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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Bobby Lashley - The Real Deal
December 16, 2005 by Adam "The Adaman" Heap


Hey there obsessed fans. I did promise to bring you SmackDown!’s defining moments, but I am still in the process of refining that column. So in the meantime, I thought I’d take a look at the man who’s been causing a real stir-up in the SmackDown! locker room lately " Bobby Lashley.

Bobby Lashley was introduced to SmackDown! in dark matches a while before he was on TV. Being dark matches, I didn’t see many of them. However, when Lashley was debuted on SmackDown! on September the 23rd, he made a huge impact on all the fans. No-one had seen him before. No-one had heard of him before unless they were at the shows with dark matches. And the crowd instantly fell in love with him. Now, before he came to SmackDown!, Lashley had worked in the WWE’s training area, OVW. But before that, he was an amateur wrestler. In the sense of amateur wrestlers, he was a pro. He was the champion wrestler in his army’s regiment. He was a three-time national amateur wrestling champion for Missouri Valley College. He was even the NAIA champion before he came to OVW.

In OVW, he was known as ‘Blaster’ Lashley. He joined Bolin Services but left them before coming to SmackDown! where he was an instant success. The fans loved this man. After all, how could you not love a man who does push-ups in the ring while someone puts a submission hold on them? He started a small feud with Simon Dean which ended with him destroying Dean at No Mercy and forcing him to eat 20 cheeseburgers. After this, he had another small fight with Nunzio and Vito. But he destroyed them both and went on to join the feud that was escalating between SmackDown! and RAW.

Lashley managed to beat Orlando Jordan senseless for his Survivor Series qualifying match. Lashley joined the fight wherever he could, even taking a double chokeslam from Kane and Big Show. He beat Jordan in a rematch but it was at Survivor Series where he would show his worth. In the match with RAW, Lashley was tagged in and showed his stuff. He managed to destroy Carlito, Shawn Michaels and Chris Masters with his amazing wrestling skill. It took a chokeslam from Kane, who wasn’t the legal man, to bring him down and be the first elimination. Obviously he was eliminated because he was one of the newest members of SmackDown!, but he put up a good fight.

Now, Lashley himself. The guy has amazing wrestling skill due to his amateur background, and I don’t think anyone will doubt me there. He can suplex, powerbomb and brawl with the best of them. But here’s the thing: He’s god damn huge and powerful, but he can wrestle like a pro. And that’s something you just don’t see anymore. We have guys like Batista and Big Show who are big, but don’t put on anything spectacular in terms of wrestling skill. Now, I’m not too sure what he’s like on the microphone, seeing as he hasn’t uttered a word yet, but isn’t that what made Batista popular when he was with Evolution? The fact that Batista was this great big monster in the ring but played his part as the silent enforcer who destroyed everyone in his path was what made creative the chance to elevate him, and look where he is now.

Now, if he’s as good on the mic as he is in the squared circle, then he can rival John Cena. But here’s my view on it. If he can be huge like Batista and talk like John Cena, then he’s on their status. He could be the WWE champion (and maybe a black champion at that). But if he can wrestle better than Cena and Batista combined, then he’s above them. Make no mistake, he’s not ready for the title yet. He’s only been here a few weeks. But in two years, he could be a champion who can talk, be big, and wrestle the crap out of anyone who faces him. This guy will be big, mark my words.

But what to do with him to show the fans he’s ready? If my assumption is correct, Chris Benoit’s contract is up soon. If he leaves, Booker T, the current U.S. Champion, has no opponent. So have a feud for the U.S. Title. Booker can claim that he’s a five time WCW champion, but Lashley can counter that with the fact that he’s a three time national champion and that belt means a Hell of a lot more than a belt that doesn’t exist anymore. Think about it. It would definitely silence any critics who say there can’t be multiple black champions. They can both wrestle a decent match. So make Lashley the U.S. Champion.

The guy’s fan support speaks for itself. His wrestling background speaks for itself. His size speaks for itself. So if all that speaks for itself, does Lashley even need speak at all? Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed this column. Feel free to post feedback on it. This is The Adaman, signing out.

by Adam Heap --- [View Adam Heap's Column Index]....


