While doing an interview with Lillian Garcia’s podcast, Chasing Glory, MVP spoke about his decision to depart WWE to wrestle in Japan over a decade ago and how Vince McMahon reacted to his decision.
Here is what he had to say:
“My dream was to wrestle in Japan,” MVP stated. “When I started professional wrestling, I was first introduced to Japanese wrestling. Norman Smiley introduced me to Japanese wrestling. He wrestled in Japan for some time. [After watching some videos of Japanese wrestling] I was like Woah, that’s intense, wow! So, I had a dream that I wanted to wrestle in the Tokyo Dome. I wanted to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling. I had a year left on my deal, and I asked Vince McMahon actually, I asked Johnny Ace [John Laurinaitis] at the time, and we talked. A lot of people don’t know Johnny Ace made his career in Japan for All Japan. So, there would be times where me and John would drink a beer, and we’d talk about pro wrestling. We’d sit there, and I would drink up all of his stories about all the guys I used to watch on VHS tapes, and how he used to work with those guys.
“I had a year left on my deal, and they were trying to get me to re-sign a five-year deal. I just didn’t want to at the time. My inner flame was kind of flickering, and Japan was calling me. I needed that fire again.”
“I will say this: love Vince McMahon or hate Vince McMahon, no matter what you feel about him, he has always treated me well,” MVP noted. “He gave me an opportunity when no one else would. He let me go fulfill a dream. He didn’t have to let me out of my contract. He could’ve said no. But, he said, ‘Ok, come back. The door is always open for you to come back. Come back in a year, two years. You’ll be a bigger star when you come back.’ Johnny Ace [agreed] saying, ‘You’ll only get better.’ It took me 10 years to get back.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc