Wrestler of the Day – August 18: MVP

Today is someone pretty different from yesterday’s Bruno Sammartino. Today is MVP.

We’ll start things off with MVP as a jobber in TNA named Antonio Banks. Here he is on Impact, July 23, 2004.

Monty Brown vs. Antonio Banks

Brown hammers away to start and sends him out to the floor. Back in and Banks gets in some right hands but misses a big kick, earning him a clothesline. The Pounce ends this quick.

MVP would sign with WWE and debut on Smackdown after a few months in Deep South Wrestling. He would have his first main roster match at No Mercy 2006.

MVP vs. Marty Garner

This is MVP’s in ring debut and Garner is a jobber from OMEGA and some indies. He was occasionally in WWF as a jobber. JBL hates MVP and rips him apart through his short promo. The fans chant Power Ranger. MVP slaps him down before the match starts and JBL is cracking me up as he insults MVP. Garner gets in a right hand and JBL turns into a cheerleader. MVP is in blue which JBL calls blueberry bling. The Play of the Day or whatever he called his finisher gets the pin. Total squash. Again, I’m sure the people that bought the PPV are SO glad they paid for this too.

His first feud was with Kane, setting up this Inferno match at Armageddon 2006.

Kane vs. MVP

This is the ultra rare inferno match. There’s fire around the ring and you set your opponent on fire to win it. MVP is doing the big free agent thing and Kane is his first major feud. It’s a tag team feud at the moment with Kane/Taker vs. Kennedy/MVP with Taker vs. MVP happening later. Kane lost in a cage match and that set up this one.

The flames keep going up and down. You might even say big flames popping. Kane kicks him in the face and hammers him into the corner to start. MVP gets his feet up in the corner and thinks of going up but stops due to fear. Kane puts him in a wheelbarrow position and climbs the corner, only to get slammed on his face. Kane sets for a superplex but MVP knocks him off. The flames go up a second after he hits but it looks cool either way.

MVP stays on the top for a bit before coming off with a cross body. He instinctively covers but then settles for hammering away. Kane goes down and then sits up almost immediately. Big boot puts MVP down and there’s the chokeslam. The big bald takes the turnbuckle off and tries to light it on fire but the flames go down. The second attempt works but MVP uses the distraction to take over.

He tries a baseball slide to put Kane into the fire but Kane gets up before it hits. Kane takes over again and a corner clothesline hits. The side that got put out is back on now. MVP climbs the corner and Kane shoves him to the floor past the flames. Kane is like cool and dives off the top over the flames too. They fight to put each other into the “five hundred degree flames” and Kane grabs him by the throat and puts him into the fire for the win.

Rating: C-. This is hard to grade but it wasn’t incredibly interesting. I mean, they couldn’t have near falls but rather near burns here. Not horrible for the most part and not even bad, but at the same time what can you really expect from something like this? I’m pretty sure this ended the feud for the most part.

MVP would enter into a feud with Chris Benoit, including this six man tag at No Way Out 2007.

MVP/MNM vs. Hardy Boys/Chris Benoit

MVP is relatively new here as he’d only been around about 6 months. The Hardys had thrown out an open challenge at December 2 Dismember and MNM had answered, starting a feud. Mercury has a large mask on his face from a SICK broken nose at Armageddon. Jeff is Intercontinental Champion. Benoit is US Champion here as well, making this pretty one sided. It’s so scary to think that it was five months away.

BIG chant for the Hardys. Matt vs. Mercury start us off here. They slug it out with Joey trying to hurt Matt’s face for revenge. JBL says we’re near Hollywood, “the land of fruits and nuts.” He’s on conservative fire here so far. Off to Jeff who is getting a big reaction already. Off to Benoit vs. MVP for awhile which would be a US Title feud for the next two PPVs.

MNM tries to hide when Benoit chops MVP but MVP manages to tag Mercury. And for no apparent reason it doesn’t count. Oh apparently it was because he was in the ropes at the time. Off to Nitro vs. Jeff now and I’m assuming you know that Nitro is now John Morrison. Jeff gets that running swinging sleeper to take down Nitro. Nitro slaps him and Jeff goes right at him so we can hit the floor.

