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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Bobby Lashley: Please, Not Another Goldberg
November 22, 2005 by Scott S.


In recent weeks, I've watched a chiselled monster storm the Smackdown! ring and make quick work of anyone and everyone he faces. His name: Bobby Lashley. I'll be the first to admit that on pure appearance alone, the man is impressive, and I'm always optimistic when a new wrestler with star potential strings together several victories. My only hope, for Mr. Lashley's sake and for the sake of the industry, is that Bobby's career isn't just another case of all muscle, no substance.

Bobby's matches have mainly consisted of him taking on b-grade talent and destroying them in a matter of minutes. Granted, this is really not much different than anyone else coming up through the ranks, but Bobby's recent matches with Vito, Nunzio, and Simon Dean (among others) are eerily reminiscent of matches in the late nineties between Goldberg and various members of the Flock: physical dominance from the second the bell rings, little (if any) selling of opponents' moves, and quick matches to "enhance" the victor's prowess--not to mention little to zero time on the mic.

This is all well and good, but it's now time for Bobby to step up to the plate. His match against Orlando Jordan, for a spot on the Smackdown! Surivivor Series team, was certainly a step in the right direction. However, (with all due respect) Jordan hasn't been the same since dropping the U.S. title at SummerSlam. I have a gut feeling that Jordan was chosen for this match because he's the biggest name the WWE could put in the ring with Lashley without making it look like an obvious "job." I could be wrong (and to some extent, I hope I am), but Lashley's victory over Jordan just doesn't sit well with me.

Bobby's involvement in the Raw vs. Smackdown! elimination match at Survivor Series will be a great indication as to where this young man's career is heading. I pray that the WWE does not build this man into an immortal too quickly just to appease the marks in the crowd (i.e. Goldberg), because the wrestling business could use a powerful new superstar (if Lashley is the real deal, imagine what his matches against Randy Orton, the Undertaker, or Batista could be like...just to name a few). Giving Lashley at least a small amount of wrestling mortality is necessary if he's to become the star he has the potential to be. I only hope he's not another case of a star shining so brightly, so quickly, that he ends up being a flash in the pan.

by Scott S. ..


Rich L. wrote:
I hear what you're saying. Keep in mind that Lashley attended Missouri Valley College and won 3 national championships 96-98 and placed 4th in 95, a fact I stole from his OWW profile :) In comparison, Goldberg's wrestling background was not quite as strong, to say the least. Yes it is true that WWE has a history of misusing talent, lets hope this is not the case. And that Lashley can pass the new WWE drug screening. Seriously, look at the guy!
Kristian Hooker wrote:
You know who he reminds me of" Ahmed Johnson. I happen to remember back in his day Ahmed was this big, bulk african american guy who plowed his way through the WWE scene and was enjoying the beginning of his rise with the Intercontinental Title. And proving Lashely can avoid the injuries all the time, unlike Ahmed, I think Lashley has the real potential to be the next great big African American superstar. I actually see real potential in him being WWE's first African American WWE World Champion, providing he's got talent on the mic and, like I said, he can avoid those injuries.
Richard wrote:
The only thing I liked about Goldberg was his entrance music. Bobby Lashley has absolutely zero charisma. He is so massive he "CAN'T" SELL AN OPPONENT'S MOVE EVEN IF HE WANTED TO. It is completely unbelieveable that a 175 pound Nunzio can even tickle much less hurt someone as massive as Lashley. That is why his matches are such one-sided dominance in his favor. First, if Bobby Lashley is his real name, he should drop it. Second, a mask from the beginning might have helped, but one never knows.

Anyway, although an impressive physical specimen, there is no other attraction to him. I think what will help him is to be put into the high stakes matches such as Survivor Series and other main event matches. What would really put him over the type if is he was trained to mat wrestle like you guessed it - "Kurt Angle".
XTA wrote:
Smackdown's thin roster provides opportunities for new talent to shine and become major draws on the card. But WWE will HAVE to create new stars in a hurry, especially after Eddie's passing, Christian leaving and Batista about to take time off to heal.

This is not to say that Lashley isn't as untalented as Goldberg; it's more of an indictment on WWE royally mismanaging a show.

