Wrestler of the Day – July 12: Bobby Lashley

In OVW, he was called Brock Lesnar Times Ten. It’s Bobby Lashley.

After dominating OVW for a bit (though not winning any titles), Lashley was quickly on WWE TV. He destroyed Simon Dean in his TV debut, but here’s the rematch on pay per view.

Bobby Lashley vs. Simon Dean

Lashley is in white here and it’s his PPV debut. This is a rematch from Lashley’s first match which was two days ago. Lashley throws him around but misses a corner charge. Dean throws hamburgers at Lashley and then hits him with the metal tray as the ref is distracted. That doesn’t work at all and Dean is thrown into the corner. They try to do a cool power spot where Dean is sitting in the corner while holding onto the top and having Lashley pull him out by his feet to catch him in the Dominator. The problem is Lashley can’t hold him up so he falls backwards and hits a regular Dominator to win it. Total squash.

Since one opponent wasn’t enough, here’s another match against two people at Armageddon 2005.

William Regal/Paul Burchill vs. Bobby Lashley

They have to tag. No real story here other than Lashley needs villagers to eat. He’s beaten both of them in one on one matches so this is the next challenge. Burchill starts and that doesn’t go well at all. Bobby pulls Regal in also and beats them both up with ease. Regal gets a kick in and cheats a bit on the floor. Just a bit though so don’t judge him. The British dudes use their technical stuff as we’re just waiting on Lashley to take over. Top rope knee gets two for Burchill. Lashley wakes up and mauls them both, ending Burchill with a Dominator.

Rating: D+. Just a squash here that was there to give Lashley a chance to look awesome. Granted Burchill and Regal didn’t mean anything at this point but the beating looked good. Lashley wouldn’t ever become the superstar they were hoping for but nice try at least I guess. No idea why this was on PPV though. Easily could have gone on Smackdown.

Lashley would make it to the finals of the 2006 King of the Ring, with the finals taking place at Judgment Day 2006.

King of the Ring: Booker T vs. Bobby Lashley

Booker beat Matt Hardy and got a bye to get here. Lashley beat Mark Henry and Finlay. Booker gets shoved down to start and they circle each other. I mean they circle each other A LOT. Lashley takes over with power shots and Booker can’t outmove him. A shoulder hits the post though and Lashley crashes to the floor. We go into the slowdown stuff here as Booker takes over on the arm.

Lashley fights back with a clothesline and stands around a lot. Sharmell interferes which gets them nowhere so they do it again and Booker takes over. Bookend gets a long two. This is rather boring stuff. Powerslam gets two for Lashley and the fans get WAY into it all of a sudden. Spinning heel kick sets up the axe kick for two. Lashley gets the spear but here’s Finlay with the club to Lashley’s head to let Booker hit the Bookend for the crown. He would win the title next.

Rating: D. I didn’t like this one at all for the most part. They felt like they were in the beginning of the match the entire time and it never worked for the most part. A D might be a bit low but at the same time I wasn’t thrilled with it in the slightest. It never got going at all and the whole thing was carried by Booker to say the least. At the time I never got the point of having Booker win but he was by far better at this point and in the long run it turned out to be the right move I think.

Five days later, JBL issued an open challenge for the US Title. From May 26, 2006 on Smackdown.

US Title: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Bobby Lashley

Lashley throws him around to start but gets kicked in the face. Some right hands in the corner have Lashley in trouble but the Clothesline From JBL is countered with a spear to give Lashley the title.

After losing the title, Lashley would be in the main event of No Mercy 2006 for a World Title shot.

Smackdown World Title: Booker T vs. Lashley vs. Finlay vs. Batista

No tagging here. Cole talks about the numbers and JBL replies with this gem. JBL: “QUIT WITH THE MATH!!! I count money you moron!” Batista goes after Booker as Finlay throws Lashley to the floor. Finlay hooks up with Booker as Cole keeps talking about percentages. Lashley back in now and he throws Finlay to the floor. Batista is down in the corner. Spinebuster gets two on Booker.

