“Can they coexist” is a phrase that sums up WWE’s tired booking practices throughout 2021. While the promotion thinks they are being cheeky mentioning it on TV, the rest of the wrestling space is laughing at them instead of with them. However, this week’s edition of WWE Monday Night Raw continued the hinting at a potential face turn for Bobby Lashley. If done correctly, this could be another big boost to cement Lashley’s latest run.
Few wrestlers have been booked better than Lashley since his return to the company in 2018. Not only is he convincingly winning titles, but he’s booked as a legitimate terror that’s ready to maim anyone on the roster to remain at the top.
This pushed him to secure the WWE Championship this year, a first-time accolade that should have occurred years prior. Even without the title, he remains near the top of the card as he’s taking part in the fatal four-way for the title at WWE Day 1.
But is it time to turn Lashley into a face? WWE has hinted at this happening with his promos and pairing him with Big E in Monday’s main event. It even seems like a potential split from MVP is on the way. Instead of turning him full babyface, shifting Lashley slightly into the shades of grey area would be the best decision.
For examples of this, look at Finn Balor’s last NXT run or how PAC is presented in All Elite Wrestling. Both men were consistent threats to the title, if not the actual champion in Balor’s sake. Lashley doesn’t need to go down the full smiling, cracking jokes, posing for cheers path that WWE writes for babyfaces. Lashley showing up and inflicting violence on the right individuals will be enough to get him over with the fans without all the other troupes that are usually employed.
In fact, remove the interference and sneak attack tactics from the last year and it’s hard to say that Lashley hasn’t been playing a character that simply wants to be the best and isn’t a face or a heel. WWE could easily keep him within this space while making some very subtle changes.
Bobby Lashley’s best work in recent memory was with the Hurt Business. He’s still amid a career-defining run in the WWE. That can continue if his character shifts from the heel into a middle-point type of personality. WWE can’t afford to make the mistake that they do with so many babyfaces, especially as their ability to create stars dwindles.