Alvin Burke, Jr. also known as Hassan Hamin Assad (his adopted Muslim name) (October 28, 1973), better known by his ring name Montel Vontavious Porter or MVP is an American wrestler formerly signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) and World Wrestling Entertainment. He is best known for his work at World Wrestling Entertainment on the RAW brand. He currently holds the distinction of having the second longest United States Championship reign within the WWE, originally being the longest reigning champion before his record was broken by Dean Ambrose in 2013.
MVP was released from his WWE contract on December 2, 2010.
Professional wrestling career
Assad first entered professional wrestling after completing 9½ years of an 18½ year prison sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping, which he started at the age of sixteen. 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. After being trained by former professional wrestlers Soulman Alex G and Norman Smiley, Assad made his wrestling debut in 2002. 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. 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. He also made sporadic appearances for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), and wrestled on the April 20, 2003 episode of TNA Xplosion. 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. He also wrestled for Coastal Championship Wrestling (CCW) and Elite Wrestling Entertainment in 2005, competing against wrestlers like Jerry Lynn and D'Lo Brown. In CCW, he won the Heavyweight Championship on August 20, 2005, by defeating Blackhart and Bruno Sassi in a three-way match.
Alvin Burke's on screen name was Montel Vontavious Porter who is an arrogant athlete who is full of himself. Before getting into wrestling Burke actually served nine years of an 18-year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping. He first appeared on Smackdown in August 4, 2006 and feuded with Kane. He then began a long feud with Chris Benoit and is currently as of September, 2007 feuding with Matt Hardy. MVP has claimed that he is better than Matt at anything and has been challenging Matt to many different competitions. One on one basketball games, arm wrestling, a boxing match and the list goes on. MVP became tag-team champion with his odd partner Matt Hardy when they took the titles from Deuce and Domino, they ended up losing it later to the Miz and Jim Morrison. MVP is also the United States Champion. MVP currently lost a couple non title matches to Batista but won when it counted and defended his United States Championship. He competed in the 'Money in the Bank' match at Wrestlemania XXIV but was not able to get the win. On April 27, 2008 MVP battled rival Matt Hardy at Backlash for the United States Championship. MVP lost his title to Matt Hardy after holding it for nearly a year. MVP then started feeling like he was unappreciated on Smackdown and let everyone know how he felt, even Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero. MVP wanted to renegotiate his contract but continually felt disrespected by Vickie. Soon the 2008 WWE draft would come and MVP was probably the only WWE wrestler who was wishing to be drafted. Unfortunately for him he wasn't, as MVP stood on Smackdown.
One guy who did get drafted was Mr. Kennedy who came to Smackdown from Raw. On the July 11, 2008 edition of Smackdown as MVP sat at the commentary table with J.R and Foley; Mr. Kennedy had a match and as he was introducing himself with the mic he talked about how he is once again changing Friday night Smackdown (he used to be on Smackdown). He also made some rude references toward MVP when he said that he is the real MVP of Smackdown catching MVP's attention. Nothing ever esculated after that as it seemed like this was a feud that the WWE thought of running with but thought not of after.
On the July 25, 2008 edition of Smackdown during the VIP Lounge Jeff Hardy was MVP's guest. MVP got real personal with Hardy by bringing up his house that burned down, Jeff's dog and Jeff Hardy's overall character. This led to a feud between the two. They battled it out on August 17, 2008 at Summerslam and MVP was able to get the victory.
On September 7, 2008 MVP competed in the Smackdown scramble match for the WWE title. MVP did not win though as Triple H retained his WWE title.
MVP started having trouble getting one more victory, something he used to do on a normal occasion. MVP needs just one victory to earn him some bonus incentives from the WWE. Unfortunately for him, he is on the worst losing streak of his WWE career. MVP had a sure win on the November 21, 2008 edition of Smackdown as he battled an amateur wrestler. His match though was interrupted by the great Khali, the distraction allowed the amateur to roll up MVP and get the win.
On November 23, 2008 at Survivor Series MVP would be on team JBL. Team JBL asso had the Miz, John Morrison and Kane. Their opponents were Team HBK, joining Michaels on his team were Rey Mysterio, Cryme Tyme and the great Khali. Khali ended up eliminating MVP from the match as Team HBK ended up winning the match.
Week after week MVP carried on his losing streak and every week Mr. Kennedy would come out and mock him about it. On the January 16, 2008 edition of Smackdown MVP had to face the Big Show in a Last Man Standing match. This match was ordered by Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero. The match was made to punish Triple H, if MVP lost the match then Triple H would no longer be part of the 2009 Royal Rumble. Even though the heel MVP had not ever been liked by fans since coming to the WWE the crowd was chanting "MVP", "MVP", "MVP" during the match. MVP didn't disappoint as he looked impressive in the match against the giant. Big Show got counted out and MVP won the match. The long losing streak had ended!
