Hassan Hamin Assad (b. Alvin Burke Jr. in 1973) is an American Professional Wrestler from Liberty City, Miami, Florida who is best known for his work in WWE from 2006-2010 as Montel Vontavious Porter, or simply MVP. He debuted in the Florida independent scene in 2002 as Antonio Banks, including several brief stops at TNA. Later he had a run in the Puerto Rican IWA until in 2005, when he signed a developmental deal with WWE and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling in Georgia, where he developed the MVP character, an arrogant, self-obsessed athlete based on Rod Tidwell and Terrell Owens. He debuted on SmackDown in 2006 as Porter, with the storyline of holding out for a big contract and eventually obtaining it. Over the course of his WWE run, he would hold the WWE United States Heavyweight Title twice and the WWE (SmackDown!) Tag Team Titles once with Matt Hardy. He left WWE to compete in New Japan Pro Wrestling until he left in 2013. Then went on to return to TNA in early 2014.As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.
"Never troped a millionaire? Then read on further":
A God Am I: Downplayed, when called a visionary by Bobby Lashley, MVP likens himself to a god but then backtracks and settles for prophet. Still, he reasons whatever he says happens.
Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better: He and Matt Hardy spent a lot of time trying to prove this to each other, even while tag team champions. MVP would usually cheat in the contests.
For a long time, the WrestleCrap message board would routinely insist that what WWE needed was a character based on obnoxious football prima donna Terrell Owens. That wish was finally granted with MVP. His entrance even included an NFL style inflatable tunnel.
Then subverted when MVP turned face, becoming much more like the good-guy, inspirational kind of athlete from a tough background.
Outright lampshaded in his "I'm Comin'" theme, which includes the words "cocky like T.O."
The Atoner: Not for anything done as a professional wrestler (MVP is an unapologetic jerkass pretty much all of the time) but the man's professional wrestling career itself was brought upon by his correction officer.
Be Careful What You Wish For: MVP felt he was not getting over because he did not have good enough competition. So Theodore Long gave him Kane, though MVP did end up getting over afterwards.
Braids of Action: Though they were not always visible as he sometimes had a hat or dew rag over them. Toru Yano eventually destroyed them in NJPW.
Catch Phrase: When hosting the V.I.P. lounge, "Big things popping, little things stopping." This is a bowdlerized reference to southern USA rapper Ti(p). In TNA he's since said much closer to the original line in reference to his intentions to take over the show. "Big things popping, Dixie's shit stopping!"
Despotism Justifies the Means: Turns out he invested in TNA mainly to have control over something after failing in the political side of wrestling. After seeing Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lose his team he reasoned being partial owner of TNA and its Director of Wrestling Operations was not enough and now wants to rule everything—hence the formation of a new team with Bobby Lashley and Kenny King with the intent of getting him the World Heavyweight Championship.
"Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: His second WWE theme, though they never bothered to play the whole thing. Ironically the remix NJPW did contained more of the original song despite having a completely different title and extended samples from Godzilla movies. He's also released three rap singles on iTunes, including one of two other rap themes he's used in NJPW. As well as the theme he used in his return to TNA.
Drunk with Power: Bully Ray initially criticized MVP for being such a stickler for the rules MVP did not techincally have to follow as TNA's director of wrestling operations. Yeah, be careful what you wish for Bully.
Embarrassing Nickname: The Power Ranger, thanks to his rather unorthodox outfit (which he wore to cover up a Malcolm X tattoo). JBL spared no expense in mocking him for it in his debut.
Boring, but Practical: Thing is, the outfit's pretty clearly supposed to be based off the Under Armour line of athletic apparel, making it literally the most practical wrestling costume in history. He even recently lampshaded this on Twitter here:
"I always found it odd that people find MY wrestling attire "odd" but men wrestling in PANTIES is just fine."
He did not like Mr. Kennedy at all, but they were both feuding with a Brotherof Destruction, so they decided to team up to help their chances. Why they thought this would be of any help (it just resulted in the Brothers teaming up too, and they worked better together) is a question for the ages. They also had a mutual dislike of general manager Theodore Long, which was egged further on by JBL.
