Bobby Lashley made his debut with WWE way back in September 2005, where he appeared on Raw. A little over a year later, and a switch to the revived ECW brand, and Lashley won the ECW World Championship. He was involved in a few memorable feuds during his time as World Champion, most notably against Vince McMahon and Umaga.
Unfortunately, Lashley was released by WWE in 2008 following an injury. He quickly proved that he would not let his release get him down, as he went on to fight on the indies and for TNA/Impact Wrestling. Lashley also holds an impressive 15-2 MMA fight record.
Clearly, the 41-year-old still seems to have a lot left in the tank. It stands to reason that many promotions would be interested in signing him, as he has proven himself as a legit fighter. WWE fans have reason to be excited, as Lashley is back in WWE after 10 years. His name was linked to the company since he departed Impact Wrestling as many other big name stars have in the past year, before also heading over to WWE.
The biggest question that remains largely unanswered is how big Lashley's role will be in the company. Is he a full-timer? Is he on a Brock Lesnar-esque part-time contract?
With Lashley back where his career started, let’s take a look at 15 things that fans need to know about Bobby Lashley.
15 Rumored Match With Brock Lesnar At SummerSlam
Bobby Lashley made his return to WWE by interrupting an Elias concert the night after WrestleMania. Whether it leads to a feud remains to be seen. Regardless of what Lashley does in the immediate future, it is expected that his first significant feud will be with The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar, likely after Brock and Roman's feud is over. This would be a big money match as Lashley is one of the few wrestlers who can credibly go head to head with The Beast. It would also be a heavily entertaining feud that might also be set up to allow Lashley to assume Lesnar’s spot on the roster, since he might leave for the UFC yet again. Lashley defeating Lesnar in a brutal match would be a good way for Lesnar to depart WWE and for Lashley to take over Lesnar’s role. Let’s just hope Lashley wrestles more than just a few times a year!
14 Represented Trump In The Hair Vs. Hair Match
WrestleMania 23 has to be one of the best and most spectacular WrestleManias to date. One of the main event matches pitted Vince McMahon and Donald Trump in a Hair vs Hair match. Umaga was Vince’s representative to battle Lashley, who was in Trump’s corner. In a hard fought match, which even saw the billionaires themselves get physical, Lashley and Trump emerged victorious. This would, of course, see Trump and Lashley shave Vince McMahon’s head completely bald, with Stone Cold's help to the enjoyment of much of the WWE Universe. This certainly set the standard for celebrity-based matches in WWE. Even though there was limited action from Trump and McMahon, it was wildly entertaining and well received.
13 Wants A UFC Fight With Lesnar
Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar have a lot of things in common. In WWE, both have held World Championships and have the “look” Vince just seems to prefer in his main event stars. Both have also proven themselves as credible fighters in the UFC, based on their impressive win-loss records. As two of the biggest cross-over stars so far, it would only make sense for them to cross paths sooner than later.
While there are rumours surrounding the aforementioned WWE feud with Lesnar, Lashley has said he would love to fight Lesnar in UFC. In a 2017 interview, Lashley said a Lashley/Lesnar fight would do ‘big business’ and facing off with him would make for a highly entertaining fight. Brock's new contract with WWE allows him to return to the UFC, but obviously, the UFC would have to be interested in Lashley as well for this to happen.
12 Says He's Paul Heyman's "Side Chick"
Yeah, you read that right. In a November 2017 interview with Main Event Radio, Lashley said, "Paul will reach out to me out of nowhere with a tweet or text. Those are the times where Brock kind of pisses him off a little bit. Then he calls me and sees how I’m doing. Then him and Brock make up and he disappears... Heyman is a big tease to me. I am the side chick. I’m okay with it. The side chick usually gets whatever she wants at the end of the day. Maybe it’ll happen one day – Lesnar vs Lashley.”
