Bobby Lashley vs Brock Lesnar: History could have been different /

Bobby Lashley vs Brock Lesnar could have occurred years ago, but in a different arena.

Wrestling fans have always wanted to see Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar in a well-developed, long-term feud due to the parallels between their careers. Both men excelled in amateur wrestling, mixed martial arts, and professional wrestling. Lashley’s recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani shows how close he was to the opportunity to become as much of a household name as Lesnar. Unfortunately, some key aspects of promotional practice would get in the way.

“I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I know that Dan had talked with [UFC President] Dana [White] at one time and Dana he was fair with it,” Lashley said while speaking with Helwani. “He said, ‘You know we can’t offer him a huge contract, but we will give him something that he can get his foot in the door and kind of prove himself.”

Lashley would go on to talk about the aspect of exclusivity and having to “shut the doors on pro wrestling,” which was not something that he wanted to do at the time.

“I couldn’t take a small contract to prove myself where I had pro wrestling where I’d already proven myself and that was always my money bag that I could always go back to. So, I really couldn’t do it.”

Lashley has all of the tools to be just as big a crossover star.

But what if he had? Lashley started his run in 2008 at the age of 32, in his athletic prime. Before that he’d already put together three years of experience in professional wrestling and was well-known for that run in WWE. Lashley himself admitted to never having a true, focused camp around fighting but was still able to put together a 15-2 professional record. That run may not have the list of names and PPV sales that Lesnar put together at 5-3, but it certainly shows that skill was there.

What if the roles were reversed, and it was Lashley that was signed to a lucrative deal, elevated to co-main and main event slots rather than having to “prove himself?” Even better, imagine if UFC found a way to sign both men for a huge fight that would have caught the attention of fans from both industries. A former WWE champion fighting a former TNA (now IMPACT) champion in a steel cage would have sold in its own right. It’s a dream that never came to fruition for many.

Next. WWE booking puts Bobby Lashley in no-win situation. dark

Bobby Lashley has long had all the tools to be a major star in sports entertainment. He’s enjoying his second run as WWE Champion, which is unfortunately booked with Lesnar’s presence looming. But it’s quite easy to see history being quite different if he was afforded the same opportunities that Lesnar was provided at key moments throughout his career. How things would be different.