Bobby Lashley

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Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley at Slammiversary XV.jpg
Lashley in July 2017
Birth nameFranklin Roberto Lashley
Born (1976-07-16) July 16, 1976 (age 42)
Junction City, Kansas, United States[1]
Alma materMissouri Valley College
Children3
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Bobby Lashley[2]
Lashley
Billed height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)[3][4][5]
Billed weight273 lb (124 kg)[3][4]
Billed fromColorado Springs, Colorado[3]
Denver, Colorado[1]
Trained byOhio Valley Wrestling[2]
Debut1999[2]

Franklin Roberto Lashley[6][7] (born July 16, 1976)[6] is an American professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand.

During Lashley's first tenure with WWE, he was a two-time ECW World Champion and one-time United States Champion. Lashley is best known for his time in Impact Wrestling, where he was a four-time Impact World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time X Division Champion, and one-time and final King of the Mountain Champion. Between WWE and Impact, Lashley has won a total of 9 championships, and headlined multiple pay-per-view events.

Early life[edit]

Franklin Roberto Lashley was born the son of a United States Army drill sergeant with three older sisters; the family occasionally moved from one military base to another during his childhood.[8] While his father was stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas, Lashley attended Fort Riley Middle School where he was introduced to amateur wrestling in seventh grade as an off-season alternative to football.[9] He later graduated from Junction City High School, where he continued to wrestle.[9] Lashley attended Missouri Valley College, where in 1996, 1997 and 1998, he was the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Wrestling Champion in the 177 lbs category[10] and in 1999 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human-service agency management and recreation administration.[11] As of 2015, Lashley had a sister still on active service in the United States Air Force and he himself followed his father into the army after college, where he continued to compete in amateur wrestling in the army's World Class Athlete Program.[8] During three years in the Army, Lashley won a gold and silver medal in the International Military Sports Council senior freestyle wrestling event.[9]

In 2003, Lashley was living and training in Colorado Springs, with the goal of qualifying for Team USA to wrestle at the 2004 Olympic Games. While a witness to a bank robbery, Lashley was forced to dive for cover to avoid gunfire, during which he suffered an injury to his knee that required surgery. This ended his amateur career.[12]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Entertainment[edit]

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2004–2005)[edit]

In November 2004, Lashley signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He was assigned to the development territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, where he was known as Blaster Lashley, and was a member of the Bolin Services stable along with Mike Mondo and Ken Doane. However, during that time Bolin Services began to crumble with Lashley refusing to help Doane win matches, resulting in him turning face and going by his Bobby Lashley name.

Undefeated streak and United States Champion (2005–2006)[edit]

In mid-2005, Lashley appeared at four live events, wrestling in dark matches for both the Raw and SmackDown! brands.[1] On September 23, 2005, he made his televised WWE debut as a face on SmackDown! under his real name. He was introduced as a three-time National Amateur Wrestling Champion, a four-time All-American, a two-time Armed Forces Champion, and a 2002 Silver Medalist at the Military World Championship. In his first match, he defeated Simon Dean. In his pay-per-view debut at No Mercy, he defeated Dean once again. Lashley went on to defeat numerous superstars both on SmackDown! and Raw.[1] On the November 11 episode of SmackDown!, Lashley defeated Orlando Jordan in a qualifying match for a place on Team SmackDown! at Survivor Series where he was the first to be eliminated. Prior to this elimination Lashley was dominating the Raw Superstars, showcasing various "power moves" and a finisher on Carlito. Yet a chokeslam from Kane, who was on the apron, caused Lashley to be eliminated.[13][14]

On January 6, 2006, Lashley became the first SmackDown! wrestler to qualify for that year's Royal Rumble.[15] At the Royal Rumble, Lashley was the eighth wrestler to enter the match, in which he eliminated Sylvain, but he was then eliminated by the combination of Raw's then World Tag Team Champions Big Show and Kane.[16] Following the Royal Rumble, Lashley began a feud with John Bradshaw Layfield leading up to a match at No Way Out, where Lashley suffered his first loss in singles competition, largely due to interference from Finlay.[17] This prompted a feud between Lashley and Finlay, which lasted throughout February and March, and it notably included a lumberjack match, which Finlay won after using a shillelagh.[18]