Theda Kane wrote:
I think Big Bob is the best new addition to the WWE rosta in quite a while. Hopefully the idiots at WWE won't misuse him. I think the man does have charisma, tho he's been given little opportunity to display it, and the combo of wrestling with mixed martial arts should enable him to hold his own against anyone. I'd personally love to see him decimate Kurt Angle, which I'm totally sure he can do.
Augustus wrote:
Honestly, Bobby Lashley can be World Champ in less than 2 years. He has the wrestling ability of Chris Benoit/Kurt Angle, but not as good I think, the power of Batista, maybe a little better at delivering a wide variety of moves than Cena and Batista Combined. No disrespect to Batista, his days at the top are numbered. Bobby Lashley has years and years in front of him. He can be better than Brock Lesnar, more powerful than Brock Lesnar, better mat wrestler than Brock. But knowing Vince, wasting his time on Trevor Murdoch, with no talent whatsoever. This man , Bobby Lashley is the real future.
Brad Dykens wrote: All I want for Christmas is The Big Show & Kane vs Bobby Lashley & Bob Sapp..
(WHOEVER WROTE THIS EMAIL ME WITH YOUR NAME) wrote:
While Bobby Lashley has an impressive physique his in ring skills are horrible. I'm just calling it like it is....He doesn't sell well, does not move well at all and as much as the announcers try to put over his skill with mentioning his amatuer backround, it only makes it more clear. He earned his amatuer wins at a weight of 177......That's 100 lbs ago...and you can see it...he does not move like an athlete and to compare him to Angle or Lesnar is crazy.... These guys (Lesnar) were suoper heavyweights long before pro wrestling and the size is natural not borrowed....anyway, I just want to see a big guy that can actually move well....I'll settle for ok even.
LanceCrucifix wrote:
I might be the only one, but I don't think Bobby can hold up in the WWE, for very long. Lashley, in some cases, is a good wrestler. He's got the total package, an amature background, he has the look, and I suppose he can brawl, but alotta people were the same. Brock Lesnar is a good example, the man could mat wrestle, but his look did not support that and thats not what Vince McMahon wants. Vinces idea's are bland and always will be, he wants Lashley to be a Juggernaut, a man who's so hard to beat that he will hardly ever lose with out tainted circumstances. And I have still yet to see, Lashley pull out a really good match. Anybody with Lashley's power can hit someone with a nice, Over Head Belly-to-belly, also anybody with that kind of power can hit someone with a Dominator. Most of Lashleys matches have been just that, a Belly-to-Belly, a couple of clotheslines, and a Dominator to top it off. So in short, the man has potential, he just hasn't impressed me thus far.
Curtis McLean wrote:
Are you kidding me? There is nothing positive about Lashley I can even think of saying. He's just another jakked up freak who is getting a monster push for very little reason. Throw him in the list with Snitsky, Heidenreich and now The Boogeyman of recent memory, a hoss with low work rate getting pushed over much more talented wrestlers. He gave us all he had to offer his first night out and it was not impressive in the least bit, just a squash. Oh wow, he did push ups, big deal, if you look into the actual talented portion of the roster you will see something I've been preaching for months. Lashley is squashing Simon Dean, Nunzio, Vito, William Regal and Paul Birchill. All five of those men out class him in the ring and on the mic, what's the problem though? Their size? The fact that they all made a name for themselves outside the E? Seeing Lashley squash Regal and Birchill on less than 4 minutes disgusted me, Regal has been there for years and has shown he is entertaining in whatever he does and can wrestle a damn good match, Birchill on the other hand is new the roster, but gets his push via jobbing on Velocity, eventually he will be released as he has no direction. But I must ask you, have you seen what Birchill can do? It way more impressive and entertaining than the Lash, just look at the C-4.

I'm not saying Lashley has to do much to impress me, but something would help, he already has it against him that he is just squashing people and dropping thim mid dominator. There is only one real deal in the WWE right now, and he's never going to go anywhere until he leaves the company.
Chris Pugsley wrote:
I think that Bobby Lashley will be the first black WWE Champion(If you dont count The Rocks African American back ground). With his amateur background and being a pro since 1999 he wont be like Batista with a limited mives set and will be more like Brok Lesnar but it is unfair to Lashley to compair him to people because he is his own wrestler and he, if used right, will be a huge star in the WWE.
Chris Jo wrote:
The reason why Bobby Lashley is getting a bigger push than those other guys is because certain people just have that superstar quality. They're easier to market. Granted, his look, his presentation, and his promotion have had alot to do with his success. But I imagine Vince's thoughts are that it's easier to make money off Lashley than William Reagal. It doesn't really matter if you think Reagal is more deserving or not, I wouldn't give him a push over Lashley. The WWE has a clear vision of what it needs in order to survive: Make "Rocks", make "Stone-Colds", make "Batistas, and make "Cenas". Don't kid yourselves, these people financially are what the McMahons depend on, and as wrestling fans, who we depend on. The sell the products that pay for the programming. They bring in the ratings that make companies want to buy advertising time. Without major superstars, the "Reagals" and "Nunzios" would be making less than half of what they are making now in some independent promotion. It's like dishes. When you make something for yourself, you use the good ol' dishes you always use because they are dependable. That dependability is what keeps them around. But when you have company over, you bring out the nice dishes. They may break faster, but they're easier to impress people with.