Double teaming/cheating gets MNM control and Hardy gets to do his awesome selling. JBL gets in a very simple yet true line: there may be three great wrestlers on the popular team but you only have to beat one. That’s very true yet probably not realized that much at all for some reason. Nice job on being a commentator/analyst for once. MVP comes in and goes off on Jeff who is taking a good beating out there.

Jeff knocks Nitro off the ropes and gets a Whisper in the Wind to bring in Matt. Cole’s voice is already getting weak. Side Effect gets two on Mercury. MVP cheats to take over again as this is getting some time. There are only seven matches tonight so I’d expect a good deal of time for each. Now we’re talking about Machiavelli. You learn a lot on a WWE pay per view.

Ballin which doesn’t have a name yet gets two. JBL says MVP looks like a combination between Barney and a Power Ranger but he fights like Floyd Mayweather. So he’s a teenage reptile that’s cowardly? Matt takes another big old beating until he can get a clothesline to Nitro to break the momentum. Mercury comes in and there’s no tag. And never mind as there it is to bring in Benoit.

Backdrops and throws for everyone including a suplex to Nitro that lands on MVP. He gets a German on both members of MNM at the same time in a nice move. Poetry in Motion gets a big reaction. Side Effect puts down Mercury. Jeff adds a Swanton and Benoit gets a headbutt but MVP breaks up the pin on the carcass of Mercury. Nitro takes Jeff down outside as MVP tries to swing the title. He walks into the Crossface but Nitro saves again. MVP and Jeff hit the floor and after some pounding and reversals the Crossface ends Mercury.

Rating: B. Solid opener here that certainly didn’t feel like fifteen minutes at all. Tag matches are the best choices to open shows more often than not as they’re certainly the most exciting matches on the cards often times, especially with guys like these. This worked very well indeed and was really good throughout. Basic match but well done and exciting for sure.

After failing to win the title at Wrestlemania XXIII and Backlash 2007, MVP would get a third title shot at Judgment Day 2007.

US Title: Chris Benoit vs. MVP

MVP is challenging here and it’s 2/3 falls. They had a decent match at Mania and this is the rematch. Amazing to think this was two months before the Benoit stuff happened. This is the third match in their series. Apparently Benoit has a bad leg which is a running theme tonight. They feel each other out for a good while as Cole isn’t sure if DQs or countouts count.

All Benoit to start but he can’t get the Crossface. MVP grabs a headlock which gets him nowhere at all. Benoit hammers away and they hit the mat. The idea here was that in the first match Benoit completely outwrestled him then at Backlash Benoit had more trouble with him and now he’s having real trouble with him. MVP works on the leg for a good while.

Rolling Germans time but the knee gives out on the final one. Crossface goes on but he manages to get to the rope. Back to the knee but a big boot in the corner misses. Sharpshooter goes on but that doesn’t work either. Good stuff here for the most part but the whole work on a limb thing is getting a bit repetitive tonight. MVP tries to climb the ropes and Benoit gets him in an electric chair, but the knee goes out and the Playmaker gives MVP the first fall.

There’s a rest period and Benoit stretches his leg a bit. The knee is falling apart and MVP attacks it every chance he gets. Even on a cover MVP twists the leg around in a very nice touch. Leg lock goes on which becomes a Brock Lock and Chris is in trouble. Playmaker doesn’t work a second time as Benoit gets a SWEET counter into the Crossface but he can’t lock it in due to a shot to the knee. A big boot to the knee allows MVP to roll him up to win the title in two straight falls. He would hold it nearly a year.

Rating: C+. The knee work was good here but at the same time it got a bit annoying having this in about the fourth or fifth match tonight. Benoit would head to ECW rather soon and I think you know how that ended. Pretty decent match here though as MVP used the previous two matches to get the win here, which is psychology which is the best thing you can ask for.

Here’s MVP in a big title defense at Vengeance 2007.

US Title: MVP vs. Ric Flair

MVP is the ridiculously cocky heel here and actually interesting to an extent. You would NEVER hear that today. He gets in Magnum TA’s face and says it’s all about MVP now. If all of MVP’s matches wind up combining to be half as good as the I Quit Cage match I’ll be stunned. Flair just looks stupid in pink. He’s no Bret Hart in that regard. Flair shows MVP up with bare bones basic moves and it’s hilarious. Flair is busted open! I CAN FEEL MY INNOCENCE BEING RIPPED FROM MY BODY! SPARE ME PLEASE!!!!

