On Working As A Bouncer With Kimbo Slice:
I was working on South Beach. I started bouncing. People were like, ‘Hey man, you’re a big dude. You know how to look after yourself. You ever tried bouncing?’ I was a convicted felon, so it was a bi*ch trying to get a job anywhere ’cause they do a background check and they’re like, ‘You’re convicted of robbery and kidnapping? We don’t want you here.’ So, getting a square job was difficult. Down on South Beach, it wasn’t quite so hard. Pretty quickly I found myself working at The Living Room, which at that time was the most exclusive club on South Beach. Me and Kimbo Slice were holding down sh*t at the door. Back then he was Kevin Ferguson. He hadn’t discovered the Kimbo Slice gimmick yet, but we used to hold sh*t down. We got to be good friends.
On Being Heartbroken By The WWE Before:
Here’s a little trivia, a little piece of information that I’ll drop on your podcast that most people don’t know. Way before that….Carlito had a bodyguard and he got hurt….and they were talking about bringing me in to be his bodyguard. I remember for the first time being excited because I talked to Ann from travel about flying me in. I’m getting looked at. This is it, right? I was chilling with this chick….We’re having a nice little intimate moment. It’s all good. Things are about to go down, if you will, and my phone rings and I see it’s that unknown number. I’m like, ‘Oh sh*t, I’m waiting for a call from them.’ It’s Tommy Dreamer and he says, ‘Hello Antonio Banks, creative has changed their mind. They’re going in a different direction, so we’re not gonna be flying you in next week, so we’ll see you when you come down in February. Take care. Give me a call, if you need anything.’ Dude, you want to talk about a heartbreak letdown. I bullsh*t you not. I looked at that chick. I got up. I walked out. She said, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘I just got some really bad news.’ As I walked to the car I was thinking, ‘You bad luck fuc*ing bit*h, I’m never gonna talk to you again.’ I never saw that girl again, never talked to her, never spoke to her.
On His Bold Encounter With John Laurinaitis:
I used to get booked as an extra for the WWE when they were coming to town and I remember roping Johnny Ace off one day and [said], ‘Hey Johnny, you got a minute?’ He said, ‘I’m busy kid.’ I said, ‘Johnny please, just thirty seconds.’ ‘Busy kid.’ ‘Johnny give me 10 seconds.’ And he stop and goes, ‘Alright kid.’ ‘Just tell me what the fu*k I’ve got to do to get hired.’ I said it just like that. Johnny told me. He paused for a minute and looked at me like, ‘Do you know who the fu*k I am talking to me like that?’ The other part was he was kinda like, ‘This kid’s got some fu*king balls, alright.’
On Laurinaitis’ Response:
When I talked to Johnny that day, he said, ‘Look, we like you.’ I told you that to let you know I was on their radar. They knew who I was. They liked me. They just didn’t have anything for me and Johnny said, ‘We’re going back to more of a character based deal. Come up with something that we don’t already have that you can do and get back to me.’ I remember being like, ‘These mother fu*kers are just blowing me off again.’ They know who I am. I’m on the radar, but I wasn’t 6’7 300 pounds, so they weren’t going out of their way for me.
On Coming Up With The MVP Character:
Working down on South Beach, I came up with this idea. Every week you turn on SportsCenter, there’s some pro athlete saying or doing some stupid sh*t or getting into a scuffle or getting suspended. Working down on South Beach I used to see these athletes show up and I’d see guys like Shaq, Dr. J, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders. Here are guys who are first ballot Hall of Famers, legends. They’d be so cool and so humble and they’d stop to speak to you. They just conducted themselves differently; but, then you see guys that are first round draft busts, guys second-third round in the draft or whatever. They’d show up with an entourage of fifteen people. We’ve got a dress code, but they’d show up with their shorts and speakers just demanding sh*t, ‘Hey man do you know who I am? You better let me in.’ ‘Man, fuc* you man. You haven’t scored a touchdown since you got drafted. Fu*k off.’ But, it triggered a light bulb and I realized that hasn’t been done in wrestling yet, so I came up with this idea to take everything bad about Deion Sanders and Ocho Cinco and Terrell Owens and Ron Artest and Allen Iverson, everything you can think of bad and apply it to a pro wrestler that comes in with a lot of ego, but a lot of ability. Whether or not that ability pans out depends on whether or not he shows up to play.
On Vince McMahon‘s Initial Reaction To The MVP Character:
Court Bauer showed it to Dusty Rhodes and Dusty Rhodes remembered me. They loved the sh*t. They took it and showed it to Vince and Vince allegedly said, ‘God damn it, let’s get that kid on TV.’ They said, ‘Vince, he’s not signed,’ and Vince said, ‘Why not? Sign him God damn.’ And I got a call.
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
There’s much more on the next page including MVP’s thoughts on former trainer Bill Demott, why Kenny Omega wouldn’t have thrived in the WWE during his era, working with Chris Benoit, asking for his WWE release and more.