Will TNA continue to deliver “Total Nonstop Action Wrestling” as promised? Or should we write TNA off as dead in the water? Seats in the arenas haven’t been filled and there is plenty of chatter among fans that the second most popular wrestling promotion in the U.S. will never come close to WWE status. This attitude isn’t surprising considering stars like Hulk Hogan, AJ Styles, and most recently, Sting, have jumped off the TNA ship like drowning rats. So, is the TNA ship really sinking?
Enter MVP. Montel Vontavious Porter. It’s likely no coincidence that the initials of his wrestling handle are also an acronym for the term “most valuable player.” Let that thought settle as you consider MVP as the possible new face of TNA, the face that could bring the company to the true height of wrestling success.
MVP’s claim to fame is his tenure as a charismatic WWE superstar. He won the United States Championship title only one year after signing on with the company and enjoyed the third longest reign in WWE history. Along with Matt Hardy, he also won the tag team titles at a time when tag team wrestling appeared to be something the “E” took more seriously. MVP’s star seemed to soar even higher when in the 2009 WWE Draft, he was picked as first overall for the Raw brand. But in late 2010, he was granted his release from the company, and set his sights on becoming an international superstar.
Few marks are aware of this, but the industry’s self-proclaimed most valuable player actually had a brief stint with TNA in 2003 and 2004 as Antonio Banks. Albeit these were merely sporadic appearances that saw him on the losing end more often than not, back then it was clear to see that this guy had loads of potential. Of course we saw more of that potential in WWE, but even then, I think it was only a small sample of what he’s capable of bringing to the table. I mean seriously, who would’ve been a more credible WWE Champion: MVP or the Miz? Nuff said.
MVP made his TNA debut in Glasgow, Scotland on January 30, 2014. At the tail end of show, Porter was revealed as the “investor” in a dramatic moment that saw him standing amid the Wolves Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards just before Impact Wrestling faded to black. MVP seems to be using social media to build buzz around the move, claiming through Twitter that no formal contract has yet been signed, but in fact “all systems are go.” According to MVP, a sort of gentleman’s agreement has transpired.
Now that he looks to be geared for a full stint in TNA, some fans are contending that MVP is too old to do anything worthwhile for the company. Surprise, right? Let the IWC tell it, TNA is chock full of dinosaurs. There are some veterans on the roster, but this guy is a talented, hard worker with tons of charisma. Not another Chavo Guerrero. I would go as far to say that he was underutilized and undervalued as a member of the WWE roster. If TNA can get their heads out of their collective canister and find a way to tap into his full potential as both a great talker and in-ring performer, there may be no stopping the momentum behind this latest signing.
Though there does seem to be some consensus that TNA is destined for failure, there is also a fan consensus that MVP rules! So, if this new deal is in fact legit, MVP may prove to be just what TNA needs to return the IMPACT to their wrestling product. Opinions of the company notwithstanding, it is no doubt exciting to contemplate exactly what Montel Vontavious Porter has in store for the wrestling world.