Report: Why MVP Was Surprisingly Paired With Lashley

Recently on Raw, MVP has been acting as Lashley’s on screen manager. But who persuaded WWE to change plans for MVP and put the duo together?

Photo Credit: WWE

It’s been a funny old year for MVP. He started the year without a WWE contract at all. In January he appeared in the Royal Rumble match as an awesome surprise that popped his hometown crowd.

Following that one-off appearance he made a few on-camera appearances on Raw, then it’s reported he’s contracted as an agent until reports this week say that has been torn up and he’s now considered a talent again.

So in MVP’s flip-floppy 2020, there’s no surprise that his on screen movements have been almost as choppy as off-screen.

Last month, around the time of Money In The Bank, it was heavily rumoured that an MVP-led stable was coming. He had already semi-aligned himself on screen with the tag team of Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink and it was reported that an alliance with Apollo Crews was to follow.

The next thing we know, he starts wooing Lashley to become his client/partner, a storyline that has seemingly been cemented heading into Backlash next weekend where Lashley faces Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title.

But how and why did this alliance come together? If a report in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter is to be believed, it’s all down to Paul Heyman.

Dave Meltzer speculates in the newsletter that Heyman put the duo together to give Lashley a mouthpiece ahead of a future title run.

Now as with any report from Meltzer, one must take the overall message with a pinch of salt. It is highly credible and likely that Heyman felt Lashley needed a mouthpiece.

Paul Heyman has a long held mantra of hiding a performer’s weaknesses and highlighting their positives. To Lashley, the verbal side of the game is unquestionably a weakness, so giving him a hugely capable talker like MVP to do his bidding makes a lot of sense.

The part about this being ‘for a future title run’ is likely simply speculation on Meltzer’s part. Whilst Lashley being moved up to the main event scene is clear and logical, talk of a title run does seem speculative.

Long time readers of the Observer will understand the rhythms of his writing. Namely, he is given some information on something that is/has happened that forms the basis of a good story piece. In true tabloid style, he will often speculate as to the reasoning to add colour and opinion to the story he is given.

It is this style that has helped the Observer thrive over the years as a fascinating source of ‘behind the curtain’ news. Whilst the speculative elements might not always be accurate (But certainly not always wrong), they undoubtedly add a level of storytelling to the newsletter that makes it truly compelling weekly reading to this day.

Lashley and MVP also had a brief association in TNA/Impact Wrestling across 2014/15 as part of The Beat Down Clan that also included Samoa Joe, Low Ki, Eric Young, Homicide and Hernandez and Kenny King.

WWE Backlash takes place on Sunday June 14th and is available to watch on the WWE Network. The currently announced card is below:

  • Drew McIntyre vs. Lashley (WWE Title Match)
  • Braun Strowman vs. John Morrison & The Miz (WWE Universal Title Match)
  • Asuka vs. Nia Jax (WWE Raw Women’s Title Match)
  • Edge vs. Randy Orton
  • Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus

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