In a funny moment, Flair chops the heck out of MVP and after MVP takes over, he opens up his vest and checks his chest for welts. JBL says Flair’s chops are better than anyone else’s. And I believe him since he was a wrestler not long before this. Lawler needs to remind us he used to be a wrestler. Even Striker reminds us of that. This is another one of that matches that likely belongs on TV but we need a US Title match so here is one for you.

MVP’s knee hits the buckle and Flair goes for the wrong one, thereby proving that some things never change. There it is and we’re in Flair Formula time. It’s still passable too so I can’t complain that much. In a nice ending, Flair goes after MVP but the referee blocks him, allowing MVP to poke him in the eye and hit the Playmaker for the retaining. Why is that nice? Because that is Flair 101: distract the referee and cheat. I love that.

Rating: C. The ending helped that a lot. It’s your standard Flair match, but look at him put ANOTHER guy over. Dang I’m defending Flair. What the heck is wrong with me? This is when Flair was still bearable but he was on the verge of being gone, which I think is for the best. Match was average.

Next up was the feud with Matt Hardy that would not die. Here they are defending the Smackdown Tag Team Titles at Unforgiven 2007.

Smackdown Tag Titles: MVP/Matt Hardy vs. Deuce N Domino

MVP is also the US Champion. JBL says these two are like Brittney Spears and Mother Teresa. Now there’s a comparison you won’t hear again that often. Cherry’s (Deuce N Domino’s manager) looks were underrated. MVP and Hardy have a fight over who starts the match until we get down to MVP vs. Domino. Even Cole can’t tell Deuce and Domino apart. Domino yells a lot and Matt comes in off a slap to his chest.

Swinging neckbreaker puts Domino down as Matt and MVP have some annoying points system over who can hit the most moves. They keep shouting the score out to each other and I really don’t get what the point of it is. MVP sets for Matt’s yelling legdrop but Matt protests and tags himself in. This has been a one sided virtual comedy match so far. Matt drops a middle rope elbow on the back of Domino’s neck and does the ballin elbow drop.

Off to Deuce who has better luck. Matt gets caught in a chinlock and MVP rolls his eyes. A quick rollup gets two for Hardy. Domino back in as we settle into a regular tag match. Cherry tries to interfere but Matt grabs the Side Effect after MVP shouts to him. Domino hooks a cobra clutch and MVP walks out. Matt fights back and MVP is up on the apron again. He gets an inadvertent tag and cleans house. He hits Ballin on Deuce but Matt comes in, throws MVP out and steals the pin off a Twist of Fate.

Rating: C-. This is the kind of match Smackdown is for. Having two tag titles was a really bad idea as there were nowhere near enough teams to support it. Matt vs. MVP went on almost forever until Matt FINALLY won it at Backlash. This story went on for about 9-10 months. See how it could get boring quickly with all of the challenges that weren’t just wrestling matches?

After losing the title to Hardy at Backlash, MVP would get in a short feud with Jeff Hardy, including this match at Summerslam 2008.

MVP vs. Jeff Hardy

Jeff is in the middle of the biggest story of his life, as he’s been chasing the world title all year. This resulted in one of the highest number of buys ever for the Rumble, yet he’s opening the show here in a midcard match. Makes sense in WWE world I guess. There isn’t much of a story here other than MVP has been messing with Jeff lately. Hardy starts with two right hands to send MVP to the floor and there’s a whip into the barricade. Back in and a slingshot legdrop gets two for Jeff and we hit the armbar.

MVP makes the ropes and the referee has to keep pulling Jeff out of the corner. Jeff eventually gets free and charges right into a snap belly to belly for two. MVP kicks him in the back and puts on something like a crucifix hold before rolling over into a camel clutch. Off to something like a side leg bar but MVP eventually lets it go. Jeff goes tot he apron but MVP knocks him out of the air to break up a springboard, getting two.

