Wrestling Spotlight: Road to domination for Bobby Lashley

WWE, Bobby Lashley (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
WWE, Bobby Lashley (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

When Bobby Lashley was first introduced on the WWE main roster, it was clear that he was someone special, but the road to domination took some time. Everything that brought Lashley to this moment was his relentless nature and hard work in the wrestling circuit and beyond won fans over.

Bobby Lashley’s relentless journey in wrestling.

When Bobby first appeared in WWE, the focus was on his unmatched athleticism. At that time, Bobby was on Smackdown and involved in some high-profile moments including his first United States championship win as he beat former WWE champion JBL.

Lashley had a high-profile singles victory and a title reign, which was not an easy thing to do, but at that time fans had a hard time believing Lashley would achieve more success largely because of his presence as an aid to a bigger rivalry that happened between King Booker and Batista.

The doubts furthered when Lashley won the ECW world championship and had a rivalry with Vince McMahon himself. Lashley dominated the ECW brand and would go on to become a two-time ECW champion.

Even though Lashley was still building up a championship resume, fans’ doubt was still there largely because of the brand he was on. The ECW brand was not a solid brand and even putting potential stars and main eventers like Lashley didn’t help the case.

Lashley was simply a victim of the wrong place and wrong time when it came to convincing fans and WWE management that he was in fact a dominant athlete worthy of a lot more. RAW and Smackdown still had a dominant presence and he wasn’t going against the top stars on either of those shows anymore.

That later changed with Lashley going to RAW, which was still heavily dominated by John Cena at the top as well as other established personalities. Lashley seemed to be lost in the loop between injuries and him needing time off to heal. Lashley was released from his contract before fans could see if things would have changed.

This ended up being a blessing in disguise. Lashley got his footing in the independent circuit, but he didn’t stop with just being a wrestler. Lashley took a route that surprised many as he trained for mixed martial arts and made his debut in 2008.

At that point, Brock Lesnar was also on the rise, so all eyes were on Lashley to see if he would gain success from it too, or if it would be the case of another wrestler not succeeding in MMA as seen many times in the past.

Lashley was pulling double duty as he appeared on the independent circuit while still fighting. The man was hungry and found early success as a fighter and fans began to look at Lashley differently than they did before.

He eventually signed with TNA, and his hunger didn’t stop. Lashley continued to fight while establishing a dominant presence in TNA. He racked up victories in MMA while racking up victories and championships in TNA.

Lashley’s hunger for more was clear by this point and him getting into MMA was not some temporary project, but he intended to conquer the best of both worlds. Something that’s not easy at all and very few can do consistently.

He managed to do both and became a four-time TNA world heavyweight champion while standing on top of the world with the MMA world with a 15-2 record. An accomplishment that should be revisited in the near future for the hall of fame praise.

That brings us to his 2019 return to WWE after he achieved world champion status along with a successful MMA career. His return to WWE felt different and there were high expectations for him to pick up where he left off from his time in TNA and the independent wrestling circuit.

Lashley was still not given the rub as he was involved in multiple comic relief gags. He eventually was paired with Lio Rush, and he won the intercontinental championship, but it didn’t bring him close to world title status or a dream match against Brock Lesnar.

That began to change and later on Lashley forged an alliance with MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin. Things got serious for Lashley and it’s clear they meant business. Everything that fans wanted from Lashley got turned up a notch, which was reminiscent of his time in the independent wrestling circuit after his release from WWE.

Lashley would win his first WWE champion with the Hurt Business and established dominance in a new way with the group. Lashley continued his dominance while the group continued to grow and rack up wins in a similar fashion Lashley did as an MMA fighter.

The dominance continued, but not without hurdles with the same questions of whether it will be consistent like asked in the past. one thing that is certain when in WWE is that nothing is ever certain and it was just one step at a time.

Recently Bobby won his second WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. This was after interference from Roman Reigns. The match itself was exactly how fans expected it to be, with two heavyweights nearly equally matched. The match was with interference help from Roman Reigns to give Lashley the victory.

For the last few years, fans imagined Brock Lesnar and Lashley as a dream match that stood alone between two legitimate former MMA fighters. It wasn’t exactly what fans imagined when they mention a matchup between Lashley and Lesnar, but the outcome of Lashley winning his second world title had enough shock value to be the main focus for fans.

Hopefully, WWE has a big plan and will give another match with Lesnar a try in the future and maybe even more dream matches with an emphasis on a legacy Lashley built to add even more to it. Either way, Lashley will surely bring something fans will remember.

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Nothing came easy for Lashley’s career and even after he established dominance, he had to work hard to climb the mountain. He didn’t settle for what he can do and went above and beyond to create a legacy that no one can ever take away from his wrestling career, and now he looks to just build on it.