The following week on Smackdown MVP would battle Chavo Guerrero in a match and won the match via pinfall to get himself a two match winning streak going. MVP was really hearing it from the crowd as MVP seemed to be loved dearly by the fans. After the win, MVP spoke of the United States championship he once held and said that he plans to get it back.
On March 20, 2009 during Smackdown's 500th show anniversary MVP would get a chance at the United States Championship against Shelton Benjamin. The crowd now began to love MVP and he did not disappoint them as he hit his Playmaker trade mark move and got the win to once again be the United States Champion.
Shelton would have his rematch on the April 30th, 2009 edition of Smackdown but once again MVP was able to hit the Playmaker and get the win to defend his title.
On April 5, 2009 MVP competed at Wrestlemania 25 in a 8-man Money in the Bank matchup. Unfortunately for MVP, he did not succeed in winning the match as CM Punk won the MITB match for the second year in a row.
On April 13, 2009, MVP was drafted as the first overall pick to the Raw brand as a part of the 2009 WWE Draft. As a result of being the reigning WWE United States Champion, he transferred the title to Raw for the first time in history.
On the June 1, 2009 edition of Raw MVP would lose his United States title to Kofi Kingston. In a show of sportsmanship, MVP handed over the belt to Kofi before leaving the ring.
On June 7, 2009 at Extreme Rules MVP had an opportunity to regain is United States championship as Kofi Kingston had to defend his title in a fatal four way. Kofi defended against MVP, William Regal and Matt Hardy. MVP would not regain his title as Kofi Kingston ended up pinning Matt Hardy to retain his title.
On the July 6, 2009 episode of Raw MVP had Jack Swagger as his guest on the VIP Lounge. MVP called Swagger a fraud for getting the automatic countout against Randy Orton in his debut on Raw last week. Swagger called out MVP for spending time in prison, saying he's the fraud pretending to be an MVP athlete. Swagger said if anyone is the MVP on Raw it's him. This began a feud between MVP and Jack Swagger.
MVP met up with Jack Swagger on August 23, 2009 at Summerslam. In the match MVP hit a running boot followed by his Playmaker to take the pinfall on Swagger.
MVP then starting feuding with Chris Jericho after MVP used brass knuckles in a match when MVP teamed with Mark Henry against Jericho and Big Show. The brass knuckles were thrown in the ring to MVP by Floyd Mayweather who used brass knuckles to knock out the Big Show at Wrestlemania 24.
As part of the 2010 WWE Supplemental Draft, MVP was drafted back to the SmackDown brand. He made his SmackDown return on the April 30 episode, interrupting CM Punk's promo, and later teaming up with Rey Mysterio to defeat Punk and Luke Gallows. On June 1, MVP was announced as the mentor of Percy Watson for the second season of WWE NXT. His rookie Watson was unable to win the NXT Season 2 as, Kaval emerged the winner. On the November 5 episode of SmackDown, MVP fought in a Triple Threat Match for the number one contendership of Dolph Ziggler's Intercontinental Championship against Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. The match was successfully won by MVP, and the championship match was set for the following week's SmackDown, but MVP was unsuccessful in winning the title. MVP was announced as part of Team Mysterio, teaming with Rey Mysterio, The Big Show, Chris Masters and Kofi Kingston to take on Team Del Rio (Alberto Del Rio, Tyler Reks, Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes) at Survivor Series. At the pay-per-view, MVP was the first man eliminated in the match by McIntyre, who was aided by Del Rio holding MVP's foot down so he couldn't kick out. MVP's last match with the WWE aired on December 3, a day after his announced release, teaming with Kaval in a losing effort against Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler; afterward, he and Kaval were attacked by Kane. On December 2, 2010, Burke requested and was granted a release from his WWE contract.
In 2011, Burke signed a year contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling, pursuing his noted passion for puroresu. TMZ reported that Burke's prior convictions had made it difficult for him to acquire a visa but that he would be debuting in February. In storyline MVP was brought in to the promotion by NOSAWA Rongai, who wanted him to join the villainous Kojima Office, led by Satoshi Kojima. In his debut match for the promotion on February 20, MVP teamed with fellow Kojima Office 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 crossface. 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. 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. 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. On May 3, the returning Minoru Suzuki took over as the new leader of Kojimagun, after its members Taichi and Taka Michinoku had turned on Satoshi Kojima.