Jeff is put in the Tree of Woe so MVP picks him up and slams the top of his head into the mat. That’s a new one. MVP loads up something like a Gory Bomb but Jeff slips down the back and neckbreakers his way to freedom. The slingshot dropkick in the corner is countered by two feet to Hardy’s chest but Jeff avoids the Drive By kick in the corner. A sunset flip gets two for Jeff and the Whisper in the Wind puts MVP down again. Cue US Champion Shelton Benjamin to distract Hardy from the Swanton, allowing MVP to move. The Drive By kick is good for the pin on Jeff.

Rating: B-. Summerslam almost always has good openers and this is a good example. I never got into MVP like a lot of people did but this was a solid performance from him. Shelton had been involved with this feud as an accessory on Smackdown but it’s not exactly enough of a connection for the run-in here to work. Good match though.

After this MVP would go on a long losing streak. He tried to break out of it in this match at Survivor Series 2008.

Team HBK vs. Team JBL

Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Cryme Tyme, Great Khali
John Bradshaw Layfield, The Miz, John Morrison, Kane, MVP

I think you can figure out the feuds yourself here. MVP and Mysterio get things going as all of the commentators are talking at once here. MVP is in the middle of a massive losing streak that would result in a face turn and I believe the US Title. Rey hits a quick rana and a clothesline for two before it’s off to JTG for a double dropkick. JTG hits a HARD right hand but MVP gets in a shot to the ribs and hits the Drive-By (running kick to the side of the head) for the elimination. Khali immediately comes in and chops MVP in the head for the elimination to tie things up.

Kane comes in for the staredown of the giants and Khali clotheslines him down with ease. Khali slugs him down and easily breaks up a chokeslam attempt. There’s the chop to the head and Rey climbs on Khali’s shoulders for the splash and another elimination. Off to Morrison who speeds things up. We hear about how great Morrison is from Striker, but unfortunately that chick Melina screwed up his future. Mysterio hits a quick kick to the head and it’s off to Shad.

Now Cryme Tyme vs. Miz/Morrison was a feud ahead of its time: their internet shows got in an argument and a wrestling feud followed. Shad misses a charge into the corner and it’s off to Miz. Since Miz isn’t quite the worker he is at this point, it’s back to Morrison very quickly. Shad runs over both members of the tag team and powerslams Miz down before hitting another overhyped elbow. Miz pops back up and hits the Reality Check (backbreaker/neckbreaker combo) to eliminate Shad.

It’s off to Shawn who comes in via a slow, dramatic step. He gets to face the Miz, meaning that entrance was wasted. To the shock of almost everyone, Miz takes over and double teams with Morrison to work over Shawn’s back. JBL, the slimmed down version, comes in to pound away and drop an elbow for two. Back to Miz who pounds away at Shawn’s bad eye, busting it open again.

Morrison comes in again to crank on a headlock and send Shawn over the top. Why would you turn your back when you throw Shawn over the top rope? At least Morrison jumps him when Shawn skins the cat. A forearm puts Shawn down and Morrison nips up in a little jab at HBK. Morrison misses the top rope elbow and it’s a double tag to bring in Miz vs. Mysterio. Rey hits a springboard rana into the 619 and the top rope splash puts Miz out.

JBL comes in and hits a hard shoulder to take Mysterio down. The crowd is WAY into Rey here. The fans think JBL can’t wrestle. The correct chant would be “You can’t work a style we like because we think that flying around and using a lot of moves is how a wrestler’s talents are determined because we don’t know what we’re talking about!” Off to Morrison with a European uppercut followed by a backbreaker.

Rey gets in a kick to the face but it’s off to JBL to hook an abdominal stretch with the leg being cranked on at the same time. Once Rey escapes, JBL uses something you don’t often see: a big boot to the back of the head. Rey blocks a belly to back superplex and hits a moonsault press to put JBL down and bust open his lip. There’s the tag to Shawn who hits the forearm and nip up of his own (take that Morrison) to send Bradshaw to the floor.

Shawn dives out to take Bradshaw out and loads up the superkick to send JBL running away. With JBL running away from the kick, Shawn slides back in and beats the count by one second, meaning JBL is gone via a countout. Morrison tries to superkick Shawn but Shawn is like boy these boots are older than you and kicks Morrison’s head off for the final pin and 3-0 final score for lack of a better term.