Finlay pulls Lashley to the floor and a double teaming begins. Back in and the double team is on Batista until Finlay double crossed Booker. JBL freaking out is great but Cole is just awful at giving him stuff to play off. We’re down to Finlay vs. Booker with the pale one taking over. Lashley tries to get in but Finlay casually knocks him away. Booker is knocked to the floor so Finlay works on Big Dave’s arm.

Batista hits a Samoan Drop but Finlay hangs on. Cool. Lashley comes in but Finlay takes him down too. Cole calls Finlay Lashley because they look so much alike. Half crab to Lashley but Booker superkicks Finlay down for two. Booker takes Batista down with another sweet kick for two. Big Dave sideslams him down for two. Their one on one match is over as Lashley clotheslines Booker to the floor.

Finlay brings in a chair but Lashley kicks it away. Horny comes in to low blow Lashley and the club to the head gets two for Finlay as Booker saves. Everyone gets in for a bit and Batista hits a Jackhammer to take Finlay out so it’s face vs. face. Batista is like screw fighting and spears him down for two. Lashley comes back and somewhere (even Cole isn’t sure where) Batista gets his head busted open.

Batista gets thrown to the floor as does Finlay but Booker comes in with a Bookend for two. Just the two of them in the ring now and Bobby counters a suplex for two. Booker doesn’t know what to do here so he takes his hair down. Finlay breaks up the ax kick and gets two. Batista hits spinebusters on everyone and a Batista Bomb to Finlay. Lashley spears him for no apparent reason, allowing Booker to steal the pin on Finlay.

Rating: B-. Not bad here at all with the formula working pretty well. I like the four man matches much better than three man as you get more combinations out of it. Booker winning was obvious but it was still good enough at times. Finlay was really impressive here as he ran most of the match, which is what he’s great for.

Lashley would be sent to ECW soon after this and be involved in the Extreme Elimination Chamber at December to Dismember 2006.

ECW World Title: CM Punk vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Test vs. Hardcore Holly vs Big Show vs. Rob Van Dam

Now keep in mind, Punk and Lashley were more or less worthless at this point, so the only two legit main event guys you have in there are RVD who was hated by the company at this point and Show who didn’t care as he was leaving in 48 hours. RVD and Holly start. Remember that as soon as each pod opens up, the person comes out with a weapon which I’ll get to as each pod opens.

Holly is booed out of the freaking building. Naturally Vince will insist that it’s because of how great a heel he is or whatever. So we have to watch Holly and Van Dam for five minutes. Oh joy. The entrances took almost ten minutes mind you. The fans are dead here by the way. We get Rolling Thunder on the cage, which is impressive but we’ve seen it before.

They’ve managed to make the Elimination Chamber boring. That’s just impressive. Note: another Punk chant goes up. I can’t emphasize this enough: PUNK IS OVER. In third is Punk and his chair to a freaking ERUPTION. Quite a shame that he didn’t have a chance to win here. And Van Dam kicks the chair into him so he’s down 30 seconds in.

Ok to be fair, they’re the two most over guys in there so that’s ok I guess. Van Dam is bleeding. Apparently you can get pins outside on the cage now. That’s new I think. Heyman is the evil GM here in case you didn’t know. Punk is getting destroyed by Holly here in case you weren’t sure.

Also Punk would have his first loss in the company to Holly in about a month with the justification being that Holly was the bigger star and should go over. Again: if it’s not Vince’s idea, it’s not a good idea. In fourth is Test with a crowbar. Naturally he nails Punk with it. This is so stupid. Test and Hardcore Holly are in a FREAKING MAIN EVENT OF A PAY PER VIEW.

The idea here is that the heels are all working together which is completely pointless considering the idea of the match but that can’t be Vince’s idea. Heyman “booked” this remember? And then Van Dam hits this Five Star and Punk is gone. Yep, the most over guy in the match is out first while Test and Holly get to stick around.