On April 2, after winning a battle royal by lastly eliminating MNM,[19] Lashley competed at his first WrestleMania (WrestleMania 22) in the Money in the Bank ladder match – which was won by Rob Van Dam.[20] Lashley next entered SmackDown!'s King of the Ring tournament. He made it to the finals, defeating Mark Henry and Finlay in the process.[1] However, in the final round – held at Judgment Day – he was defeated by Booker T with help from Finlay. As Booker was being crowned during his coronation, Lashley speared him.[21] These acts developed into a feud with the newly named "King Booker" and the other members of his court (Queen Sharmell, Finlay, and William Regal). During this feud, Lashley won his first professional wrestling championship by defeating JBL for the United States Championship, which he lost to Finlay a little less than two months later.[22][23] Lashley later joined forces with Batista against the Court. Shortly after losing the United States Title, a physician declared Lashley unable to compete, stating that during an annual exam, Lashley was found to have elevated enzymes of the liver and therefore, would not be cleared to wrestle until further evaluation.[24] Lashley returned a couple of weeks later to the SmackDown! roster to continue his feud with the Court and went on to earn his first match for the World Heavyweight Championship at No Mercy against King Booker. The bout was subsequently turned into a four-way bout, also including Batista and Booker's ally, Finlay. King Booker won the match after pinning Finlay.[25]

ECW Champion (2006–2007)[edit]

Lashley after winning the ECW Championship at December to Dismember

On November 14, 2006, Lashley moved to the ECW brand. He debuted on the brand by making a surprise appearance to sign a contract for the final spot in the Extreme Elimination Chamber match for the ECW Championship at December to Dismember.[26] At December to Dismember, Lashley was the fifth person released into the match. He eliminated both Test and The Big Show by pinfall after a spear to become the new ECW Champion, thus making him the first African American in ECW history to win the title.[27]

After winning the ECW Championship, Lashley then had successful title defenses against Big Show, Rob Van Dam, Test, Hardcore Holly, Kenny Dykstra, and Mr. Kennedy.[1] On March 19, 2007, episode of Raw, Lashley officially became the first and only person to ever break Chris Masters' Masterlock hold (Swinging full nelson) and thus the first and only person to ever defeat the Masterlock Challenge.[28]

In early 2007, Lashley was selected by Donald Trump to represent him in a "Battle of the Billionaires" match, against Vince McMahon's representative, Umaga, which also featured Vince's long time adversary Stone Cold Steve Austin as the guest referee. At WrestleMania 23 in a Hair vs. Hair match, Lashley defeated Umaga following a spear and helped Trump and Austin shave McMahon's head afterwards in accordance with the match's losing stipulation, saving Donald Trump's hair from being shaved off.[29] After WrestleMania, Lashley feuded with Mr. McMahon. McMahon booked himself, his son Shane McMahon, and Umaga in a 3-on-1 handicap match against Lashley at Backlash for the ECW World Championship. After two high impact diving splashes from Umaga, Mr. McMahon tagged himself into the match and pinned Lashley to win the title.[30] Lashley legitimately injured his shoulder during the match and after an examination days later, it was revealed he had a damaged rotator cuff but would not need surgery at the time.[31] At Judgment Day, Lashley defeated Vince, Shane, and Umaga in a 3-on-1 handicap rematch after hitting the Dominator on Shane McMahon. Lashley did not win the ECW Championship, however, because he did not pin Mr. McMahon. As a result, Mr. McMahon retained the title.[32] On June 3 at One Night Stand, Lashley defeated Vince McMahon in a street fight to win the ECW Championship for a second reign despite interference by Shane McMahon and Umaga in the match, making Lashley the first man to win the ECW Championship twice since WWE reactivated the title.[33]

WWE Championship pursuits (2007–2008)[edit]

Lashley in 2006

On the June 11 episode of Raw, Lashley was drafted from the ECW brand to the Raw brand as part of the 2007 WWE draft.[34] As a result of the move, Lashley was stripped of the ECW World Championship by Vince McMahon.[34] He took place in a challenge match against Mick Foley, Randy Orton, King Booker and John Cena for the WWE Championship at Vengeance: Night of Champions which Cena won to retain the WWE Championship. Lashley became the number one contender for the WWE Championship by winning the "Beat the Clock" challenge on July 2 episode of Raw. On July 22 at The Great American Bash, he lost to Cena and after the match, they shook hands as a sign of respect. This was Lashley's final WWE pay-per-view appearance. On July 30 episode of Raw, Lashley was defeated by Mr. Kennedy. During the match, Lashley was "injured" after Mr. Kennedy kicked Lashley's shoulder into the ring steps, allowing Lashley to have time off for surgery for the legitimate injury he suffered at The Great American Bash.[35][36][37] After a six-month hiatus, WWE announced that Lashley was released from his WWE contract on February 4, 2008.[38]

AAA and independent circuit (2008)[edit]

