The Hurt Business are a villainous American professional wrestling stable, who performed in WWE on the Raw brand. The group is led by Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) and also featured Bobby Lashley. Former members includued Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. Lashley is the current WWE Champion in his first reign. The Hurt Business was the spiritual successor to the Beat Down Clan which also included Lashley and was led by MVP.
The stable had its roots in the Beat Down Clan, a similar group led by Montel Vontavious Porter and Bobby Lashley when both men were signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2014, with Kenny King, Low Ki, Homicide, Samoa Joe and Hernandez as members.
Prior to the existence of the stable, in 2000 Shelton Benjamin debuted with the then World Wrestling Federation's (WWF) developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling before debuting with the renamed World Wrestling Entertainment in 2002 as a tag team partner with Charlie Haas as the World's Greatest Tag Team in the SmackDown brand. Lashley also debuted in 2005 before switching brands various times until his release in 2008 and was the reigning ECW Champion during his first tenure. A year later, Porter debuted in 2006 at the No Mercy pay-per-view event and was the longest reigning United States Champion holding it for 343 days. Cedric Alexander made his WWE debut in 2016, in the Cruiserweight Classic.
On the May 11, 2020 episode of Raw, MVP aligned himself with Bobby Lashley, with MVP promising to manage Lashley into a WWE Championship reign. At Backlash, Lashley failed to capture the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre following a distraction from his on-screen wife Lana. The following night on Raw, Lashley blamed Lana for his loss at Backlash and he would then ask for a divorce, thus ending their romantic storyline.
On the June 22 episode of Raw, Lashley attacked United States Champion Apollo Crews and placed him in his full nelson hold after he turned down MVP's offer to join them. After defeating Crews in a non-title match, MVP unveiled a new United States Championship design and declaring himself as the "real" United States Champion. This set up a match between Crews and MVP at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules; however, Crews was pulled out from the match the day of the event, with the reason given by WWE being that he was not declared medically fit to compete, while media such as Forbes reported rumors that Crews had tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, MVP won the match by forfeit, and afterwards, declared himself the new United States Champion; however, this was not recognized by WWE. The following night on Raw, MVP and Lashley added Shelton Benjamin into their group as the duo helped Benjamin capture the 24/7 Championship from R-Truth, and the group was formally named "The Hurt Business". Crews returned from hiatus on the August 3 episode of Raw and retained his title against MVP, taking the new title design in the process. Following this, The Hurt Business began feuding with Crews' allies, Ricochet and Cedric Alexander, with both groups exchanging victories and attacks throughout the following weeks on Raw. During his time in the stable, Benjamin won the 24/7 Championships two more times, both times on the August 17 episode of Raw. While MVP lost another title match against Crews at SummerSlam, Lashley would defeat him at Payback to win the WWE United States Championship.
On the September 7 episode of Raw, during a six-man tag team match between Crews, Alexander and Ricochet against The Hurt Business, Alexander betrayed Crews and Ricochet, attacking them and helping The Hurt Business win the match and subsequently celebrated with them, thus turning Alexander heel and joining the group as a result.
On the September 14 episode of Raw, they began a feud with RETRIBUTION regarding the latter's motives and actions. On the October 5 episode of Raw, The Hurt Business also teased a possible face turn against Retribution after Mustafa Ali established himself as a heel after revealing that he is the leader of the stable. On the October 19 episode of Raw, however, The Hurt Business remained heels after viciously assaulting Titus O'Neil after the latter requested to join the group, but was rejected. Six days later at Hell in a Cell, Lashley offered an open challenge for his United States Championship towards any member of Retribution, which was answered by Slapjack, whom Lashley managed to defeat to retain. After the match, the rest of Retribution attacked Lashley, but the rest of the Hurt Business saved Lashley and fought them off.
On the November 2 episode of Raw, Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin of the Hurt Business defeated The New Day in a non-title match. They challenged The New Day for the Raw Tag Team Championships on the November 16 episode of Raw, in a losing effort. On December 20 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Benjamin and Alexander captured the Raw Tag Team Championships from The New Day. At Elimination Chamber, Lashley dropped the United States Championship to Riddle in a triple threat match, which also involved John Morrison, ending his reign at 175 days. Later in the night, Lashley viciously attacked Drew McIntyre after he successfully retained the WWE Title inside the Chamber, thus allowing The Miz to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase to become the new WWE Champion. Lashley would go on to defeat Miz in a lumberjack match to win the WWE Championship on the March 1 episode of Raw, becoming only the third African-American to win WWE's original world championship. The following week, Lashley retained the title against The Miz. On the March 15 episode of Raw, Alexander and Benjamin lost the Raw Tag Team Championship back to The New Day.
The Hurt Business broke up on the 29 March episode of Raw, Lashley saying the group is no more, due to Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander being unable to win their 2-on-1 handicap match, barring them from Bobby Lashley’s WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 37. This led to Bobby attacking Alexander and Benjamin, thus disbanding the faction in the process.
Championships and accomplishments
- World Wrestling Entertainment