Test puts Holly out ten seconds later with a big boot. It was only a two but the referee calls it three. The announcers and fans are confused but since this show isn’t for the fans it doesn’t matter. Van Dam goes up on top of Big Show’s pod but a chair shot puts him down. Test hits a big elbow off the pod…and Van Dam is out. Let’s see. Why is this stupid? Number one, the most over guy left is Big Show.

Second, now THERE’S NO ONE FOR TEST TO FIGHT, so it’s just dead time now. Third, you had TEST beat RVD. We’re still just sitting around after two replays of the elbow and just waiting on ANYTHING to happen. The fans have completely turned on the match at this point and don’t care at all. Thankfully the next guy in is Lashley.

He gets NO pop at all. Heyman’s security try to hold him in the pod, but using the WOODEN table in the pod with him, he breaks the STEEL chains on top of the pod. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? The table is still in the pod mind you so it’s not like it’s even being used. They keep ramming Test into the Plexiglas to set up Lashley vs. Show.

Yeah, that’s what this whole thing is supposed to end with: the massive showdown between Show and a heavily muscled guy. I know I’ve said it before, but Vince has to have repressed homosexual desires towards musclemen. I mean really, is there any doubt of it at this point? The fans HATE this mind you.

A spear puts Test out with a minute and a half left until Show comes out. In other words, we have nothing to do but wait for the time to run out. You might as well quit reading now as you know exactly what’s coming. Show comes in with his barbed wire ball bat and naturally he gets in no offense as it’s ALL Lashley here. He avoids the chokeslam and they slug it out. Lashley is terrible in the ring at this point mind you, so this is even more torture. And he wins it with a spear. The main event is over two hours and five minutes into the show.

Rating: D-. This was just completely ridiculous for reasons I’ve already gone into. For another thing, SABU, the guy that has somehow made a whole career out of doing stupid stunts in a ring, is left out here in favor of Holly. Are you freaking KIDDING? This was just dumb and nothing more than Vince deciding that he’s smarter than the fans once again.

The first major title defense was at the 2007 Royal Rumble.

ECW Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Test

Lashley won the title in December and Test is the warm body that he gets to crush in his first major defense. There’s a video package for this which is basically both guys beating up RVD to show how awesome they are. Test powers Lashley back into the corner so the champion comes out with a spear to take over again. Now Test tries to choke, so Lashley suplexes him down. Nice to see them sticking with the same formula. A delayed vertical suplex puts Test on the floor and the champion follows him.

Test sends Lashley into the barricade to take over and we head back in for a chinlock. He shifts into an armbar and hits a Stunner onto the arm for two. Lashley fights out of trouble and backdrops Test before hitting a three point stands shoulder in the corner. He tries a slam but the arm gives out, allowing Test to fire his one big weapon, the big boot, but it only gets two. Lashley pops up with a clothesline to send Test to the floor….and he walks out for the countout.

Rating: D. They needed to protect TEST? Seriously? Lashley doesn’t get to pin TEST clean? The match was dull stuff in the first place before a stupid ending like that. Lashley did what he could out there but Test was as much of a worthless musclehead as you could possibly ask for at this point.

Lashley would be Donald Trump’s representative in the Battle of the Billionaires in the biggest match of his career at Wrestlemania XXIII.

Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga

The barber’s chair gets its own entrance complete with some snappy music. Oh and Umaga is IC Champion. Trump coming out to a song with the only word being MONEY is perfect. Real money rains down from the ceiling, including $100 bills. To be fair this show brought in like 50 million dollars in PPV alone so they can afford a bit. They collide to start and slug it out with Lashley pounding him into the corner. Austin pulls Lashley off of Umaga since they’re in the ropes and Umaga gets in some shots of him own. Lashley goes up to the middle rope for a shoulder for two.

Umaga’s manager Armando Estrada is dragged in by Lashley and powerslammed down with ease. Lashley throws him out to the floor and low bridges Umaga to send him to the floor as well. Back in and Lashley misses a spear, sending him out to the floor this time. We head inside again and Umaga chokes away, only to be pulled off at four and a half by Austin. Austin has to do it again, this time by the hair for good measure.

