Last weekend at Money in the Bank, MVP was scheduled to wrestle R-Truth. But after a brief argument, Bobby Lashley came out and took Montel’s place, squashing Truth in under two minutes in the process. Knowing WWE, this angle may not necessarily go anywhere, but the entire segment teased the impressive chemistry that MVP and Lashley can have together.
Ever since Lana left to shoot her next movie, Lashley has become a dominant force on Monday Night Raw, which is rumored to lead to a storyline that sees him drop her and go his own way. While it would certainly make sense to split the awkward pair up, it still leaves Bobby without a clear direction forward. This is partly due to the fact that Lashley’s promos have always been lacking a certain punch. While he did get better delivering off-the-cuff promos in Impact Wrestling, the tightly scripted WWE environment only makes exceptions for people who are very comfortable and talented on the mic – a group Lashley probably doesn’t belong in.
With MVP, Lashley may have found his perfect match. Montel was a decent wrestler in the mid-2000s, but what really got him over were his charisma and promo skills: he was an arrogant loudmouth with a big money contract, always struggling to keep up with his big talk. WWE should take the opportunity it created for itself at Money in the Bank and introduce MVP as Lashley’s new manager or – since the word “manager” is frowned upon in Stamford – agent.
The dynamic between the two can parallel WWE’s big money duo of Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, with MVP functioning as Lashley’s mouthpiece, negotiating the big paydays for the Almighty One. By focusing on MVP and potentially bringing Lashley’s MMA background to the forefront in some dominant victories, Bobby can be elevated from a dominant, yet somewhat directionless, big man to a legitimate, big time main eventer.
The natural progression of this potential storyline would be to finally pit Lashley against Lesnar. With Heyman and MVP talking up the match, WWE can afford to keep Lesnar and Lashley physically separate, let the mouthpieces talk and keep the fight to the PPV.
While Heyman may still be the better and more experienced promo, MVP has one big advantage: as a still (somewhat) active wrestler, MVP can take bumps. This enables him to be a far more active part of Lashley’s matches than Heyman is during Lesnar’s — and that leaves MVP as a potentially prime target for babyfaces to get their heat back if they have been wronged, while the match still ends by putting Lashley over. MVP can then get all the time he needs to talk himself back up afterwards. It is a classic formula in the vein of Bobby Heenan or mid-90s Harley Race.
WWE had tried a similar approach with Lashley’s failed pairing with Lio Rush, but MVP is a much better fit. MVP’s size and businessman-like look will let him play the role as Lashley’s agent better than cruiserweight hype-man who was recently released after a mediocre title run.
At almost 47 years old, MVP probably does not have many more classic matches to offer. But with his natural verbal ability and his fitting look for a heel manager (custom-made suits, golden rings, watches, and chains), he can help create new stars through his presence and looks alone – stars which WWE desperately needs, especially on Monday Night Raw. Aside from Paul Heyman, the only other serious valet on the roster is Zelina Vega, and her stable of Andrade, Angel Garza and Austin Theory does not necessarily have main event written all over it.
Of course, there is always the chance that the pairing of MVP and Lashley will not work, but WWE should definitely give it a try. In his sporadic appearances since the Royal Rumble, MVP has not really been used to his strengths. His brief interaction with Bobby Lashley last night at Money in the Bank, though, could have sparked something big.
MVP's future doesn't lie in the ring but as a manager, with Lashley as his crown jewel.