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MVP's defining moment?
"It was, simply stated, a battle between the greatest United States Champion ever and the oldest former United States Champion there's ever been."
Such were the words of Montel Vontavious Porter after his victory over Ric Flair at Vengeance. In front of a number of legends, including former U.S. Champions such as Magnum TA, Harley Race and Dean Malenko, the cocky young champion stepped into the ring on a Night of Champions and defeated perhaps the biggest Legend in sports-entertainment.
In the record books, it will say that Montel Vontavious Porter pinned Ric Flair on June 24, 2007. Perhaps, this victory was MVP's defining moment, the biggest feather in the cap of a champion.
Naturally, winning a championship is a huge step in any Superstar's career. But then again, many will tell you that it's harder to stay atop that mountain than it is to climb it, and that point alone may make this victory, especially over someone with the credentials of the "Nature Boy," the one that cements Porter as a solid United States Champion.
Ric Flair is arguably the greatest, most successful Superstar to ever set foot in the ring. He's a 16-time World Champion, has held the same United States Title multiple times, has racked up dozens of title reigns in his 35-year career and is almost assuredly a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Not only that, but whether he knows it or not, just being in the ring with Flair exposed MVP to a wealth of experience. The "Nature Boy" is a winner, plain and simple, and knows every trick in the book and perhaps a few that haven't been documented.
In Major League Baseball, any pitcher that opposes a sure-fire Hall of Famer like Greg Maddux or Roger Clemens gets a rare opportunity to see what greatness looks like in action. Just by watching and competing against them, pitchers even subconsciously will pick up on things that can only help make them better. Translate that to the ring, and what you have is MVP learning how to combat certain situations he may not have ever been in before. Surely, that can only help as he continues his career.
However, some may look at MVP's claim of Flair being an "old man" as a way to say that the win less than impressive… perhaps even tainted. MVP, naturally, disagrees.
"Tainted? I didn't tell his old ass to step in the ring with me," Porter bellowed when questioned about the win. "If he's past his prime, why is he still in the ring, lacing up the boots? It's not my fault, I don't make the matches."
The cocky champion continued, going so far as to make a bold prediction about any future encounters with the "Nature Boy."
"Ric Flair is a dinosaur, and I'm in the dinosaur hunting business. If Ric Flair wants to climb into the ring with me, he'll end up like all the other dinosaurs: extinct."
But what Porter doesn't acknowledge is that the "dinosaur" was mere seconds away from taking the gold off his waist. MVP was locked in the Figure-Four Leglock, Flair's match-ender of choice for decades, at one point in the bout, and in fact had to cheat to put Flair in position to nail The Playmaker and get the pinfall.
Still, what can't be denied is that regardless of the method of victory, Flair is just another challenger that Porter has turned back since winning the championship at Judgment Day. And according to the champion, that trend will continue in the foreseeable future.
"When it comes to protecting my legacy and this United States Title, I don't care who they put in front of me," Porter cockily proclaimed. "I'm Montel Vontavious Porter, and I always come out on top."