The Raw after ‘Mania is always packed with a wild crowd, all ready to see what WWE has up its proverbial sleeve, in the way of returns, debuts, NXT call-ups to the main roster, plus the beginnings of the new wrestling year’s storylines.
This year there was a little extra hype. I say little because of the leaked photo revealing the return that was posted via social media earlier on in the day, so although fans were excited they weren’t as excited as they would have been had it not been leaked.
The return in question was that of former ECW and United States Champion Bobby Lashley, with many hoping it was to address the well talked about the match that he would like to have with Brock Lesnar. Lashley was once a highly booked star, even facing Umaga in a hair vs hair match, with the loser’s representative losing their hair.
Those representatives being none other than the owner of WWE Vince McMahon, who had chosen Umaga, while Bobby represented the current U.S. President, Donald Trump. The match took place at WrestleMania 23 with Stone Cold as the special guest referee. As I said, highly booked.
WWE and Lashley did eventually have a falling out, resulting in him leaving and pursuing not only a legitimate 15-2 MMA win/loss record, but winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, X-Division and King of the Mountain Championships as well., He’d earn himself the names ‘Destroyer’ and ‘Walking Apocalypse’. That’s why it seemed to make so much sense having him return when he did.
Then came the rumors of Brock leaving for UFC after ‘Mania, so a Lashley vs Brock match seemed off of the cards….that was at least until Brock re-signed to the company the week before the event.
Since Bobby’s return, we have seen him face Elias in his debut, turn his suplex into brain buster on the rather tall Big Cass during the ‘Greatest’ Royal Rumble event, he has been seen teaming with Braun Strowman to feud with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Now worst of all, the ‘sisters’ storyline, with his dry promo about how his sisters bullied him as a kid etc, followed now this week by Sami Zayn bringing out three men dressed as women, masquerading as Bobby’s sisters, in a bid to embarrass Lashley. It resulted in an equally dry bit where he played along a bit then attacked them all.
I’m confused by this point as to where this supposed ‘destroyer’ is? It’s simple to locate the issue, to be honest, Brock Lesnar.
The plan was for Lesnar to be leaving, Lashley being the perfect person to fill up the role of dominator, yet before his return, the Champion had signed a new contract, meaning Lashley was left in limbo. He finds himself in a similar situation as Braun Strowman. Both are unstoppable forces but with Lesnar and Reigns at the top of the mountain, they can only be built up so much.
This is a man that is just as credible as Brock, MMA wise. He has had a short career in the army where he also wrestled and won medals for his efforts. Why have they not just done the Lashley/Lesnar feud, rather than just letting Lashley linger? He is barely getting a response now, sometimes even a negative one. I sit here shaking my head at the incompetence WWE has shown with Lashley’s handling.
Lashley could get bored and do an Austin Aries, leave the company due to their mismanagement and pursue a career advancement elsewhere, a feat which Aries has shown to be possible.
I would either do the feud or have Braun take the title from Lesnar. This would give a fresh champ at the top of the mountain and set up a possible feud between the two monsters. Another quick program could be with Seth Rollins and the Intercontinental Championship. The two would be able to have knockout matches and the feud could bolster not only the title but both men.
WWE has gone and bought too many toys and they don’t have enough time to play with them all, so some sit unused collecting dust. Even more, go misused. I only hope that they learn to juggle their time and characters better before Lashley loses any chance he may have at regaining that credibility that he had when it was rumored he would return to face Brock…fingers crossed.