match in [WWE’s] ECW. I would love to work a program with him. That would be great. If I did come back, I think I would want to be exclusive to SmackDown. I think I would want to go back there and help that brand and some of the younger guys.” • Follow MVP @The305MVP.