Not much has been made of Lashley being that connected to Paul Heyman, but it makes some sense since Heyman was running ECW when Lashley got his first shot as ECW Champion. I'm not sure what to make of the whole "side chick" part of it, but if it leads to a match between the two then that would be fine with us!
11 The First African-American ECW Champion
One of the criticisms of WWE is that there have been very few African-American world champions, especially in the past decade. In the mid-2000s, ECW was a part of WWE that featured a more hardcore style of wrestling. At the 2006 December to Dismember event, Lashley won the Elimination Chamber match to win the ECW Championship. Having Lashley win was a bit of a surprise because of the other big names in the match: Big Show, Rob Van Dam, CM Punk, and Test. It was believed some within WWE were happy with the decision, but he later proved his naysayers wrong. He set a tone for the brand and made history as being the first African-American champion in ECW history.
10 He's Not Afraid To Keep Young Wrestlers In Line
At Impact Wrestling’s November 2017 Bound for Glory event, an unnamed X-Division wrestler was allegedly complaining about the food at the catering backstage. Lashley overheard this wrestler’s complaints, and took it upon himself to call the wrestler out. Lashley told him that his career is too short for him to complain about the food’s quality and that if he wants to complain, then he can buy his own food. Some of the other established wrestlers who witnessed the incident approved of Lashley’s blunt remarks. It was seen as Lashley, who is a veteran wrestler, making sure younger wrestlers are kept in line and focused on what is more important. This sort of veteran leadership demonstrated by Lashley is what is needed in any locker room, as he kept the talent in line without being overly rude.
9 Kurt Angle Tried Recruiting Him To WWE Early On
In the early 2000s, Lashley was actively recruited by WWE multiple times. He was a young athletic man who just so happened to have the "look" Vince McMahon coveted. Lashley was not interested though, since he was more focused on training for the 2004 Olympics. He has since revealed that he was at the Olympic training center one day when Kurt Angle came in to do a vignette for WWE.
Lashley went on to say that Kurt Angle kept coming over to him to encourage him to pursue a career in pro wrestling. Understandably, this was quite a big deal to a young Bobby Lashley since he was a huge fan of Angle. After all, Angle also came from an amateur wrestling background, competed in the Olympics, and went on to become a star with WWE.
8 A Bank Robbery Halted His Olympic Dreams
Despite his vast success in the wrestling industry, Bobby Lashley was not interested in becoming a pro wrestler a first. Instead, Lashley had set his sights firmly on competing in wrestling at the 2004 Olympic Games. Unfortunately, he was never able to live that dream. During the summer of 2003, he was in line at a bank during a robbery in Colorado Springs. A bullet went over his shoulder, forcing Lashley to dive for cover. In doing so, he split his knee completely open, eventually requiring two surgeries. After six months of rehabbing, he missed the Olympics because of his surgeries. Lashley said he remembers sitting on the couch at home in a leg brace when WWE called him up yet again to see if he was interested in becoming a pro wrestler.
7 Was In A Relationship With Kristal Marshall
Like many other wrestlers, Bobby Lashley was in a relationship with a fellow wrestler, former WWE Diva Kristal Marshall. They started dating in 2007, when both were with WWE. At the time, Kristal was about to enter a romance storyline with SmackDown GM Teddy Long while Lashley was feuding with Vince McMahon and Umaga. Eventually, both departed WWE and were together on TNA.
In July 2008, the couple had their first child, Myles, followed by a daughter, Naomi, in 2011. Despite this, the couple had broken up before the birth of their daughter. By all accounts, the separation seemed amicable enough. Kristal is taking care of their two children, as she has since retired from the entertainment industry and Lashley still keeps a close relationship with his family as well.