MVP in New Japan Pro Wrestling in June 2011. In May 2011, MVP took part in 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. The following day in New York City, MVP defeated Tetsuya Naito to advance to the finals of the tournament. 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. 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 Suzukigun. 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. The two would face each other in a third title match on July 18, where MVP was once again victorious. After the match MVP was attacked and challenged by Yano's Chaos stablemate Masato Tanaka. 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. On October 10 at Destruction '11, MVP lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Masato Tanaka, ending his reign at 148 days. MVP received a rematch for the title on December 4, but was again defeated by Tanaka, following interference from his stablemate Yujiro Takahashi. 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. MVP reunited with Benjamin on June 16 at Dominion 6.16, where they defeated Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga in a tag team match. 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. In November, MVP took part in the 2012 World Tag League, where he teamed with Shelton Benjamin under the tag team name "Black Dynamite". MVP and Benjamin finished their tournament on December 1 with a record of three wins, one over the reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Lance Archer, and three losses, failing to advance from their block. 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. 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. 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".
The Beat Down Clan (2014–2015)
At the January 30, 2014, tapings of Impact Wrestling, Assad returned to TNA using the MVP name, revealing himself to be the storyline "investor" responsible for signing The Wolves and counteracting Dixie Carter's agenda in recent weeks, establishing himself as a face. On the February 13 episode of Impact Wrestling, MVP made his in-ring debut, defeating Rockstar Spud. The following week it was announced that MVP would captain a team to face a team captained by Bobby Roode in a Lethal Lockdown match at Lockdown. The head of the winning team, either MVP or Dixie Carter, gains complete control over TNA. On March 9, 2014, at Lockdown, MVP gained total control of wrestling operations in TNA as his team defeated Team Dixie.
On the May 8th edition of Impact Wrestling, after telling Young how "proud" he was of him, MVP attacked Eric Young and announced himself as the #1 contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, turning heel again in the process. However, TNA announced on Friday that due a torn meniscus, MVP was deemed medically unfit to compete, removing him from the match in the process. According to PWInsider, the original plans were to crown MVP as champion. On the June 19th episode of Impact Wrestling, MVP and Kenny King helped Lashley win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Eric Young, but firing Earl Hebner in the process. On June 26 episode of Impact Wrestling, he was relieved of his duties as Director of Wrestling Operations by Earl Sullivan Armstrong, Board of Directors Representative as MVP attempted to fire Bobby Roode, and MVP's replacement as Executive Director of Wrestling Operations was revealed to be Kurt Angle. On September 18, 2014, at the tapings for the October 28 edition of Impact Wrestling, Lashley lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Roode. Lashley regained the championship on January 7, 2015 with the help of MVP and King, but also from three new members Samoa Joe, Low Ki and Roode's friend Eric Young. On the following night's tapings of the January 16, 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley refused to become apart of this new group and decided to leave, but was attacked by the other members and with MVP saying that the title belongs to the BDC.
On July 18, 2015 John Gaburick (TNA's Creative & Talent Relations) tweeted that TNA & MVP "have mutually agreed to part ways."
- Finishing moves
- 305 / The Play of the Day (Leaping reverse STO) - WWE (2010–present)
- Drive-By Kick (Running big boot to the opponent's face while using their knee for leverage - WWE
- Malicious Intent (Spinning Handstand Capoeira Kick) - independent circuit
- Playmaker (Overdrive)
- TTB - To the Bank (Crucifix neck crank)
- Arm trap crossface - independent circuit
- Signature moves
- Ballin' Elbow (Running delayed elbow drop, with theatrics, usually preced by a facebreaker knee smash
- Dragon Screw
- German Suplex
- Bridging Fisherman Suplex
- Facebreaker knee smash
- Face Wash (Running Big Boot to a seated opponnent in the corner)
- Player's Boot (Big boot#Running big boot to a standing opponent in the corner)
- Snap overhead belly to belly suplex, sometimes to an oncoming opponent
- Snap scoop powerslam
- Three-quarter facelock followed by multiple side knee lifts to the opponent's head
- Theme music
- "Get Back" by Ludacris (FIP)
- "Move Bitch" by Ludacris (FIP, ROH)
- "I'm Comin" by Silkk Tha Shocker (WWE) (August 4, 2006–October 15, 2010)
- "VIP Ballin'" by Mickael, Cyclone, Baby Bash and T-Pain (WWE) (October 21, 2010–December 3, 2010)
- "Most Valiantly Person" by New Japan Pro Wrestling
- "Return of the Ronin" by MVP (TNA) (2014-)
Championships and accomplishments
- SCW Florida Champion (1 time)
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship Tournament (2011)