WWE's Pushed to Punished, Edition 7: MVP

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2011


Last Thursday, I revived my exclusive weekly series, WWE's Pushed or Punished, where I analyze the career of a particular WWE and/or TNA wrestler who was on the receiving end of a push at one point or another, but ultimately met their downfall.

My previous article covered the controversial Matt Hardy, but this week I look to take on the career of his former tag-team partner: MVP.

Otherwise known as Montel Vontavious Porter, MVP made his anticipated debut on the SmackDown roster in late 2006, being "signed" to an exclusive contract that made him the highest paid Superstar on the roster.

Upon his arrival on the blue brand, MVP would immediately ignite a feud with the ferocious Kane, who had also been making his way over to the brand at the time.

Although he had impressive showings against the Big Red Machine, as well as with Kane's storyline brother, The Undertaker, Porter was unsuccessful in defeating Kane in the culmination of their feud in their unforgettable Inferno match at that year's Armageddon event.

Shortly thereafter, MVP shifted his focus to championship gold with then-United States Champion Chris Benoit, who become his primary target.

MVP in his first reign as United States Champion
MVP in his first reign as United States Champion

Benoit was able to bring the very best of out MVP in their three-match series at WrestleMania 23, and the following Backlash and Judgement Day pay-per-views. In the end, it was Porter emerging victorious in their final bout in May 2007 as the new United States Champion.

Over the course of 2007, MVP's major rivalry over the belt was with Matt Hardy, kicking off with MVP's successful title defense at The Great American Bash. That September, the two bitter enemies joined forces to win the WWE Tag Team Championship together after defeating the team of Deuce and Domino.

Now calling himself half-man, half-amazing, MVP was at the peak of his career, holding two championships simultaneously.

Even after losing the tag titles in November to the up-and-coming team of John Morrison and the Miz, MVP would display his ruthless side by brutally attacking Hardy, leaving him inactive indefinitely.

Nearly five months later, the intense rivalry would resume following Matt Hardy's surprising return in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 24. After nearly 10 months, Hardy would finally win the prestigious U.S. title from MVP at Backlash, ending Porter's record-making reign as champion.

This defeat would leave MVP socially irrelevant for the rest of 2008, developing an unimpressive streak of losses to the likes of Triple H, Jeff Hardy, the Great Khali and even a local athlete.

At the start of 2009, MVP would turn his career around by turning face for the first time and going on to win his second United States Championship from Shelton Benjamin that March.

With his career now resurrected and his stock even higher than ever before, the Ballin' Superstar was the first draftee as part of the monumental 2009 WWE draft, being sent packing over to the Raw brand.

Porter showed amazing chemistry with then-WWE Champion Randy Orton in his debut for the brand, something I wished at the time we'd see again at that year's SummerSlam, but it never came to be.

After losing his U.S. title to Kofi Kingston in a great match in early June, MVP soon became just another Superstar on the roster with no direction, despite a one-off victory against Jack Swagger in a rather boring contest at SummerSlam.

His tag team with Mark Henry fell flat, as his chase for the WWE Tag Team Championships was officially ended by Jeri-Show.

For the rest of his Raw tenure, the host of the VIP Lounge was sporadically used on the flagship show and was subsequently lost in the shuffle.

Most people thought his move back to Friday Nights in the 2010 WWE supplemental draft meant "big things poppin', little things stoppin'" for the former tag champ, but his rumored push never came to fruition.

Following a string of losses to then-Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler, MVP asked and was granted his eventual release from World Wrestling Entertainment late last year.

Porter would later go on to state in various interviews that he was tired of the way he was being used on television, and that the door is always open for a possible return after leaving on good terms.

In conclusion, MVP was simply another one of those Superstars with a great gimmick that was eventually dropped for no apparent reason. As much as I loved him as a babyface at the end of his run, he had potential to become a major heel player on Friday nights, if ever given the correct opportunity.

As stated before, a return to the company is always possible, but let's hope it's sooner rather than later, given that while he still could be a valuable asset to the company and its depleted roster, his age at 37 plays a critical factor in today's business.

Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and make sure to drop a comment on your thoughts of the controversial WWE career of MVP and what you believe Creative did wrong with his character. Stay tuned for future editions of WWE's Pushed to Punished in coming weeks, and as always, your feedback is appreciated.

GSM out.

Visit my web site at Next Era Wrestling and my WrestleRant video blog for more of GSM's thoughts and writings, along with WWE/TNA news, recaps and more. Follow me on Twitter @SAVE_US_GSM.