Bobby Lashley was a pleasant surprise return to the WWE, gracing our screens in a quite shocking return at the RAW after Mania. He got a dominant segment interrupting Elias and smashing him with a stalling suplex. He has since done very little other than being a tag partner to Braun Strowman and being caught in one of the worst segments to air on RAW this year.
The current angle WWE have taken with him, the smiling face, isn’t exactly working. His recent sit down interview where he was forced to constantly smile whilst talking about growing up with three seemingly abusive sisters, seemed incredibly scripted and highly uninteresting. It would then be made even worse by another segment WWE would air two weeks later.
Sami Zayn, after threatening to expose Lashley, brings out three indie wrestlers in drag to play the three sisters. Each spews a story about how Lashley is evil and they only did the cruel things they did in retaliation. Again they were given some of the most god awful lines to read, with even Sami Zayn struggling to save the segment. It ends in predictable fashion with Lashley coming out, trying to play it cool, before eventually destroying the three “sisters.”
This week’s RAW finally saw some semblance of giving Lashley some intensity. Zayn came out to give a fake apology for all the pain the sisters segment caused. Once again, he starts mocking Lashley and the crowd. Lashley steps out to make a challenge. After some verbal back and forth the two shakes hands and ends with Lashley crushing Zayn’s hand. It was the first sign of some much-needed fire from Bobby and pleasant to see. Zayn works well as a heel he has the smarmy attitude of a smart-ass heel and the crowd reacts well to him. Lashley doesn’t work well as a face with the current material he has. This feud is great for establishing his wrestling style as he would work well against Zayn.
After this long-winded intro, here are some things WWE could do with Bobby Lashley after this feud.
A Title Run
Although he hasn’t been in WWE long, Lashley is a potential candidate to take Brock’s title. He is a believable competitor given his size and style of wrestling. Instead of having Brock vs an underdog, it would be an unstoppable force vs immovable object. Two monsters colliding in a battle for the belt. Both would be capable of destroying the other providing an entertaining spectacle for fans. If WWE want Lashley as a face, then Brock is perfect for establishing it. Much in the way Reigns does, he could work week after week, beating opponents, climbing the contender ladder and eventually facing Brock.
Paul Heyman is great at hyping up Brock’s opponents. His words boosted the likes of Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman neither may have needed it, but they heavily benefited from the rub. Lashley could receive the rub and become a crowd favourite by just acting like a bad-ass. He doesn’t have to smile or be sympathetic; he just needs to act like Bobby Lashley. In Impact he had edge and attitude. He was a believable champion there and has had WWE belts before, despite being green. Now he is a seasoned competitor and deserves another chance with the belt.
Not to mention, much like Brock, Lashley has a career in MMA. He has done work with Bellator and has a solid win/loss record. This too, could be mentioned in the build up to their potential title match. It’s another reason why he would be a worthy competitor for the title. Although there are other people fans would most likely want to see champion, Lashley may be the first step. He is most likely going to be on TV more and much more open to defend the belt on TV and PPV. He would also be an interesting candidate for feuds with the underdogs on the RAW roster.
Lashley vs Braun: Battle of the Monsters
We’ve seen them as allies, imagine them as enemies. Both men are monsters with a focus on their power and agility. Bobby has a move-set that would be an appropriate counter to Braun’s. He could be the first person to be shoulder tackled and stay standing. They could form a feud based entirely on the idea of one upping each other in feats of strength. Not to mention, with how over Braun is, it would probably rub off on Lashley. Instead of making him the nice guy, he should have some edge and fire. Giving him a competitive streak would be a solid way of solidifying a character for him.
Plus it’s a way of giving him and Braun some main event spots with a high level feud. Before contending for the money in the bank ladder match, Braun seemed to be floundering a bit. Like Rusev, he is incredibly over but WWE can’t quite make their mind up on him. He needed a sense of direction and even though he has one now, it easy for WWE to drop him again. This way he stays in the spotlight with a solid programme whilst also boosting Lashley’s place in the card, preventing either man getting lost in the shuffle.
WWE Top Team
Lashley has been a part of stables in his time away from WWE. Whilst he was in Impact he was a part of American Top Team, an MMA team that invaded wrestling. WWE could always benefit from having more stables. Since Lashley has already teamed with Braun, it is possible he could easily team with other monsters or MMA/strong style infused wrestlers to create another version of the Top Team. It would be a way of giving Lashley a purpose and especially since he’s an older wrestler now it could be a way of passing on experience given how he has travelled the industry and evolved since his early WWE days. Imagine him starting off by teaming up with Drew and Dolph since they are looking for real fighters at the moment. Imagine him standing up to Drew and earning their respect.
It may just be a pipe dream but it would be a relatively easy way to give Lashley something to do whilst also invigorating a slightly lacking tag team division. In fact, another potential idea for the Top Team would be Lashley and AOP. They just lost Paul Ellering as a manager and mouth-piece. If they have lost one manager, imagine Lashley picking them up and forming a new AOP. Both Akam and Rezar are big, power based stars so it could be easy to see them working with Lashley. It would also be a way of giving them a voice and letting them have another mouth- piece that can also fight.
A Change of Show?
Could the blue brand benefit more from having Lashley on their show? Smackdown currently has a wealth of talent in its upper and mid-card. They have stars like Miz, Jeff Hardy, Rusev, Daniel Bryan, Nakamura, Almas, Joe and Styles all working within the two-hour timeframe of Smackdown. The main thing missing is a monster. Since Braun is working on RAW, it may be a reasonably good idea to let Lashley loose on Smackdown for a bit. It would give him some fresh faces to fight and provide him with some opportunities at gold. Jeff Hardy would work well against someone like Lashley if they were a heel. Hardy could be made into an underdog so easily against the like of Lashley in monster heel mode.
The same could be said of Bryan. It’s no secret that he wants to fight Brock in a match he doesn’t believe will ever happen. Lashley could fill the void. Instead of him fighting Big Cass, it would have been better to see Lashley make a surprise appearance and destroy Bryan. Any man of Bryan’s size would be made look an underdog in the face of Lashley. It would also be an excellent foil to Bryan’s fast paced strikes and mat wrestling style. It might not be for a title but it would certainly be entertaining to watch.
Lashley has had history with WWE. He was notably one of Vince’s old favourites and a former US champion. He has some prestige with the company and has made a name for himself in Impact. He is a believable fighter and with the right material could easily be in a high spot in the pecking order. He is definitely in need of some form of edge.
It is nothing new to hear of people complaining about faces. It is much easier to be a heel since hatred is much easier to earn than respect. Lashley may be a solid wrestler and a potential champion but he will struggle to earn any unaware fans over with his current shtick. He clearly doesn’t want to be a smiling face. He doesn’t have to be full heel but needs some kind of attitude adjustment to build some character and earn fan support. His match with Zayn should act as a showcase for his wrestling capabilities in singles competition for anyone unaware of his work elsewhere. Hopefully WWE creative start working on his character and give him something he is more comfortable doing. There is the potential for a lot from him in his new tenure with the company, again though only time will tell.
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