Rating: C. This was fine but the ending was kind of anti-climatic. They were trying to save the Shawn pin over JBL which was a good idea as they would have a solid feud in the next few months which resulted in Shawn being JBL’s lackey because Shawn was poor. The guys other than the captains in this didn’t do much of note but that’s kind of the idea behind a match like this. Not bad but nothing great either.

MVP would turn face again because that’s how you end a losing streak. Since this is WWE, after losing about 30 matches in a row, he won two and got a US Title shot on Smackdown, March 20, 2009.

US Title: MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin

Shelton takes him into the corner to start and hammers away before dropping him down in a modified Snake Eyes. A suplex gets two for Shelton but he charges into an overhead belly to belly. MVP gets two of his own off a boot to the face and there’s a facebuster into Ballin. Shelton lands on his feet to counter a suplex and grabs a hangman’s neckbreaker for two. A few rollups get a few near falls on the champion but he grabs the exploder suplex. Shelton misses a splash in the corner and walks into the Playmaker for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. Short match here with Shelton not seeming all that interested in trying. MVP’s finishing move still doesn’t make a ton of sense. It’s almost like the other guy is being spun down and has a cushion for his neck. Nothing to see here and the fans didn’t seem all that interested in MVP as champion

After dropping the title, MVP would face Jack Swagger at Summerslam 2009.

Jack Swagger vs. MVP

MVP jumps over Swagger in the corner and hits a quick clothesline for two to start. Swagger rolls to the floor to avoid the Ballin Elbow, only to be caught by a suicide dive. Back in and Swagger gets in some shots to the ribs to take over followed by a forearm to the back. MVP counters another shot with an elbow to the face, only to get caught in an abdominal stretch.

A hard clothesline puts MVP down for two and it’s off to a camel clutch. MVP stands up and breaks the hold with an electric chair for two. This is really basic stuff and the fans aren’t all that thrilled. Back up and MVP pops him in the jaw with a right hand, setting up the Ballin Elbow for two. A big boot in the corner sets up the Playmaker for the pin on Swagger.

Rating: D. The match wasn’t even that bad but it was very dull. Neither guy did anything special out there and it was about six minutes of boring, yet acceptable, wrestling. Swagger would go on to a world title the following year for reasons no one can quite fathom while MVP would do nothing of note for the rest of his WWE run.

In one of his last big matches in WWE, MVP would get a US Title shot at Elimination Chamber 2010.

US Title: Miz vs. MVP

I love Miz’s theme music I think. Both guys have their fat tag partners with them. He really does look awesome with all that gold. And the Kool Aid Man is still fat. Naturally the talking is mostly about Daniel Brian and NXT. Why in the world should I care about MVP? I have zero idea what the appeal of him is. Oh and apparently he’s a power guy now? We get Tiger Woods jokes. Oh dear. They try to compare the last few years in their two careers.

Both have come miles. Yes but Miz has gone forward and MVP has gone backwards. This has been fairly entertaining. It’s nothing epic but it’s certainly doing ok. I just can’t stand MVP at all anymore so that has something to do with it. Show’s shouting is funny to me. I hate that Ballin Elbow. It’s just stupid on so many levels. On the floor Henry goes after Show and hits the railing which more or less explodes. Miz is busted open a bit and Show punches MVP to let Miz retain.

Rating: C+. Not bad at all here. It was a great way to get some time on the card filled in which this show needed badly. Also, Miz gets another win to further establish him as a big deal. This is a win he should have gotten and he did. That’s all you can ask of him. Decent little match here indeed.

MVP would get an Intercontinental Title shot on Smackdown, October 8, 2010.

Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. MVP

No Kaitlyn this week darn the luck. Vickie is rather pissed off here. Ziggler controls and sets her up for the slap while he distracts the referee but Vickie doesn’t do it. She walks away as he asks what’s going on and reminds her that they’re a team. MVP jumps him as we go to a break.

Back with Ziggler holding a chinlock. We get a clip from during the break where Dolph kicked MVP in the knee to take over. Reverse neckbreaker gets two. MVP makes s brief comeback with some rollups until Dolph kills him with a kick to the head. He hits the big elbow drop that Luger always missed for two and we hit the chinlock again.