After Lashley was released from WWE, Lashley returned to wrestling by appearing at AAA's flagship event Triplemanía XVI. He, along with Kenzo Suzuki and Electroshock, defeated Chessman, Silver King, and La Parka, Jr.[39]

Also after his departure from the WWE, Lashley would appear in many independent promotions. Such as World League Wrestling. He also appeared in the Denver-based Fusion Pro Wrestling, teaming with A.J. Styles, and Paul Diamond to face the "Three Egos". He also wrestled for the Inoki Genome Federation in Japan.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2009–2010)[edit]

Lashley made an appearance at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Lockdown pay-per-view event on April 19, 2009 and he also later appeared on that week's episode of TNA Impact!, both times pointing and smiling at The Main Event Mafia, thus appearing as a heel. On July 15, TNA announced that he had signed an official contract with the company.[40] On July 23, Kurt Angle introduced Lashley as the newest member of the Main Event Mafia. Lashley entered the ring and hugged Angle while the rest of the Mafia held a beaten and battered Mick Foley upright. Angle then told Lashley to finish off Foley but as Lashley prepared to spear Foley, he turned on Angle and cleared the Mafia from the ring, thus making him a face.

On the edition of July 30 of Impact!, Lashley made his in-ring debut for TNA in a tag team match as he and Mick Foley wrestled against World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle and Legends Champion Kevin Nash, where if Angle or Nash was pinned, whoever defeated them would win their respective title. It started out as a handicap match thanks to the Main Event Mafia attacking Lashley before the match, but eventually Lashley entered the match and helped Mick Foley pin Nash to win the match for his team and become the Legends Champion.[41] On the edition of August 27 of Impact!, Jeremy Borash interviewed him and TNA President Dixie Carter in which she said their goal was to make him a World Champion in both MMA and TNA. At No Surrender, he defeated Rhino with a knockout punch.[42]

After No Surrender, Lashley began a feud with Samoa Joe. After teaming with Team 3D in a winning effort against Rhino and The British Invasion (Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus) on the edition of October 1 of Impact!, Joe assaulted Lashley and choked him out with a rear naked choke.[43] The following week, Lashley cost Joe the X Division Championship in a match against Amazing Red.[44] At Bound for Glory, Lashley defeated Joe in a submission match.[45] The following month at Turning Point Lashley's winning streak came to an end, when Scott Steiner pinned him in a Falls Count Anywhere match following a shot with a steel pipe.[46] On November 26, Lashley defeated Abyss, Desmond Wolfe, and Robert Roode to win the TNA Championship Series tournament and earn himself a future World Heavyweight Title shot.[47] At Final Resolution, Lashley avenged his prior loss and defeated Steiner in a Last Man Standing match with a pipeshot.[48] On January 4, 2010, Monday night edition of Impact!, Lashley and Kristal turned heel after requesting their immediate releases from TNA in order for Lashley to fully concentrate on his MMA career.[49] Lashley went on to attack random wrestlers until he was granted what he wanted.[50] On the edition of January 21 of Impact! Lashley suddenly apologized to new executive producer Eric Bischoff for his actions, saying he just wanted to compete,[51] but was nevertheless fired by him the following week. This was Lashley's last TNA appearance until 2014.[52] On February 10, 2010, Lashley's profile was removed from the official TNA website.[53] In an interview with Heavy Sports Lashley claimed that the release was legitimate and had been done in order for him to fully focus on his MMA career.[54]

Return to the independent circuit (2010–2014)[edit]

Lashley after winning the IWS Heavyweight Championship

After Lashley was released from TNA he made one appearance in Antonio Inoki's promotion Inoki Genome Federation (IGF). He defeated another WWE alumni The Predator.[55] He returned to Japan on September 25, 2010 for a tag-team match with Bob Sapp against Kendo Kashin and Tamon Honda.[56] Bob and Bobby were defeated. Since then Lashey regularly performs in IGF.[7]

In 2011 he participated in the IGF Championship tournament. He won the 1st round match against Keith Hanson,[57] but was defeated in semifinals by Josh Barnett.[58]

On October 20, 2012, Lashley wrestled Jay Bradley and Robert Anthony in a three-way match for the vacant Resistance Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship, which was won by Anthony.[59]

On June 26, 2013, Lashley signed a two-year contract with IGF, after winning the promotion's general election.[60]

On December 27, 2014, Lashley defeated Mexx and Tiny Iron to win the IWS Heavyweight Championship.[61]

Return to TNA/Impact Wrestling[edit]

The Beat Down Clan (2014–2015)[edit]

On March 9, 2014, Lashley returned to TNA at Lockdown in Miami, Florida, answering Ethan Carter III's open challenge after his scheduled opponent Kurt Angle could not wrestle due to an injury. On the March 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley and Carter had a rematch that once again ended in a no contest after an interference by Willow attacking Carter.