And then there's the situation of how they will tweak Lashley's gimmick once he's beaten the Smackdown B-team. Are they going to give him a stereotypical gimmick based on the color of his skin"
Stevetherambler wrote:
I think Bobby Lashley is a bright young star, and if, and this is a big hypothetical, but if WWE can use him well he'll be a top card guy for many years to come. I had the pleasure to see him compete in a dark match before RAW, in which he barely pulled out the victory from Trevor Rhodes*, who was being billed as the hometown hero**. If WWE pushes him right, I cant say I'd be shocked to see Lashley win a title at WrestleMania XXIII. ** Trevor Rhodes is now known as Trevor Murdoch, a one time RAW tag team Champion ** The town that night was Saint Luis, MO
Jesse Lee wrote:
I think Lashley has great chances of becoming a major star. Not everyone needs charisma in order to become a success in their first few years in their WWE television debut. Give Lashley time to adjust and find himself. Remember Maven, Rock, JBL, Benoit, Malenko, and Randy Orton" They were all pretty bland at first. JBL (not Bradshaw, the JBL character) can only brawl, so he makes up his lack of technique for his mic skills. Orton at first was just another guy in shorts and short hair. Maven had a tough time to get noticed until his heel turn and even then I say they screwed up with him. Not many liked Rock at first until he was given the chance to use his personality. Benoit and Malenko had (still may have) a lack of character so they make it up in wrestling technique.

The point I'm trying to get is that Lashley's still fresh in his career, he has time to adjust himself to a better performer. He may not be able to be the greatest seller, but could it be possible that could become an actual destruction machine" Give him squash matches and decent storylines with midcarders for a while before seeing him in a run for the U.S. A slow build up for Lashley could work, especially if they wait for a while longer until he speaks on the mic. Reminds me of a mix of Monty Brown, Shelton (with wrestling experience) and Ahmed Johnson... I'd be willing to chear for his a first full-blooded african-american WWE World Heavyweight Champion. (Rocky was half samoan, Farooq and Booker were WCW World Champion, not WWE... at this point in time, being WCW champion is just like being the greatest bullfighter in Alaska.)
Jon F wrote:
They aren't trying to make him Goldberg, they're trying to make him Brock Lesnar.
John cardiel wrote:
So,bobby Lashley..he seems to have potential but if WWE Doesnt watch it he'll become just another big bodied wrestler with no depth.hence heindreich,and before there was matt morgan and Nathan Jones.But for right now they seem to be going well with Mid-card matches i guess..maybe a move to RAW might help him..and squash matches are going to do more damage to his character in the long wrong i believe because when he moves to fight the cena's and angle's or batistas everyone might discredit him because he might not have the affect he did on Squash matches....i mean everyone would've thought batista vs chris benoit wouldve been a squash match depending on height and size but instead they had a great match and made batista more believable as a wrestler..he then when on to qualify to the elimination chamber. So i Hope they do it right with Lashley like they've done with batista!.Good Luck Bobby Lashley!.
Bruce flieger wrote:
you know you people really piss me off. All you ever do is criticize WWE creators/management. First off we need people like Goldberg to fulfill the role of the big mean tough guy. People like Hiedenrich and Nathan Jones had very little talent. Bobby Lashley speaks for him self. he's an amateur wrestler. So was Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle and Shelton Benjarmin. Hell even Scott Steiner was. (however Steiner was only good till he got into steroids but thats a different story.) You never criticize Kurt Angle's skills or did you forget he was undefeated for while to" Did you ever criticize Brock" No. You people don't give any one time to prove them selves. Lashley hasn't been around long and you already are comparing him to Goldberg and everyone. Why in god's name should he not use his real name" It gives him more he can do and it is easier do develop a person using there real name. Do you honestly thing Cena would have lasted as The Prototype" Come on how much more of a rip off from Lex Luger can you get" He even has pretty much the same build as him. Do you thing Batista would have survived as Leviathan" What kind of gimmick is that" The fans would have dismissed him faster than they did Mordaceai or Kenzio Suzuki. No, I think what WWE creative is doing with Lashley is good. They have to bring him in slow so they can Tweak problems he has such as selling and speaking. But look at how slow they brought Batista in for god's sake. He was around since 2002 or 2001 and he only got like 3 title shots before he won The Word Heavyweight Title in 2005. It took him 3 years and i bet you hardly even noticed him before Evolution. Just give Lashley sometime. you people are to demanding you want a star now, you want him to prove him self now. Just give it time and he will. If anything give him a manager to talk for him while he gets better. They did it with Brock.
Steve Lott wrote:
I am so sick of the Goldberg bashing that takes place on these forums. How many of you sat and cheered goldberg In his WCW days " Probably 98% of the readers of these forums and fans (not forgetting Scott .S") of pro wrestling were enthralled and sat at the edge of your seats waiting to see "Who's Next" I think all of you Goldberg Bashers need a reality check. He will go down as the fastest rising wrestling star in history. he did so many impressive things like GIVING THE JACKHAMMER TO THE GIANT, A 500 LB MAN,as well as Reese ,Winning the WCW title against WHO """ Hogan thats who, and you only beat Hogan if he agrees to lose.

