Toward the end of January, it appeared that MVP was preparing to bid farewell to WWE as an in-ring performer, just days after he made a surprise return at this year’s Royal Rumble and competed on the following night’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Since that time, however, he started working for the company as a backstage producer while also wrestling a few matches and managing the likes of Shane Thorne, Brendan Vink, and Bobby Lashley. As a new report suggests, it looks like the veteran grappler will now be switching to a full-time onscreen role, possibly in the latter two capacities.
MVP’s rumored change in roles was first reported by PWInsider, which wrote on Tuesday that the 46-year-old has “transitioned into performing full-time,” thus ending his stint with WWE as a backstage producer, at least in the meantime. It wasn’t mentioned why the company decided on such a change, but MVP has been making regular appearances on recent episodes of Raw. For the most part, he has recently focused on building Lashley up for his WWE Championship match against reigning titleholder Drew McIntyre at Backlash and hosting new installments of his “VIP Lounge” in-ring talk show segment.
— WWE (@WWE) May 14, 2020
Aside from MVP’s involvement in recent storylines on Raw, WWE’s continued cost-cutting measures were mentioned as another possible reason behind the move. As explained by WrestlingNews.co, the promotion doesn’t appear to be done making budget cuts due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which could mean more employees — producers included — may lose their jobs or get furloughed in the coming weeks.
As WWE had furloughed, but not outright released a number of producers as part of its massive April 15 job cuts, the expectation is that some of them may be brought back once the company is able to hold live events in front of audiences. It wasn’t clarified, however, whether that also applies to MVP following his transition from backstage worker to regular onscreen talent.
The new update on MVP’s status comes just days after he appeared on former WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast, where he opened up on his return to the promotion earlier this year and hinted that he was offered a full-time role shortly after the coronavirus-related releases. He also admitted that he was planning to retire from wrestling this year, only for him to realize upon his return that WWE still valued him close to a decade after he last wrestled for the company.