On the May 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley made his return after running out to the aid of Eric Young, but instead hitting Young with a spear, and allying himself along with MVP and Kenny King, turning heel in the process. At Slammiversary, Lashley defeated Samoa Joe for challenging Eric Young and Austin Aries for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a Steel Cage match, but lost the match. Lashley defeated Eric Young on June 19 episode of Impact Wrestling to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, his first title in TNA, making him the first African American in TNA history to win the title as well as his third world championship reign overall. He defended the title on July 3 against Young.[62] On June 25 (aired July 17) Lashley defended the title against Jeff Hardy.[63] At Impact Wrestling: Destination X, on July 31, Lashley defended the title against Austin Aries, who had forfeited the X Division Championship for a title shot.[64] At No Surrender, Lashley successfully retained his title against Bobby Roode. On September 18, 2014, at the tapings for the edition of October 28 of Impact Wrestling, Lashley lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Bobby Roode.[65]

Lashley regained the championship on January 7, 2015, thanks to interference from MVP, King, Samoa Joe and Low Ki, as well as Eric Young turning on Roode.[66] On the January 16 episode of Impact Wrestling, MVP attempted to present Lashley as the centerpiece of his The Beat Down Clan, while referencing the trio of themselves and King as the foundation of the BDC, Lashley refused to become a part of this new group, however, and decided to leave, only to be attacked by the other members, with MVP saying that the title belongs to the BDC, this turned Lashley face in the process. Lashley was a member of Team Angle at Lockdown, defeating The Beat Down Clan. On the March 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley lost the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Kurt Angle. On the April 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley received a rematch for the title, but was again defeated by Angle.

Championship reigns and departure (2015–2018)[edit]

Lashley in October 2015

On the June 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley defeated Eric Young after Chris Melendez caused a distraction for Young.[67] At Slammiversary, Lashley teaming with Mr. Anderson against Ethan Carter III and Tyrus, in a losing effort.[68] On the August 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley defeated Jessie Godderz in a qualifying match for the King of the Mountain match for the vacant TNA King of the Mountain Championship, which was won by PJ Black.[69][70] On the August 26 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley competed in Four-way match for a shot at King of the Mountain Championship which was won by Bobby Roode.[71] On the September 16 episode of Impact Wrestling, Team TNA (Lashley, Drew Galloway, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards and Bram) defeated Team GFW (Jeff Jarrett, Eric Young, Chris Mordetzky, Brian Myers and Sonjay Dutt) in a Lethal Lockdown Match. On October 4, at Bound for Glory, Lashley unsuccessfully challenged Bobby Roode for the TNA King of the Mountain Championship.[72] During October and November, Lashley began competing in the TNA World Title Series for the new opportunity to win the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship, where he ended second in his block to successfully advance to the round of 16 where he defeated Drew Galloway to advance into the quarterfinals where he defeated Mahabali Shera to advance the semifinals, but however Lashley failed to qualify for the finals when he was defeated by the eventual winner Ethan Carter III.

On the March 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley defeated Kurt Angle in Angle's farewell match with the company.[73] After the match, he would continue to assault Angle until he was run off by Drew Galloway, Eddie Edwards and Ethan Carter III, thus turning heel once again. The following week, Lashley attacked Josh Mathews and D'Angelo Dinero.[74] On the March 22 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley competed in a gauntlet match to determine the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but he was eliminated by an interfering D'Angelo Dinero. On the April 5 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley defeated D'Angelo Dinero in a Street Fight. On the May 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley won a three-way match against Jeff Hardy and Mike Bennett to get a title shot for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Drew Galloway. However, on the May 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley failed to win the title in a Lumberjack match, after a disqualification. On June 12 at Slammiversary, Lashley finally defeated Drew Galloway by knockout in a Tap Out or Knockout match, starting his third reign as the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. At Destination X, Lashley defended his title against Eddie Edwards, the X Division Championship was also on the line. However, the match was a no contest when Mike Bennett and the debuting Moose attacked him. On the July 21 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley defeated Eddie Edwards in a Winner Take All Six Sides of Steel match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight and win the TNA X Division Championship. On the August 11 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley defeated James Storm in a title vs. title match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight and X Division Championships and win the TNA King of the Mountain Championship, after which he was confronted by TNA's newest acquisition Aron Rex, who observed Lashley from the ramp.[75] On the September 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, he successfully retained his title against Mike Bennett. At Bound for Glory, he retained his title against Ethan Carter III. On October 6, he lost the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Eddie Edwards. On the October 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley defeated Moose to determine the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but failed to regain the November 3 episode of Impact Wrestling. At Total Nonstop Deletion, Lashley got another chance to regain the title, but the match ended in a no-contest.