Belly to belly overhead gets MVP out of trouble and makes his comeback. This has been a bit better than I was expecting but then again I can’t stand MVP for the most part. He’s been a bit better lately though. Big boot gets two for MVP. Kaitlyn comes out in a little black and gray dress that looks great on her. Sleeper is countered and both guys are down. MVP sets for Ballin but Kaitlyn grabs his ankle, allowing the Zig Zag to end it.

Rating: C+. Much better than I expected and it got a good deal of time. It wasn’t a great match but I liked it. Ziggler getting pinfalls like these even with moderate cheating is great for him. He wasn’t beaten when Kaitlyn helped him out so it keeps him looking somewhat strong. I liked this and it’s more of the Smackdown midcard doing their thing.

MVP would leave WWE soon after this and head to Japan where he signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Here he is on March 19, 2011.

MVP vs. Togi Makabe

They trade shoulder blocks to start before MVP just kicks him in the face. There’s a belly to belly suplex to send Togi outside and MVP sends him into the barricade a few times. Back in and MVP fires off some slaps before we get the required forearm smashes. A facebuster sets up the Ballin Elbow for two but Togi comes back with a powerslam (more like a power armdrag). They trade suplexes (northern lights for Togi, fisherman’s for MVP) for two each and it’s time for more unsold forearms.

MVP misses a lariat and gets Germaned for no cover. Togi clotheslines him down and headbutts out of a superplex attempt. He goes up top again, only to get caught in a slow motion Angle run up the corner. The Playmaker gets two for MVP and frustration is setting in. Off to a modified Crossface but Togi gets to a rope. Some corner clotheslines set up a top rope knee drop to MVP’s chest for the pin.

Rating: C-. This didn’t do much for me as it was just two guys doing moves to each other for about ten minutes. Then again, that’s usually my issue for almost every Japanese match that I watch. It wasn’t bad or anything but it’s nothing that I’d want to see again. The forearms made me roll my eyes.

One more Japanese match and what I believe was MVP’s last match in the company. From Wrestle Kingdom VII.

Akebono/Manabu Nakanishi/MVP/Strong Man vs. Bob Sapp/Takashi Iizuka/Toru Yano/Yujiro Takahashi

The second team is again part of Chaos. Sapp gets his own entrance and has a pretty swank white feather robe. Before the match, Takahashi cuts what sounds like a maniacal heel promo. Manabu makes an announcer do the entrance as the good guys come down the aisle but Chaos charges up the ramp for a brawl. The fight heads to the ring with Strong Man slamming two Chaos members down to set up Ballin from MVP.

Sapp comes in and runs both guys into the corner, only to bring in former Sumo wrestler Akebono (he was at Wrestlemania 21 against Big Show) for the showdown. They collide a few times until Sapp is knocked into the corner for splashes from all four of his opponents. The good guys all start stomping their feet to fire up Manabu who racks Sapp in a nice power display. Yano makes the save with a chair to the back and Iizuka gets in one of his own.

After a quick trip to the floor it’s off to Takahashi for a chop off and a rake to Manabu’s eyes. Yano and Iizuka both wrap chairs around Manabu’s neck and pull for a bit before Iizuka stays in for some right hands. Manabu comes back with a clothesline but the other three members of Chaos break up the tag attempt. Everything breaks down and Chaos is sent into the same corner for splashes from all four good guys (popular move). Manabu racks Iizuka for the submission.

Rating: C. This seemed like a big deal and the ending was fine. Manabu racking people seemed to be a big deal so I’m assuming he’s a popular guy. This was treated as an important win so I’m guessing the winners are at odds with Chaos. I still don’t get the love people have for MVP. The guy is fine but I don’t see the star power people insist is there.

MVP would debut in early 2014 as the new investor in TNA. Here he is fighting for control of the company at Lockdown 2014.

Team MVP vs. Team Roode

MVP, Wolves, Jeff Hardy
Bobby Roode, Bro Mans, Austin Aries

It’s Lethal Lockdown, meaning WarGames and the winner gets control of TNA (Roode is fighting for Dixie and gets 10% ownership if his team wins). Two men start for five minutes followed by a member of Team Roode (due to winning a match on Impact) enters for a two minute advantage. After two minutes a member of Team MVP enters to even things out for two minutes. This alternates until all eight are in when a roof with weapons is lowered and then it’s one fall to a finish, including pins.