6 He Has Started Building His Own Brand
Lashley is a very successful, talented wrestler and MMA fighter, similar to Brock Lesnar. One main difference between the two is that Lashley is well on his way to building a brand beyond the wrestling world. In July 2009, he launched “The Lashley Network.” These networks are comprised primarily of his official gym, his nutritional store we previously mentioned, and his social networking websites. When asked about this venture in a 2009 interview, Lashley revealed that his goals were to get his name out there more prominently to help him became the top fighter in MMA. While he didn’t become the top MMA fighter, pursuing different business ventures will likely prove to be a very shrewd move for him.
5 He Was Responsible For The Teddy Long/Kristal Storyline
Now and again, WWE likes to create romantic storylines between two (or more) on-screen characters. In 2007, a prominent storyline on SmackDown was the ongoing romance between Kristal and then-SmackDown GM Teddy Long. The two flirted a lot on screen, Kristal professed her love, Teddy proposed, and a wedding was planned. WWE weddings seldom go as planned and this one was no different as Teddy Long suffered a kayfabe heart attack. A few weeks later, Kristal was released.
According to Long, Kristal’s release was caused by Lashley becoming jealous of the storyline and Kristal’s role during it. This seems to be a bit strange since Lashley was a big star in WWE at the time, and also seemed to understand the kayfabe part of the business. Apparently Lashley just couldn’t handle seeing his then-girlfriend involved in a storyline relationship with someone else, so they both left the company altogether.
4 He Won The Master Lock Challenge
Chris Masters was never a big star in WWE and has never won many championships in any promotion throughout his career. One thing he did have going for him in WWE was his Master Lock Challenge. He claimed the Master Lock was unbreakable, and would often challenge wrestlers to try to beat the hold. Masters made several wrestlers submit or pass out to the Master Lock (a full nelson submission hold), setting the record for full nelson submission victories.
On March 19 2007, Bobby Lashley became the first man to win the Master Lock challenge – over two years since Masters first started using the hold. Being that Lashley was being groomed as a top star and that Chris Masters' push was starting to dwindle, it's not so surprising when you look back at it.
3 Had Heat With Michael Hayes
In 2008, Lashley was released from WWE in what was believed to be “mutually agreeable.” It is believed that Lashley had a major falling out with Michael Hayes. Lashley was allegedly moved from SmackDown to ECW because Hayes refused to work with Lashley and placed him in throwaway feuds, such as with Tatanka. This heat is subtly referenced in Lashley’s statement following his release, when he said, “Evil has prevailed, however like I said before, if you continue your struggle doors will open around these people.”
WWE also allegedly released Lashley on his terms on the condition he not speak negatively about WWE, since WWE feared whatever happened would reflect negatively on the company. It must have been serious and legitimate enough for WWE to give Lashley what he wanted. You'd have to think WWE will keep Lashley and Michael Hayes, who is still with WWE, as far apart as possible, unless they have in fact buried the hatchet.
2 He Comes From A Military Family
Bobby Lashley’s father was a United Stated Army drill sergeant, which meant that his family lived in different military bases during Lashley’s childhood. While this is far from an ideal life for a child, Lashley did end up following in his father’s footsteps. This also helped introduce Lashley to wrestling, since the school near the military base encouraged him to pursue amateur wrestling during the football offseason. Lashley ended up spending three years in the Army after he graduated from college, during which time he won two medals in the International Military Sports Council freestyle wrestling events. One of Lashley’s sisters is presently on active service in the United States Air Force.
1 His Feelings On President Trump
As we mentioned earlier, Lashley represented Donald Trump at WrestleMania 23 over a decade ago. Donald Trump is now President of the United States, and remains a controversial and divisive figure. Given their past connection, Lashley has been asked for his thoughts on the President. In an interview with the Ottawa Sun, he insisted that Trump is not a racist, and that he respects Trump. Moreover, Lashley reiterated that he likes Trump on both a personal level and also as President of the United States. Lashley expressed that Trump has always been a good guy to him, and that he could not say anything negative about him based on having worked with him. Lashley was willing to publicly support the President and believes that he is doing a good job, despite what many others think.