MVP recently shared a cautionary tale about how a wrestling veteran tried to take advantage of him when he was still a rookie learning the ropes on the independent scene.
MVP began wrestling in August 2002 and spent the first few years of his career mostly relegated to Florida and Puerto Rico.
Then one day along came a veteran wrestler by the name of Pat Tanaka who made MVP a tempting offer, only for him to turn it down because he knew it was fishy.
Pat Tanaka was a Japanese veteran with twenty years’ experience by the time he approached MVP with the promise of a high-paying Japanese wrestling tour. But first, the young rookie had to wire Tanaka some money for a “wrestler’s license”.
MVP nearly ripped off by ex-WWE wrestler Pat Tanaka
According to one of MVP’s tweets,
“True story. Pat Tanaka tried to rip me off for crack money when I was a young indie wrestler. He called me & told me to wire him 300$ ASAP for a “wrestling license” in Japan & I would be making 2,500$ a wk + a 50$ a day per diem. He didn’t get the money but he DID gain an enemy.”
For anyone unaware, there actually once was something called a wrestling license, at least in the United States. Before pro wrestling was fully exposed as “a work”, wrestlers had to get trained by someone and get a license that more or less confirmed that they were genuine professional wrestlers capable of working in the various territories.
This concept became obsolete when public awareness of wrestling’s scripted nature. However, wrestling still falls under the purview of state athletic commissions in some places, which means that promotions have to be licensed to run events.
Additionally, MVP is a fan of Japanese wrestling and culture and saw promise in touring that country. Some wrestlers, like Bret Hart, have described how Japanese promotions like New Japan and All Japan once offered big money for their tours, which made them some of the top companies to work for.
However, that too became less common after WCW and later WWF/E began offering guaranteed downside contracts.
MVP finished the Twitter thread on the subject by warning anyone in the wrestling industry to hang up should Pat Tanaka call with a promise of a Japanese tour.