A BIG clothesline puts Lashley down again and Umaga cannonballs down onto his chest for good measure. The Samoan drop puts Lashley down again as does a failed slam attempt. Vince gets up on the apron and gets dropped down by an elbow from Lashley, only to walk into a shot from Umaga to take over again. Umaga goes up and gets slammed down before being clotheslined down. Both guys down and Austin gets to nine before stopping so it doesn’t end in a draw.

Shane McMahon comes out to check on Vince as Umaga hits an uppercut to drop Lashley again. Austin has to pull Umaga out of the corner, earning him a Samoan Spike. Shane comes in and pounds away on Lashley until Umaga is back into things. The running hip attack crushes Bobby’s face and Vince throws in some trashcans. Shane hits the Coast to Coast to drive the can into Lashley’s face. A top rope splash from Umaga crushes Lashley and Shane has a referee’s shirt on now.

Austin breaks up the pin and beats up Shane for good measure, only to walk into another Samoan Spike. Trump isn’t sure what to do and shows off those great acting skills of his. Vince comes over to taunt him and TRUMP CLOTHESLINES VINCE! Umaga tries another Spike on Austin but gets countered into the Stunner. The spear from Lashley connects and it’s time for Vince to be bald.

Rating: D. This match sucked for the most part until Austin got going. The problem at the end of the day was no one on the planet with any idea what was going on here thought Vince was going to win. It also didn’t help that no one cared about Lashley because no one had ever given us a reason to. He was just kind of there for the most part and there was nothing more to him than he used to be a college wrestler and he’s muscular. Seriously, that’s Lashley’s story almost in full.

Post match they take FOREVER to Stun Vince and cut his hair. Austin Stuns him because that’s what Austin does to Vince. To their credit though, they SHAVE his head, not just trim it. Vince’s face during this whole thing is great as he goes from shock to the patented Vince rage in a few seconds. This led to three months of Vince/Shane/Umaga vs. Lashley which didn’t work for the most part. Austin, Lashley and Trump share beers and Trump gets Stunned. I’ll give the guy this: he has a soft spot for wrestling. He hosted two Wrestlemanias, was in the crowd for two more and did this.

This launched a feud with the McMahons, who took the ECW Title from Lashley via some shenanigans. Here’s Lashley’s rematch at One Night Stand 2007.

ECW Title: Vince McMahon vs. Bobby Lashley

Umaga and Shane are with Vince here. Since he’s in it, this is a street fight. Lashley tries to dive on Umaga to start but messes up completely, landing only a kick to the head of the now dead Samoan. Shane tries to punch him and that just fails, leaving Vince all alone with Lashley. Joey tries to make it sound like Lashley is standing up for ECW, even though Heyman probably gets physically ill at the thought of Lashley working for ECW.

He fights off the trio as well as he can at first but the numbers catch up with him when he tries to bring in a chair. Vince gives his first offense, a clothesline, to take Bobby down. Vince’s hair is back now so at least the bandana is gone now. Out to the floor as this is a very slow beatdown which is going nowhere at all. Vince gets the timekeeper hammer and chokes Bobby with it instead of, you know, HITTING HIM WITH IT?

Back in the ring and a Samoan Drop takes Lashley down again. So riveting indeed here. Maybe it’s because Vince and Shane aren’t wrestlers and therefore shouldn’t be in the ring with a guy like Lashley? Vince gets one of the worst spears I’ve ever seen to Lashley for two. Umaga chokes away to waste more time but misses a splash, crushing Vince instead.

Lashley starts cleaning house, sending Umaga to the floor via a low bridge and suplexing Umaga over the top. Big chair shot to the head of Vince and many more to the back follow. Dominator powerslam only gets two as Umaga makes the save. Bobby gets another chair but Umaga gets a superkick in to take him down again. There goes the crowd as that totally and completely should have been the ending.

