Bobby Lashley’s return creates a big opportunity for WWE


WWE can tell an excellent story with Bobby Lashley by surrounding him with young performers if the company takes care to give fans what they want. 

It has been two months since Bobby Lashley competed in a televised match. He’s recently appeared in backstage segments, with many wondering what’s next for the former WWE Champion. The promotion has an opportunity to do something interesting with Lashley and does so in a way that will impact multiple stars at once. The question is whether the company will pull the trigger or once again the pump fake for no explained reason.

Lashley has made some cameo appearances on recent episodes of WWE SmackDown. First, he was seen heading to talk to the Street Profits. Then it was Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams talking to the future WWE Hall-of-Famer. What does either of those appearances mean? That answer is up in the air. It’s easy for WWE to hint at something, then completely throw the idea away. How many times has that been done with the idea of rebuilding the Hurt Business? But after so many fakeouts, even the fan interest in that return has evaporated. WWE can’t do that same thing this time around.

WWE had something special in The Hurt Business. Lashley with Shelton Benjamin, Cedric Alexander, and MVP were a group that checked all the boxes. The faction thrived during the pandemic era of WWE, but once that time ended WWE went back to its old ways of booking. Vince McMahon split the group for no real reason, and they’ve all floundered since.

Fast forward to July 2023 and think about how much a reformed faction around Lashley could help everyone involved. Building a group with Hayes, Williams, Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins, and Lashley may seem like a complicated ordeal, but WWE has shown an ability to properly build factions under Triple H in creative control. Lashley, Ford, and Dawkins need something different on the main roster. They’ve all become stale in their own ways and can’t be seen as top challengers at any opportunity. Fans want to see Ford break off and go on his own, and perhaps this is an opportunity to get that character change underway.

Take Hayes and Williams. Imagine if those two are put on the opposite side of a grouping with Lashley, Ford, and Dawkins. There are a lot of opportunities to tell some intriguing stories with those five men. But that always comes down to whether the investment in creative will be there or not. Outside The Bloodline and now The Judgement Day, WWE doesn’t seem too keen on keeping things consistent within any angle. Even as fans push for LA Knight to get a big moment, the company simply says “no” in the face of public sentiment calling for the opposite. Trusting this company to do something interesting with five Black performers that fans love is a big ask that this organization continues to overlook.

As the summer comes to a close, there are several questions about what WWE will do with top names. Bobby Lashley is one of those individuals. With other pieces on the board, WWE has the opportunity to do something special if the company sticks to storytelling.

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