Bobby Lashley is 260lbs of rock solid muscle, a WWE Superstar that defies expectations every time he gets in the ring. He may be a big man but he’s quick, he’s agile and he’s extremely athletic. He’s everything Vince McMahon’s company wants in a top guy and it’s only a matter of time until he returns to main event status. Or is it?
Lashley has indeed never looked better and at age 41, he’s not lost a step in the ring. But even though he possesses all of the physical attributes and talent necessary to really get over, what are the chances WWE will move forward with him? Lashley is a star but he’s a big fish in an ever bigger pond.
This was not the case in Impact Wrestling of course but fans knew it was only a matter of time until Bobby returned home to WWE. The time was right for him to come back and while he’s not yet moved up on the food chain, there’s a real doubt among fans as to whether or not he should.
Watch Lashley take out Elias on Raw:
It’s not because of his work ethic. Lashley is everything WWE advertises him to be and much more. The man that once fought hard to prove himself is now a veteran. He has come into his own as a guy that younger talents can look up to and as a guy that can step into any top storyline WWE books for him.
But part of being back in a bigger pond again is dealing with a roster of main event guys that are also booked in top storylines. Chief among them is Seth Rollins. Rollins has always been one of WWE’s best but since he became the Intercontinental champion, he has truly upped his game. He’s arguably the best in the company right now and he keeps outdoing himself every time out.
Seth is not the top guy; Roman Reigns wears that title. But it’s the only title Reigns wears as Brock Lesnar is still the Universal champion. Then there’s Braun Strowman, who is WWE’s breakout star. Finn Balor is still impressing with every match while Kevin Owens and Bobby Roode both have the ability to become red-hot in any program.
So how does Bobby Lashley compete with that? More importantly, where does he fit in? WWE did indeed snatch him up because the timing was right for both sides. But there didn’t seem to be an obvious plan for him. He’s the odd man out, a main event caliber performer that doesn’t have a main event spot to inhabit. So what now?
The fact is Bobby Lashley has been back in WWE a littler over a month. He’s not had enough time to really get started, much less conquer the main event scene. There is time to develop something for him and it could be that the company is keeping him busy until the moment when he’s elevated to a prime place on the roster. It looks as though Lashley’s upcoming busy work involves Sami Zayn.
Watch Sami Zayn’s promo on Lashley:
Zayn and Lashley have barely begun so there’s no way to know what WWE has in store for them. Sami is an entertaining character and it will be interesting to see what his fast-talking routine can do against Lashley’s monstrous strength. Zayn cannot compete with Bobby on his level so Sami must resort to playing mind games instead.
The rivalry brewing between them may go well or it may not. It depends on if the two men have chemistry and if the fans buy in. This could be the start of something fun or it could be a train wreck. Assuming it works out and Lashley actually gets something to do, he would finally serve a purpose other than occasionally wrestling on TV. He’s definitely capable of much more than he’s doing now.
But is he capable of taking down The Beast Incarnate? Bobby Lashley versus Brock Lesnar is the match that many fans believe is inevitable. Many more believe it’s either going to happen in WWE or its going to happen in the Octagon. Did Lashley come back to WWE with the understanding it would eventually lead to a match with Lesnar?
It’s one of the last remaining WWE dream matches and it does seem destined to happen. Lesnar is nearly unbeatable and there are only a handful of guys that could believably challenge him and possibly win. That list includes Goldberg, Batista, and Lashley. Goldberg got the better of Brock and Batista may come back at some point. But Lashley is there now and the only thing separating him from Lesnar is the right storyline. In order for it to happen, Lashley must first be rebuilt as a serious player in the company.
If he laid hands on Brock now, there’s no guarantee the fans would accept it. Bobby is big and he’s impressive. But he’s giving up nearly 30 pounds to Lesnar and he’s also giving up a familiarity with the audience. While Lesnar may not be around that much, the crowd knows who he is. They know what he can do in the ring and they’ve watched him do it to one guy after another.
Fans may not love Lesnar’s part-time status but he does have a following among the WWE faithful. If Lashley does not win the crowd over now, he will be an outsider against Lesnar later. Fans respond to the guy they know and connect with. Bobby Lashley can be that guy but he must warm them up first.
He does that by reminding them of just how good he is and also why WWE brought him back in the first place. Bobby has something to offer and fans shouldn’t go to sleep on him. While Reigns continues to come under fire as the babyface that everyone loves to hate, Bobby Lashley is a veteran with untapped star power.
If WWE chooses to utilize him the right way and if he can get over with the crowd, Lashley has the potential to become a big dog as well. Whether or not he will reach that level is anyone’s guess.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online at boinkstudios.com