Instead, the McMahons and the Samoan take over again because that way they look like supervillains again. Shane drops the big elbow through the table (OH YEAH!) and everyone is down. Umaga wakes Vince up and gets a long two on him. Joey freaks out but it just feels wrong here. Umaga hits the running smash in the corner and Lashley is done. Shane tries the Van Terminator but drills Umaga by mistake. Spear to Vince gives Lashley his title back.

Rating: D+. Match more or less sucked because Vince and company dominated for the vast majority of it. They proved why Vince being in a mach did nothing but they were trying to give Lashley a rub I guess. Either way, there really was no point in waiting for this show to do the title change again, but either way not much here and WAY too long. The first comeback should have been it.

Lashley would be moved to Raw soon after this, meaning he couldn’t be ECW Champion. Instead, he would be put into the Raw main event scene and have a showdown with Cena at Great American Bash 2007.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Bobby Lashley

They fight over a lockup to start and Cena is shoved into a corner. Lashley takes him down with a test of strength but Cena comes back to booing. He’s been champion for ten months here so the fans aren’t that thrilled with him. Lashley takes over with the power game but Cena counters into an STFU attempt so Lashley runs. Basically this is a chess match as both guys try to get ahead but neither is being very aggressive.

Lashley grabs a release t-bone suplex for two. He might be bleeding just a bit. Cena gets whipped into the corner and a delayed suplex gets two. Cena grabs a suplex of his own out of nowhere for a very delayed two. Lashley gets a modified gutbuster to mess up Cena’s ribs and it’s down to a body vice. JR and King turn into idiots by saying they can’t remember any opponent with Lashley’s amateur credentials challenging Cena.

Cena fires off a pair of ProtoBombs and the Shuffle for two. FU is easily escaped and a powerslam gets two. Lashley hooks a torture rack and then drops him into what we would call Shock Treatment. Out of nowhere Cena hits an FU but can’t cover. Lashley’s spear attempt is countered into the STFU and the place pops. Weird crowd man. Lashley FINALLY gets a rope and this is getting good.

John complains to the referee about….something, and walks into a BIG spear for two. The fans are way into this too. They go to the corner and Lashley loads up something that appears to be a superplex, but Cena counters into a somewhat weak FU off the middle rope for the pin. That ending came out of nowhere, kind of.

Rating: B+. It’s an excellent match and they were getting close to the heavyweight slugfest format but they weren’t able to get there with it ending like that. It needed a lot more near falls. Anyway, the match was good, although Lashley never really reached this level again afterwards. He would be “injured” by Kennedy 8 days later and hasn’t set foot in a WWE ring since as far as I remember.

As mentioned, that would be it for Lashley in WWE but he would show up in TNA in about two years. Here’s a big match from Bound For Glory 2009.

Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Lashley

Hey look it’s another non-traditional one on one match as this is a submission match. Joe is in the Mafia here and Lashley is the MMA guy so this actually makes sense for once from a gimmick match perspective. Lashley has taped up ribs for some reason. Ah ok Rhyno jumped him on Impact. And yet he’s fighting Joe here. Well of course he is.

Joe might be a bit slimmer here but it’s hard to tell as the tattoo on his face takes away from his face a bit. Naturally we get the JOE’S GONNA KILL YOU chant because he’s a heel. Lashley hits a SICK spinebuster and goes after the arm. The problem with wrestling today is that with the advent of MMA and how fast people tap to holds it’s a BIG stretch to have people survive like 30 seconds in arm bars and leg locks.

Suicide dive to take out Lashley as Joe is far more popular than he’s supposed to be. Joe works the ribs as we’re told about the work he’s done on Lashley’s ribs recently. Thanks for talking about that in his entrance rather than Rhyno there guys. Abdominal stretch goes on as Taz is actually helpful here with his submission knowledge. Quick powerslam by Joe as he’s wildly over here.