On the January 5 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley failed to regain the championship in a three-way match who also involving Ethan Carter III, after an interference of Davey Richards. At One Night Only: Live!, Lashley defeated Richards. The following week, he defeated Ethan Carter III in a Last Man Standing match to become the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. At the Genesis episode special of Impact Wrestling, Lashley defeated Edwards in a 30-minute Iron Man match to become a four-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion. On the January 12 episode of Impact Wrestling, he successfully retained his title against fellow mixed martial artist Josh Barnett. On the March 2 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley lost the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Alberto El Patron. However, due to El Patron's controversial victory, the championship was returned to Lashley, leaving his title reign uninterrupted.[76] In light of TNA's name change, the belt was renamed the Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship. On the April 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Lashley retained his title against James Storm, after Ethan Carter III hit James Storm's head with a beer bottle while the referee was unconscious.[77]

At Slammiversary XV, Lashley lost his title to Alberto El Patron in a unification match with the GFW Global Championship.[78] Additionally, Lashley competed at Triplemanía XXV in August 2017, teaming with Moose and Jeff Jarrett in the Torneo Triplemanía 25 multi-team tag match.[79]

After losing a number one contender's match to Matt Sydal at Destination X and failing to capture the title in a Gauntlet for the Gold match,[80][81] Lashley announced that he is (kayfabe) quitting wrestling to focus on his MMA career.[82] This went into a feud against Moose where American Top Team were involved.[83] At Bound for Glory, Lashley and King Mo defeated Moose and Stephan Bonnar in a Six Sides of Steel cage match.[84] Throughout the first months of 2018, Lashley had small feuds with oVe, KM, and Cage, all of which were taped prior to his departure.[85][86][87]

On January 14, 2018, Lashley was officially released from his Impact Wrestling contract.[88]

Return to WWE[edit]

Various feuds and alliances (2018–present)[edit]

Lashley made his return to WWE by interrupting Elias

On the April 9, 2018 episode of Raw, the night after WrestleMania 34, Lashley made his return to WWE, where he confronted and attacked Elias.[89] Lashley participated in the Greatest Royal Rumble at the namesake event, entering at #44 and scoring two eliminations, but was eliminated by Braun Strowman.[90] The first month of Lashley's return would see him in a number of tag-team matches, teaming with the likes of Braun Strowman, Bobby Roode, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns, all being in victorious efforts against the likes of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Jinder Mahal, The Miz, Curtis Axel, and Bo Dallas.[91][92][93] Lashley would later team with Braun Strowman at Backlash in a victorious effort against Owens and Zayn.[94] Following Backlash, Lashley would enter into a short feud with Zayn, culminating with Lashley facing Zayn in a victorious effort at Money in the Bank.[95]

Lashley would then enter a feud with Roman Reigns, which was described by many as surprisingly one of the better feuds of 2018. What started off as a war of words on the June 18 episode of Raw would quickly escalate into an all-out brawl on the July 9 episode of Raw, with the entire locker room having to separate the duo. The rivalry centered around the fact that, before Lashley's departure from WWE in 2008, he was the handpicked face to lead the future of WWE and even went on to compete in one of the marquee matches WrestleMania 23 in 2007. This led to a match between the two at Extreme Rules, where Lashley defeated Reigns with a spear.[96] The following night on Raw, Lashley won one of two triple threat matches to determine who would face Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. On the July 23 episode of Raw, he was defeated by Reigns, who won the other triple threat match.

Following his loss to Reigns, Lashley's momentum would dwindle as his character would lose direction as he went from feud to feud without any payoff. On the July 30 episode of Raw, he would enter a feud with Elias after Elias attacked Lashley during their duet. A match between the two would be teased over the next several months; however, at SummerSlam, their feud ended abruptly without any aforementioned payoff. On the September 3 episode of Raw, during his segment with Jinder Mahal, the returning Kevin Owens attacked Lashley from behind. On the September 17 episode of Raw, with debuting new manager Lio Rush, Lashley faced Elias, which ended in a no contest after interference from Owens, continuing the feud. The next week Lashley defeated Elias by disqualification after Owens accidentally ran into Lashley while chasing Rush. However, Owens defeated Lashley with a roll up the next week due a distraction by Elias who attacked Rush.[97] At Super Show-Down event, Lashley teamed with John Cena and defeated Elias and Kevin Owens.[98] On the October 8 episode of Raw, Lashley defeated Owens in a singles match before attacking him post-match, turning Lashley heel for the first time in his WWE career. He was shown as Lio Rush's "man", which Lio told him to do poses and lastly, put his butt in front of the camera.

