MVP on tribulations former prisoners endure once being released

May 30, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck

Hassan Assad (aka MVP) started his path to a pro-wrestling career while on a work-release program for robbing a cruise ship. MVP has spoken publicly about his prison time previously, most notably in a recent TED Talk. During the episode, MVP spoke about the tribulations former prisoners endure once being released.

MVP spoke with VICE recently about how his path to pro-wrestling career started while he was serving time. Hassan will be the focus of this week’s episode of VICELAND’s “the Wrestlers.”

“My life is an open book,” MVP said. “As a I was into gangs and guns and nonsense. I was all about robberies, I used to say the world was my ATM, I ended up doing six-and-a-half months in the juvenile facility for robbery, armed robbery, aggravated assault, grand theft auto, resisting arrest. It was a nice little crime spree I was on.”

MVP was just 16 years old at the time of the cruise ship robbery. The 4-person heist was a high-profile case when it happened in 1990. MVP is listed by his birth name of Alvin Burke in the article.

“I robbed a casino on a cruise ship. It was like some Ocean’s 11type shit. Nobody involved was over 21 at the time, and I had just turned 16.”

An anonymous tip led to all 4 being arrested.

“One of my co-defendants had put together a plan because he used to work as security on the ship. I was looking for that one more lick. I went on the cruise, I checked it out and thought, You know what? With a little refining, this actually could work. We reconfigured his plan and pulled it off. We made off with fucking over 100 grand. One of my co-defendants, dickhead, left $80,000 behind.”

He served almost 10 years in prison after being sentenced to almost 20.

“After sitting in a county jail for a year, I ended up pleading guilty to one count of armed robbery and ten counts of armed kidnapping in exchange for an 18-and-a-half year sentence with a three-year minimum mandatory for the sawed-off shotgun, of which I served nine-and-a-half.”

It was while serving on a work-release program that MVP was introduced to the idea of becoming a pro-wrestler.

“When I was in work release that’s where I met my buddy, Prime Time Daryl D, aka Daryl Davis, who is a correctional officer and was also an independent pro wrestler.”

Full interview can be read here


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