what is wrong with you. Bill Goldberg was the most exciting wrestler to show up on the scene in the last 20 years. I admit that vince watered him down in the WWE, took away his edge ( no pun intended) Not to mention Vinny really messed up the Goldberg VS Lesnar feud, which should have been billed the biggest match since Andre and Hogan.Lets remember that in WCW he carried the company through the monday night wars, If Bobby Lashley can come in and be another goldberg then lets go with that. im a lashley fan, and from what i have seen so far this guys got it, and remember, Goldberg dident need the mic skills to get over with fans. Its rare to find an athlete in wrestling today that goes as far as goldberg did without saying a word

So lets get off Goldberg
Michael Scott Stone wrote:
Goldberg was a great star with a lot of potential and I'll admit that his career was mismanaged. But let's not pump him up too much. I have a hard time calling someone who disappears every few years the most exciting superstar in the last 20 years. (I would argue that it's the Big Show: Andre the Giant's size, with exponentially greater agility, and a ton of charisma). Goldberg's in the same league as Sid Vicious and the Ultimate Warrior...someone who could've been a an immortal legend had they put a little more effort into the business or if their careers were handled a little differently. The same could probably be said of Brock Lesnar, but he's more a victim of his own horrible career decision. (I love pro wrestling, but any wrestler who thinks they can make it in the NFL is kidding themselves.) I believe Bobby Lashley has similar potential and just pray that his career isn't mismanaged in the same way. On a side note...you can believe that Goldberg carried WCW if you want. But it's the NWO that took WCW to the top, and the NWO angle going stale that started WCW on its downward spiral. Goldberg certainly helped the company, but without the NWO, the WCW may have folded a year or two sooner. I'll also admit that Goldberg jackhammering the Big Show was certainly impressive. I also feel it speaks alot aboutthe Big Show's agility...let's not kid ourselves into thinking that Goldberg could lift that man without a LOT of help. And another response mentions that I want Lashley to be a star now, when my column clearly states...and I quote: "I only hope he's not another case of a star shining so brightly, so quickly, that he ends up being a flash in the pan." I'm not so much bashing Goldberg as a wrestler, as I am bashing the way he was developed and the direction his career took. If you WANT me to bash Goldberg...we can discuss his ability--or lack thereof--as a professional football player. :)
Steven Richardson wrote:
Bobby Lashley more like a Brock Lesnar then Bill Goldberg and like other people said Goldberg , Lesnar and Lashley become great characters for Wrestling.

For Example Bobby Lashley vs Big Show and if he did The Dominator on him he'll be in history It would be Hulk Hogen Slaming Andre the Giant all over again and it could Atract more people to Wrestling.
Dan Kincaid wrote:
So I thought this would be to good not to let you know. I was reading the article comparing Bobby Lashley to Bill Goldberg during the tag match featuring Bobby Lashley and Chris Beniot against Fit Finley and Orlando Jordan. Jordan of course mentioned in the article as the biggest name the WWE could throw at Lashley without making it an obvious "job". Something I found interesting though was that when I had finished reading the article, I saw a replay from the match, a replay of Lashley spearing Jordan...the timing was just to perfect. I mean how often do you hear about an issue and immediately see this evidenced through actions.
Karim G. wrote:
I've read the articles and as a major fan of WWF/E - I want to set a few thing straight. First off, is that Bobby Lashley is NO Goldberg. He doesn't shout or scream at the top of his lungs like some of the 'New Breed' do and I am using that term very loosely. Second, is that - as the Rock would say - what in the blue hell are doing comparing Lashley to Goldberg in the first place?? Goldberg took time to assemble his reputation much like Rock, Stone Cold and Kurt Angle did. The problem now is that the WWE has so many people getting injured that it's looking to speed up the process of creating a true wrestling superstar. JBL, Undertaker, Flair, HBK, Triple H all paid their dues and learned the hard way. That superstars are not created or bred in some laboratory - they are forged in the heat of battle and their endeavors. Bobby was the first man to beat Umaga but no credit is given for that. And at least unlike people like John Cena with whom you always know exactly what the next move coming is, Bobby Lashley is quiet, unpredictable and in a glaring difference from loudmouths like Carlito and Kennedy; he doesn't waste time or words when he is talking and lets his actions speak louder than any words that could come from his mouth. Mark my words; whether he's on Raw or Smackdown - superstars are going to have to be on notice that the Dominator is coming for a title shot. By that time, his career will more than have matured. I don't noticed anyone bashing Kane whose had plenty of charisma but who has as of late been defeated by Finlay, Khali, Mark Henry, Umaga and Batista. If you want to criticize the WWE for anything, criticize them for allowing a guy with limited charisma, more than adequate physical prowess for being allowed to win over legends like Undertaker and Kane.
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