On the October 29 episode of Raw, Lashley beat down Finn Bálor in a singles match contest after losing by disqualification, Acting General Manager Baron Corbin rewarded Lashley's display of dominance with a position in the eight-man World Cup Tournament at Crown Jewel event. Lashley replaced John Cena in the tournament after Cena was the only superstar who hadn't qualified for the event. This was used as a storyline, as Cena legitimately refused to participate at Crown Jewel due to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. At the event, Lashley lost to Seth Rollins in the first round of the tournament. The following Raw, Lashley defeated Finn Balor in a rematch from the previous week. The next week, he defeated Elias to qualify for Team Raw in the traditional 5 on 5 tag team elimination match at Survivor Series, which Team Raw won. Lashley was the sole survivor, along with Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman, after Strowman pinned Team SmackDown's Shane McMahon.

The night after on Raw, Lashley teamed with McIntyre and Baron Corbin in a match against Strowman, Finn Bálor and Elias that ended after the team brutally attacked Strowman. The trio continued their alliance the following week with Lashley and McIntyre defeating Elias and Bálor in their respective matches.[99]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Bobby Lashley
BobbyLashleyAFL.jpg
Lashley at an American Fight League event in 2008
Other namesThe Boss[2]
The Dominator[100]
The Pressure Cooker[101]
The Real Heel Deal[2]
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight240 lb (109 kg; 17 st 2 lb)
DivisionHeavyweight
Reach78.0 in (198 cm)
StyleWrestling
StanceOrthodox
Fighting out ofDenver, Colorado
TeamAmerican Kickboxing Academy, American Top Team, American Top Team Altitude,[102] CSW[103]
TrainerJosh Barnett[103]
Years active2008–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total17
Wins15
By knockout4
By submission8
By decision3
Losses2
By knockout1
By decision1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Early career (2008–2009)[edit]

Lashley made his mixed martial arts debut at the Mixed Fighting Alliance (MFA) inaugural event "There Will Be Blood" on December 13, 2008 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. He won via TKO (cut) over Joshua Franklin in 41 seconds of the first round. Lashley's next fight was on March 21, 2009. He was supposed to fight Ken Shamrock, but his opponent was changed to Bellator MMA veteran Jason Guida after Shamrock tested positive for steroids. Lashley won the fight after a unanimous decision. Lashley signed with the Maximum Fighting Championship and made his debut on 15 May against Mike Cook, who made his ring entrance wearing a Rey Mysterio mask, which Lashley took as an insult.[104] He went on to defeat Cook with a guillotine choke just 24 seconds into the first round.[104] On June 27, 2009, Lashley defeated Bob Sapp at the PFP: Ultimate Chaos event in Biloxi, Mississippi.[105] He won the bout via TKO (strikes) in the first round, making Lashley's MMA record 4–0.

Strikeforce (2010–2011)[edit]

He was scheduled to make his Strikeforce debut against undefeated heavyweight Shane Del Rosario at Strikeforce: Miami, but for unknown reasons, Strikeforce decided to change his opponent.[106] Lashley was then expected to face journeyman Jimmy Ambriz on January 30, 2010 at Strikeforce: Miami,[107] but that matchup was also scrapped.[108] Lashley wound up facing former UFC fighter Wes Sims at the event.[109] Lashley defeated Sims via 1st-round TKO victory to remain undefeated.

Lashley was expected to fight on April 17, 2010 at Strikeforce: Nashville, as the promotion had already submitted an opponent for Lashley and was awaiting approval from the Tennessee Athletic Commission.[110] According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, the bout would likely be the fourth bout on the CBS televised portion of the event.[110] On April 5, Lashley confirmed that he will not appear on the card since Strikeforce officials could not guarantee an appearance on the televised portion of the card due to time constraints.[111] Bobby was set to appear at Strikeforce: Los Angeles in June fighting Ron Sparks however he suffered a knee injury and did not compete.[112]