Lashley will prove to be something different. He's not Batista or Cena, he's got credentials. He's not Brock Lesnar, he's dedicated. He's not Kurt Angle (well, actually he's not even close to being as good as Kurt Angle), but he's a bigger, more powerful mat wrestler. To doubt Lashley's success is naive. He will be successful. He will be hailed by his supporters. And he will win championships. But will he carry his weight in the company? Only major pushes can decided these things. So he's going to get his chance. Personally, I'd like nothing better than for Lashley to be everything Batista, Lesnar, and Scott Steiner weren't allowed to be or weren't capable of being. But, unfortunately, no matter how much you might cheer for somebody, whether it be Lashley, Reagal, Nunzio, or anybody else, you can't make them GREAT. Nobody gave Angle 13 championships and called him the greatest of all time. He did it in the ring. And that's the best thing about wrestling: eventually, it boils down to the performance.
Zac and Oska Duggan wrote:
I Think that bobby is a fantastic perfomer & entertainer. it would be good to have him as a champion, US,World,Tag, it doesn't matter. lashley is like tazz says :The Real Deal.
Guy Rugged wrote:
Let me first start by saying, as always, that everyone has their own personal views, and I respect what has been said so far, here are my thoughts on Bobby Lashley.

I agree with Curtis McLean's comments above, that it is sad that a promising talent like Paul Birchill is being lined up as the sacrificial lamb to Bobby Lashley. I can only hope that Paul is allowed at least one match where he can show off the incredible skills that made him famous in Europe, as I don't see him staying in the WWE for long if they only want him as cannon fodder. I also agree that Lashley beating Birchill AND Regal was nothing short of stupid and takes us back to the days of the Ultimate Warrior, how can the WWE put Regal into an awesome match one minute (against Benoit which was OWW runner up match of the year) and then have both him and Birchill squashed the next? who thinks these things up? they need sacking.

Chris Jo makes some good points, the WWE is a business, not a real sport, but I don't agree with him that Lashley has Superstar quality. Also, I agree with Chris Jo when he says that the WWE has to make "Rocks and Stone Colds", these were the last two truly great WWE superstars, but don't agree when he says "Batista and Cena", these two are interim champs, they both have some charisma but little real skill. Bobby Lashley is a good mid carder, but not championship material. Not yet anyway.
Curtis McLean wrote:
If it all comes down to performance, why are the top guys Batista, Cena and Orton? Because Vince chose them to be, it seems inevitable that Lashley will be big, but there is no reason he should be in that spot over 75% of the roster. Vince has the power to chose who the top guy is and who the fans cheer for, if Lashley were to come out and lose his first few match would people care about him? If he was to start on Velocity and work his way up would be be the Real Deal? No he wouldn't, the biggest flaw in the WWE is the misdirection, they choose who to push and used the mid carders as fodder, people like Nunzio, London, Kendrick, Regal, Richards and countless others are just there to make Vince's walking wet dreams look good because he can destroy them in record time and in record numbers. When Lashley actually wrestles a match I will give a more detailed opinion, since he's been around for months and has yet to have an actual match I can't really say much about him other then the fact that he is is roided up and has a weak moveset. He has shown no emotion, no selling ability, no connection with the crowd, nothing, he just goes out, beats people up and leaves. Go watch a Paul London match from RoH, then one of Lashley's actual wrestling matches and tell me who deserves a push.
Peter MacLeod wrote:
I can not believe you guys!!!! you guys are saying that this guy is going to be out of WWE. Well i think you are wrong!!! I might be sort of late answering this colum because its may. but, bobby lashley is not a big slow lug that can not move in the ring. I saw the show in kelowna when he went against finlay, i got more thrilled in that match than all the others combined. Curtis McLean, you can not take a power house and compare him to a guy like Paul London. That is like getting a guy like the big show and saying he sucks because he can't do a west coast pop!!! When i saw Lashley in Kelowna, he made it look like he was really over powering finlay, and when he hit the spear so quick and hard. I was on my feet. I dont know which wrestling match you are talking about but for god's sake, OPEN YOU'RE EYES!!!
Jason Lock wrote:
Lashley is going to be the next greatest WWE Superstar. He's got everything going for him. Some of you are saying that Lashley is just another powerhouse juggernaut that can't move on his feet. That statement is completely false. Yes, Lashley is a powerhouse juggernaut with the ability to hit even Kane with a Dominator (Royal Rumble 2006). If you watch his matches he also ups the ante with the speed of even Rey Mysterio. If any of you saw the blowout match in which Lashley won the US Championship, after being thrown to the ropes and having split seconds to react, he dodged JBL's Clothesline from health and quickly countered with a gigantic spear. The spear in itself is a move that requires quickness and sped that other large superstars like Mark Henry and Big Show only wish they could execute. I think the main reason that Lashley is not Heavy Weight Champion now is because when big matches occur, Bobby gets screwed with the ref's back turned. Examples are Now Way Out vs. JBL, Money in the Bank qualification match vs. Finlay, and the King of the Ring Final at Judgement Day vs. Booker T.
wrote:

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