athletic suit

Montel Vontavious Porter

Alvin Burke, Jr. (born October 28, 1973), also known as Hassan Hamin Assad and Antonio Banks, is an American professional wrestler currently working for World Wrestling Entertainment on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Montel Vontavious Porter, or MVP. He is a former WWE United States Champion. His reign was the longest since WWE came into possession of the championship in 2001 and the third longest in the title's entire history. He is also a former WWE Tag Team Champion.


Early life and career

Burke 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. Burke 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. He made his wrestling debut in 2002, and he worked for many different companies on the independent circuit using the name Antonio Banks, including appearances with Full Impact Pro and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

World Wrestling Entertainment

In 2005, after a number of house shows and dark matches, Burke signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was assigned to their developmental territory Deep South Wrestling. It was there that he first developed the Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) gimmick: an arrogant, self-obsessed athlete partially inspired by the fictional NFL wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) from the film Jerry Maguire and the real-life, Terrell Owens.

SmackDown! (2006–present)

As MVP, he made his first appearance on WWE television on the August 4, 2006 episode of SmackDown!, during which announcers described him as a coveted free agent. The initial angle involved MVP appearing backstage and in arena crowds, often flanked by women and/or a bodyguard, and talking to SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long about the contract his (unseen) agent was supposedly aggressively negotiating. Throughout his segments, commentators described MVP as arrogant, noting that he would stop conversations in the middle to answer his mobile phone or admire his own jewelry while people were speaking to him. Finally, on September 26, video of a press conference announcing the signing of MVP to "the largest contract in SmackDown! history" was uploaded to view

MVP's in-ring debut for the brand was set for October's No Mercy pay-per-view, for which he also debuted his heralded entrance featuring an NFL-like inflatable tunnel, before defeating the unknown wrestler Marty Garner. During the match, commentators Michael Cole and JBL decried the choice of opponent, since it had been implied that it would be someone "more competent", and joined in with fans mocking his athletic suit styled ring gear, calling him "pathetic" while the fans chanted Power Ranger. On the following week's SmackDown!, MVP cut a promo "demanding" a tougher opponent to prove his mettle, which was answered by Kane—making his SmackDown! debut. The two were placed into a feud for the next two months, with MVP narrowly scoring wins over Kane in a street fight and a cage match before losing to him in an Inferno match at Armageddon, from which he suffered kayfabe 1st degree burns. Because of the burns he was "out of action" for a short time, during which color commentator JBL expressed rage with the fans for cheering a match where the only way of achieving victory is to set an opponent on fire.

When the Kane feud died down, MVP began a new one with United States Champion Chris Benoit over Benoit's title. During the build up for a title match with Benoit, MVP appeared on SmackDown! introducing various supposed champions from around the world, giving them exaggerated measurements before proceeding to squash them in short order. MVP was in control for much of the time of the title match at WrestleMania 23, before he lost in the end. A rematch at Backlash went much the same way, with MVP suddenly losing to an Inside Cradle after looking like he was about to win for much of the match. The two wrestled in a two out of three falls match at Judgment Day, with MVP taking his first WWE title in two straight falls. MVP credits his time working with Benoit for improving his in-ring skill. His first major feud over the Championship was against Matt Hardy, whom he started claiming to be better than at everything, after defeating him at the Great American Bash. When MVP was legitimately diagnosed with the heart condition Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, it was written into the storyline, with MVP blaming the condition for his losing an arm wrestling match against Hardy. When MVP was given an interview segment during SmackDown!, the "VIP Lounge", it was used to bow out of a scheduled boxing match at Saturday Night's Main Event—with Evander Holyfield replacing him, and eventually punching out MVP during the bout. On the August 24 SmackDown!, MVP bragged to General Manager Teddy Long that he could win the WWE Tag Team Championship with anybody, prompting Long to grant him a Championship match alongside the next person who entered the room, Matt Hardy. The next week, MVP and Hardy took the championship from Deuce 'n Domino, making MVP a double champion. MVP and Hardy's contentious relationship had them competing with each other in various ways while MVP proclaimed himself "Captain" of the team and refused to defend his US title. Their reign together came to an end on the November 16 (taped November 13) SmackDown! after Hardy demanded a shot at the US title. When MVP declined, Matt accused him of using the Tag Team Titles as a way to avoid defending the U.S. Title. Later that night, they had a Tag Team Championship defense against John Morrison and The Miz, which they lost. After the loss, MVP immediately invoked the rematch clause, and lost that match as well. MVP then attacked Hardy, targeting his (kayfabe) injured knee, and putting him "out of action". Hardy suffered a legitimate ruptured appendix while he was off television, putting their feud on hold. While Hardy recovered, MVP engaged in short feuds with Rey Mysterio and Ric Flair and participated in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXIV. During the ladder match, just as he was about to win, Hardy made an unannounced return and knocked MVP from the ladder with his signature Twist of Fate maneuver, reigniting their feud. At April's Backlash, MVP dropped the title to Hardy, ending his record reign at 343 days, the third longest in the history of the belt. At Unforgiven he got a chance at the WWE Championship in the Championship Scramble match but was ultimately pinned after a Pedigree by Triple H.

In wrestling

  • Finishing and signature moves

  • Nicknames
    • Mr. 305 (Used as a parody of Rey Mysterio's 619 area code)
    • MVP
    • The Franchise Player
    • Half Man, Half Amazing
    • The Ballin' Superstar
    • Mr. Prime Time
    • The Captain of the Team (Used while teaming with Matt Hardy)
    • The Only Man with 3 Halves (Used during his WWE Tag Team Championship reign)
    • The King of Bling (Used as a parody of Triple H's nickname The King of Kings)
  • Entrance themes
  • Championships and accomplishments

    Personal information

    In October 2007 Burke was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a rare condition that causes the heart to beat faster than normal. The diagnosis and treatment were worked into WWE storylines.

    Burke has acquired numerous tattoos through his life, including; a portrait of Malcolm X on the upper left portion of his chest, the sarcophagus of King Tut on his left upper biceps, the legend "Monte Cristo" along with the phrase "The best revenge is living well" in script on his right forearm (both references to the book The Count of Monte Cristo) and an Eye of Horus on the back of his left arm. He also has a number of homemade gang related tattoos that he had done when he was in his teens and which he is no longer proud of.

    Burke has stated that he was a video game fan growing up and that his independent circuit finishing maneuver, the Malicious Intent, was inspired by a similar move preformed by a character in the Tekken series.

    Due to his past criminal record, Burke is barred from visiting some countries for international tours such as Japan. He is however able to visit other countries through special permits and background checks for recent behavior.


    External links

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