Lashley faced Chad Griggs at Strikeforce: Houston on August 21, 2010.[113] Lashley came out shooting the takedown, and ground and pounding. Lashley dominated at first, but Griggs caught him with a series of uppercuts on one of the takedowns in the first round, opening a gash under the left corner of Lashley's left eye. Lashley had trouble keeping Griggs from striking him, even though he had dominate control over him on the ground, but Griggs was still finding openings on the bottom. Lashley was able to continue in the second round, continuing takedowns and ground and pound. Lashley eventually passed to mount halfway through the second round and unloaded many good punches on Griggs while maintaining control. Referee Jon Schorle then asked the fighters to stand up due to inactivity, despite Lashley being in full mount at the time. Lashley later complained to the referee about the cut under his eye, and with 33 seconds left in the second round, referee Jon Schorle asked the ringside doctor to inspect the cut. However, with Lashley deciding to continue fighting, controversy was created when referee Jon Schorle did not put Lashley back in the mount position as he was when the fight was originally stopped. Griggs then sprawled out of a desperate takedown by Lashley near the end of round two and hammer-fisted Lashley's eye that was already cut until the round ended. The ring doctor then stopped the fight, resulting in Lashley losing at the end of the second round by TKO. Backstage after the fight, Lashley was taken off on a stretcher due to dehydration.[114][115] Following the fight it was discovered that Lashley was suffering from mono and was subsequently unable to train for four months.[116]

Titan Fighting Championship (2011, 2013)[edit]

On February 18, 2011, Titan Fighting Championship had announced the signing of Lashley. He was expected to debut against James Jack however on March 16, 2011, officials announced they had lost contact with Jack and instead John Ott stepped in to fight Lashley.[117] The pace of the fight slowed down drastically in the second round, where Lashley began to display the same cardio problems that affected him in his previous fight. He was able to win a unanimous decision, despite suffering the effects of illness.

Lashley was scheduled to fight Eddie Sanchez at Titan Fighting Championships 19.[118] But on July 22, 2011, it was announced that Lashley withdrew from the fight due to personal reasons.[119]

Lashley defeated Kevin Asplund at Titan Fighting Championships 25 on June 7, 2013 winning via keylock submission.[120]

Shark Fights (2011–2012)[edit]

Lashley has signed a three-year deal with Shark Fights[121] and was expected to make his debut against Darrill Schoonover in November, The fight was to be for the heavyweight title.[122] However Schoonover later pulled out of the bout due to an injury.[123] Lashley was then set to headline Shark Fights 21 against Tim Hague.[124] But Hague pulled out of the bout for unknown reasons and was replaced by Dave Huckaba.[125][126] On November 7 it was confirmed that the fight with Huckaba had been scrapped for unknown reasons, Lashley was then scheduled to face Mark Martinez but Martinez was later pulled out of the bout due to expired blood work.

On November 11, 2011 Lashley became the new Shark Fights Heavyweight champion defeating Karl Knothe in the first round by submission. Knothe was the fifth different opponent scheduled to face Lashley after numerous fighters pulled out due to various reasons.[127]

Various promotions (2012–2014)[edit]

He next competed at India's Super Fight League's third event, SFL 3, against James Thompson.[128] Lashley lost the fight via unanimous decision.[128]

Lashley was scheduled to face Matthew Larson at GWC: The British Invasion: U.S. vs. U.K. on June 29, 2013.[129] Lashley won via rear naked choke submission in round one. In an interview with MMA Junkie the day prior to his GWC fight, Lashley indicated that he had two potential fights lined up for August 2013, saying "If I'm going to fight, I need to fight. I need to stay active. I need to do something big now. If not, I need to hang it up and just do stuff with my gym. I'm fighting this fight, and I think I have two in August that were offered to me. Hopefully if I don't get hurt, I can stay active and just keep going."[130]

Lashley fought at Xtreme Fight Night 15: Indestructible on November 8, 2013 against Tony "The Rock" Melton, which he won via unanimous decision.[131]

Bellator MMA (2014–2018)[edit]

In July 2014, it was announced that Lashley had signed with Bellator MMA. He made his promotional debut against Josh Burns on September 5, 2014 at Bellator 123.[132] Lashley won the fight via rear-naked choke submission in the second round.

In his second fight for the promotion, Lashley faced undefeated Karl Etherington on October 24, 2014 at Bellator 130.[133] He won via submission due to punches, in the first round.

A rematch with James Thompson was scheduled to take place at Bellator 134 on February 27, 2015;[134] however, Lashley pulled out of the fight due to injury.[135] In March 2015, Lashley signed a long-term contract extension with the promotion.[136] The fight with Thompson was rescheduled for Bellator 138 on June 19, 2015;[137] however, an injury forced Thompson out of the bout and Lashley instead faced Dan Charles at the event.[138] He won the fight via TKO in the second round. The rematch with Thompson eventually took place on November 6, 2015 at Bellator 145.[139] Lashley won the fight via TKO in the first round.