He was not good friends with Shelton Benjamin either but they were willing to team up against Triple H, who encouraged it believing the two of them were too Genre Blind to be a threat. Eventually they became much more solid friends, partnering up in New Japan in a team called "Black Dynamite".
Engrish: His NJPW theme, "Most Valiantly Person". Just the title though, the lyrics are just MVP vocals to a remixed beat with some sampling.
Becomes one in name and function to "Chief Operating Officer" Triple H as TNA's "Director of Wrestling Operations". Unlike Trips though, MVP had to claw for the position even after footing the bill rather than being appointed by the board of directors and having backup from the boss's daughter. Like Triple H, he has to deal with a bearded underdog babyface champion. Unlike Trips again, who repeatedly attempted to obstruct Bryan's rise to the top using his executive power and only inserted himself into things as a wrestler as a last resort after months of Bryan's and the fans' persistence, MVP quickly moved to affirm Young's climb to the top once he saw it happening as he perceived the plucky underdog Showtime EY to be easy pickings compared to the always-connected Magnus.
Finishing Move: Formerly a capoeira kick called "malicious intent". Later, Play of the Day (leaping reverse STO), Playmaker (overdrive), Drive-By (Big boot in the corner or as a shining wizard variant), Take It to the Bank (crucifix neck crank, a cross face prior to WWE). In NJPW he often followed the playmaker with a crossface armbar combination he called the Irreversible Crisis.
He himself was this for two weeks as the TNA investor.
Ill Boy: In real life, though not so much his characters it has affected his use in some story lines. In particular he has to get checkups for his heart, which is said to beat abnormally fast. note Most mammals have a set number of times their heart can beat before they die. Human beings, with work, can keep it beating indefinitely but this is still dangerous.
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He was the longest running United States champion in the history of the belt's WWE ownership but after he dropped the belt to Matt Hardy WWE decided to give him a losing streak that lasted over five months, not just losing singles matches but also being the one to get pinned in tag team matches and championship scrambles. Because of his poor showing Theodore Long decided not to pay him the bonuses that were supposed to be in his contract and even took away his inflatable tunnel. Eventually fans started to feel sorry for him and happily cheered when he finally got a (Triple H-assisted) win over The Big Show (the joke being Trips would be allowed into the Royal Rumble if MVP could win a match). Afterwards his face turn was official, the bookers allowed MVP to win on his own, and he largely recovered his monetary perks before (and even after) leaving the company.
Insult Backfire: When the Impact Zone chanted "Sellout" at him MVP said they were right, since he had sold out arenas all over the world, including the one he was currently in.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Face. He still is cocky, still uses his incredibly unnecessarily showy elbow drop and the probablyshouldbeillegal cheap shot but can otherwise an agreeable guy if you can tolerate these things.
Jobber: What his early TNA appearances amounted to.
Came Back Strong: Has gained much more credibility heading into his second run there. This is lampshaded in the chorus of his theme song.
Malcolm Xerox: Defied, despite how easy it would have been with his Malcolm X tattoo which the bookers instead opted to have him cover up. He converted to Islam while in prison, thus explaining his real life name change though he has since moved away from it and is now a non believer toward religion in general (except Dudeism). This becomes even more poignant with the formation of his "Money, Power, and Respect" stable in TNA, as the extent to which he has acknowledged the ever-growing "Black Evolution" meme that came about as a result has been to openly reject the idea of race being his motivation when brought up to him on Twitter.
A Man Of Wealth And Taste: Guess it comes with being "the highest paid free agent in sports entertainment." When he was a face the heels would mock him for being "new money" or otherwise bring up his not so luxurious roots.
Reality Subtext: WWE does refer to its talent as free agents, even in cases where they probably should not. And for that matter, so does TNA.
Call Back/Continuity Nod: His current role in TNA as the "investor" counteracting Dixie's regime has been outright confirmed to partially involve said "new money" coming back in handy.
Man on Fire: He lost an inferno match (and won the respect of the audience).