Lashley blocks part of an armbar and gets some ground and pound in to HUGE boos. A full nelson slam from Lashley takes Joe down and we’re back to even. Lashley is REALLY bad on offense with some of the worst strikes I’ve ever seen. Joe thankfully takes over and beats the tar out of him. And then Lashley gets an STO (reverse stroke for you non-WM 2000 and No Mercy fans) into a side choke for the win. Joe blacked out or something.

Rating: D. They were trying for the MMA thing here and it just didn’t work in the slightest really. Lashley was just not that good at making what he’s capable of really doing look fake if that makes sense. This just didn’t work for me at all as it came off as sloppy and Lashley trying to get one big move in which he did. I’m not an MMA guy so I’m the wrong audience I guess, but this didn’t work at all for me.

Another from Final Resolution 2009.

Scott Steiner vs. Bobby Lashley

Last man standing here as Steiner had hit him with a pipe last month in their match to end Lashley’s unbeaten streak. Kristal, the wife, is thrown out before the match. Steiner goes after her and Bobby chases. Bobby catches Steiner and does nothing. Steiner drills him and we start on the floor. Back in the ring now and it’s a T-Bone by Bobby to take over.

Dragon sleeper goes on as Steiner is in trouble. Since Lashley lets Steiner go, that isn’t enough to end it. Scott’s leg may be messed up here. Out to the floor and Lashley hits him with a chair. Steiner hits him with a pipe and down goes Lashley. Naturally a lead pipe to the head by a huge muscle man like Steiner isn’t enough to keep him down though as he’s up at 7.

Lashley goes into the post and then the steps. Back in the ring and Steiner gets a downward spiral from the top rope (Lashley’s feet were on it and Steiner was on the mat) for 9. Belly to belly suplex off the top (with Bobby landing on his head and Taz making a Cole Vintage joke) gets about 8. Steiner jumps into a suplex of his own Powerslam for Bobby gets two and a Frankensteiner gets the same. The pipe is retrieved but Kristal comes down to steal it. A spear and a pipe shot from Steiner end this.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t much at all as Steiner was pretty uninteresting at this point to say the least. Lashley would be gone in a month as he became a full time MMA guy and didn’t exactly do that well at it. Boring match here that was more or less just there. At least this ended the feud though. The Lashleys would turn heel on January 4th to no one really caring.

Lashley would bail soon after this and not be back for over four years. However he would quickly be back in 2014 and almost immediately in the title picture. Here he is in a title shot on Impact, June 19, 2014.

TNA World Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Eric Young

Young is on his own while King and MVP are in Lashley’s corner. A clothesline puts Lashley to the floor and a big cross body off the top puts Lashley down again. Back in and Eric’s cross body is caught in mid air but he rolls Lashley up for two. A HUGE backdrop puts the champion down again and Eric is sent to the floor. Back from a break with Eric in trouble and getting suplexed down with one arm.

The champion makes his comeback and gets two off his third cross body of the match. Lashley stomps him in the corner but misses a charge, only to come back with a kick to the ribs. Eric nails the piledriver out of nowhere but King pulls the referee out at two. Lashley nails Kenny by mistake and Eric hits a quick DDT. The top rope elbow misses though and Lashley spears him down for the pin and the title at 8:45.

Rating: D+. This was just a step above a squash for Lashley and WHY DID THIS NOT HAPPEN ON SUNDAY? I’m sure there’s some reason for it but given that it’s TNA I doubt they can explain it to you. Thankfully Young doesn’t come off as a worthless champion, but he’s only a step above transitional.

Lashley is a great case of a guy who is all look and some substance but nowhere near enough to be at the level WWE wanted him to be. The guy just can’t talk and it’s very obvious most of the time. He’s great as a dominator and monster, but having him as the top guy didn’t work in the slightest. Winning the TNA Title is good, but it’s WAY too late.

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1 comment

  1. M.R. says:

    I don’t mind Lashley, he was certainly improving before leaving the company and his match with Cena showed some main eventer potential. The problem with a guy like him is he should never be allowed a microphone, which is a huge problem for a babyface.