On August 29, 2016, it was announced that Lashley would face Josh Appelt on October 21, 2016 at Bellator 162.[140] Lashley won via rear-naked choke submission in the second round. In April 2018, Bellator officials stated Lashley was still under contract with Bellator after his WWE return.[141]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 15–2 Josh Appelt Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 162 October 21, 2016 2 1:43 Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Win 14–2 James Thompson TKO (punches) Bellator 145 November 6, 2015 1 0:54 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Win 13–2 Dan Charles TKO (punches) Bellator 138 June 19, 2015 2 4:14 St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Win 12–2 Karl Etherington Submission (punches) Bellator 130 October 24, 2014 1 1:31 Mulvane, Kansas, United States
Win 11–2 Josh Burns Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 123 September 5, 2014 2 3:54 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States
Win 10–2 Tony Melton Decision (unanimous) Xtreme Fight Night 15 November 8, 2013 5 5:00 Catoosa, Oklahoma, United States Won XFN Heavyweight Championship
Win 9–2 Matthew Larson Submission (rear-naked choke) GWC: The British Invasion: U.S. vs. U.K. June 29, 2013 1 1:38 Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Win 8–2 Kevin Asplund Submission (americana) Titan FC 25 June 7, 2013 2 1:23 Fort Riley, Kansas, United States
Loss 7–2 James Thompson Decision (unanimous) Super Fight League 3: Lashley vs. Thompson May 6, 2012 3 5:00 New Delhi, India
Win 7–1 Karl Knothe Submission (americana) Shark Fights 21: Knothe vs. Lashley November 11, 2011 1 3:44 Lubbock, Texas, United States Won Shark Fights Heavyweight Championship
Win 6–1 John Ott Decision (unanimous) Titan FC 17 March 25, 2011 3 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Loss 5–1 Chad Griggs TKO (doctor stoppage) Strikeforce: Houston August 21, 2010 2 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States
Win 5–0 Wes Sims TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Miami January 30, 2010 1 2:06 Sunrise, Florida, United States Strikeforce debut
Win 4–0 Bob Sapp Submission (punches) FFI: Ultimate Chaos June 27, 2009 1 3:17 Biloxi, Mississippi, United States
Win 3–0 Mike Cook Technical Submission (guillotine choke) MFC 21 May 15, 2009 1 0:24 Enoch, Alberta, Canada
Win 2–0 Jason Guida Decision (unanimous) SRP: March Badness March 21, 2009 3 5:00 Pensacola, Florida, United States
Win 1–0 Joshua Franklin TKO (doctor stoppage) MFA: There Will Be Blood December 13, 2008 1 0:41 Miami, Florida, United States

Personal life[edit]

Lashley has a daughter, Kyra, who was born in 2005.[142][143] He dated former WWE Diva Kristal Marshall, with whom he has a son named Myles in July 2008 and a daughter named Naomi born in 2011.[144][145] In April 2010, Kristal confirmed on Twitter that she and Lashley had split.

Lashley has also been involved in several business ventures. In 2007, Lashley opened up a shop that sells health smoothies.[142] In July 2009, Lashley announced the launch of The Lashley Network. The Lashley Network of websites comprises his official gym, his official nutrition store, and his social networking website. In a press release for the launch he stated that he is keeping his name out in the television media and on the internet so he can reach his goal of being the top fighter in MMA.[146] In March 2010, Lashley announced the grand opening of his new gym in the Denver, Colorado area titled American Top Team Altitude. The facility will serve as a gym such as popular chain Gold's Gym and will also showcase MMA events. In May 2010, Lashley announced the opening of his new MMA Management company Lashley Management. Lashley, along with co-founder Judith Sussman, represent current and future mixed martial artists.

In other media[edit]

Lashley is featured in the video games WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2007, WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2008, WWE 2K19.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Way of War Tattooed Hispanic Man
2010 Beatdown Lucius
2011 Blood Out Hector
Walk-ins Welcome Felix
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Deal or No Deal Himself
2016 Rush Hour Bar Thug
Music videos
Year Song Artist Role
2012 Nightmare Kasland Asylum Orderly

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Bobby Lashley (Donald Trump's hair) Umaga (Vince McMahon's hair) Detroit, Michigan WrestleMania 23 April 1, 2007 Stone Cold Steve Austin was the special guest referee

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Lashley is a two-time ECW Champion

Amateur wrestling[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Professional wrestling[edit]

References[edit]

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