The Napoleon: Before coming to TNA and WWE, meeting up with guys like Monty Brown and Bobby Lashley, Antonio Banks was used to being one of the larger men on the roster, and it shows, even as a face. Most noticeably, his style of wrestling includes a lot of big boots, clotheslines and throws in a style normally applied the much men. He eventually incorporated more technical and jumpy moves to make it less apparent though.
In WWC he was part of the running gag of no one selling the chops of Orlando, Eddie or Carlito.
In NJPW, notably he no sold two consecutive German suplexes in a match with Togi Makabe (but then, it is NJPW. Makabe himself no sold about ten forearms from MVP). By contrast he probably oversold in WWE, notably gripping his head after his own suplexes sometimes.
Odd Friendship: With Sherri Sheppard of the Barbershop films and The View. The story was that they took each other to prom, well after their time in high school. (Sherri felt she couldn't get a date because she was black and MVP could not go because he was in prison).
One Steve Limit: Prime Time Elix Skipper had a finishing move called "Play Of The Day", but it was an overdrive rather than an STO, variant. The same move that is MVP's "Play maker". They both worked in TNA too.
Passing the Torch: To Kofi Kingston after he was defeated by him for the United States championship. Rather than be bitter or even hassle him over a rematch clause, as MVP believed he was ready to be a world champion.
Put on a Bus: Asked for his release because he didn't like how he was being booked. Proceeded to head for Japan.
Being an ex-con limits some of his travel options.
His second theme is a reference to his work in the music industry. Likewise his TNA theme is a nod to his return there as well as his time in Japan.
MVP was supposed to get beat up by Evander Holyfield but his role was reduced on the show because he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition. So instead it was made to look like he suckered face Matt Hardy into a boxing match he had no business in.
His Face-Heel Turn in TNA had him likely poised to take the World Title from Eric Young and become the mega-tyrannical heel boss/champion, but then he blew out his knee. Slammiversary was promptly rebooked as a straightforward wrestling show, and the following Impact saw MVP essentially sacrifice his power over wrestling operations by blatantly abusing it to get Lashley the championship. Lampshaded by Dixie Carter in a promo the week after.
Screaming Warrior: More so as a heel but often the Drive-By Kick was accompanied by him yelling.
Signature Move: An overshot big boot in the corner (miss that leaves his leg caught on the top rope optional) and an elbow drop preceded by a mock basketball shot "ballin!" called Ballin' Elbow. As a face he also had what Michael Cole called "Great Throws". In NJPW he also had a European uppercut-lariat combo.
Silence, You Fool!: His feud with Chris Jericho was based around the fact Jericho just would not spot talking.
Steven Ulysses Perhero: All the more so during his budding feud with tag team partner Matt Hardy. Who would have ever guessed a man with his initials would argue that he was the more valuable player?
Tag Team: In NWA Florida, he was in a team with "The Black Nature Boy" Scoot Andrews and Vordell Walker called NWA, as in the rap group. In WWE he was with Mark Henry in the "Worlds Strongest Tag Team". In New Japan Pro Wrestling he was one half of "Black Dynamite" with Shelton Benjamin.
Tattooed Crook: When he was a face, Miz would make frequent mention of MVP's criminal history.
Tick Tock Tune: Both of his WWE entrance themes, though his first makes more use of it, it cuts out in "Ballin". (He can really use "Ballin" anywhere he wants but is most known for using it in WWE, NJPW also got away with using "I'm comin" during a USA tour.) Also, his TNA return theme, though it cuts out there too.
Too Many Halves "I am half-man, half-amazing, half-tag-team-champion... I'm so great, I'm the only man on Earth with three halves!"
Villainous Valor: He was willing to continue wrestling even when it was clear he had not fully recovered from his burns, even when he could not put on his regular getup because it hurt the burnt area too much, even when one of the faces, Vito, deliberately targeted his seared flesh. This was a stark departure from his initial heel character. (oh, he was still a whiny, shortcut taking bastard but he had never shown that kind of determination or pain tolerance before.)
WWE Owns This Trope/Writing Around Trademarks: Can't use the full Montel Vontavious Porter name in TNA because WWE owns it, however he can get away with simply "MVP" since it's a pretty common acronym and he created the gimmick.