Aries and the hometown boy MVP get things going with MVP kicking Aries in the face. Austin comes back with a bulldog and the Last Chancery before laying on the ropes. A missile dropkick doesn’t work as MVP catches him in an exploder suplex and the Ballin Elbow but Aries takes him out before it lands. Aries hits a running dropkick but MVP slams him down and hammers away. Austin escapes an arm hold but misses an elbow drop as Robbie E comes in for the advantage after four minutes.

MVP immediately drops him on his face but Aries gets in a cheap shot and the heels take over. A top rope ax handle puts MVP down and E drops a middle rope elbow to the face. They talk trash to MVP until Eddie Edwards ties things up. Eddie cleans house as you expect a fresh man to do in a Lethal Lockdown match. DJ Zema Ion tries to interfere but gets knocked off the cage wall in a big bump. The good guys control for a bit until the clock runs out with Jesse Godderz giving Team Roode a 3-2 advantage.

The Bro Mans take over without much happening until Davey Richards and his bad arm ties things up. Davey of course gives his team the advantage again with the fast paced double team offense as the WarGames formula is firmly in place here. Stereo half crabs have the Bro Mans in trouble until Aries clotheslines the Wolves from behind. Roode and his awesome sleeveless coat makes it 4-3. The captains go face to face until Roode takes MVP down with a spinebuster.

The heels take complete control until the clock comes on and it’s Willow (Jeff Hardy’s new gimmick, which looks like a black and white Ultimo Dragon mask and really high pants) to tie things up and complete both teams. He comes in as the lights are out and dives off the top of the cage. If they don’t want us to know he’s Hardy, they might have wanted to give him a full body suit to cover the big green tattoo. Thankfully Taz and Tenay drop hints about who it is as the roof with the weapons lower…..and here’s Dixie.

She introduces the insurance policy as the special referee: Bully Ray. As in the guy that spent a year and a half trying to destroy her company. Team MVP waits for Ray at the door but Team Roode jumps them from behind. The weapons are brought in with Ray finding a table under the ring. Dixie sits in a chair on the stage to watch the carnage as it’s all Team Roode. Bobby puts Davey’s bad arm in the Crossface with Bully asking if he wants to give up and talking trash at the same time.

Team Roode all has front facelocks on their opponents but a triple backdrop breaks them free. Richards is broken out quickly and MVP makes sure to hit the Ballin Elbow on Roode. The weapons are used more extensively and Willow loads up a powerbomb on Aries but throws him face first into the cage instead. Robbie is tied up in the Tree of Woe as Ray is just standing in the corner watching. The Wolves set up a trashcan in front of Robbie’s face for an AWESOME double Van Terminator.

Aries is sat in a chair and kicked over and over until he grabs Richards for a BRAINBUSTER THROUGH THE CHAIR. Willow breaks up the save but Aries puts him on a trashcan, only to have Willow move before the 450 only hits the can. A Twist of Fate and Swanton gets a very delayed two on Aries as Roode makes the save and sends Willow into the cage. The table is set up in the cage but Ray gets in the way of the Roode Bomb to MVP. Ray and Roode stare each other down until Ray gives him a Bully Bomb. MVP hits a quick Drive By on Roode for the pin at 26:53.

Rating: B+. The match started slowly but those big spots at the end were great. MVP winning is the right call and fairly obvious (I don’t believe heels have EVER won Lethal Lockdown) but at least there was some drama in there. I don’t get the point of having Hardy be Willow if they’re going to just acknowledge he’s Hardy in a costume. Good main event and a match the show needed.

MVP is a case where I’ve never gotten the appeal. He’s talented in the ring and can talk well enough, but I still don’t get the universal appeal the guy has. People would make you think he’s the next big thing but he seemed to hit the peak of his career with the upper midcard slot. He’s certainly talented and can have a decent match if given the right opponent, but I don’t see the superstar in him.

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  1. Bida18 says:

    “You don’t see the superstar in him” Watch a promo from this guy and tell me he’s not a natural KB.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I have. Don’t really see it.

  2. M.R. says:

    I thought he was on his way to becoming a big deal back when he was working the program with Kane. I was wrong.