Former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley has recalled experiencing paranoia and PTSD after being in the line of a bank robbery.
Prior to his recent injury, Bobby Lashley was presented as one of the top stars on WWE’s Raw brand, being a former two-time WWE Champion and member of the much-beloved Hurt Business faction. Before he found fame in Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment giant, however, Lashley was an accomplished amateur wrestler.
While training for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Lashley found himself in a bank when a robbery took place. Upon diving to the ground for cover, ‘The Almighty’ suffered a career-ending knee injury that prevented him from accomplishing his Olympic dream. Miraculously, though, this led Bobby Lashley to begin his professional wrestling career.
“So it was the year before the Olympic trials and I just went to this bank, and these guys came in shooting it up. I was standing in line when they kicked the door down. A guy takes a shot right over my shoulder – I don’t know if he shot on purpose – and I took a dive down to the ground. And down there, I was just praying, like, ‘It isn’t supposed to end like this’. You know, it was a big thought that was in my head at that time. I tore my knee up pretty bad when I dived down to the ground.
WWE was calling me, this is six months after we had talked initially, out of the blue, saying, ‘Hey, we’d like to bring you here’. And I had a straight leg cast on and I was just hoping that I could make it. After it had happened, I was back walking and I was driving, but everywhere I was going I’d get a little paranoid and I was looking around seeing if there were people there and where the exits were and stuff like that. Because I had a little bit of that PTSD. And then I just told myself, I said, ‘I’m not living like this at all’.
So with that, with that deal, I accepted everything. And I just ran with it. Nothing gets me in a bad mood, nothing. I don’t care what I’m doing if I’m in the WWE and I’m travelling around the world performing in front of people, man, I’m living my best life.o you know, when you have an opportunity or have something like that, that almost takes everything away from you, you take things in perspective. And right now, I’m on cloud nine all the time. I love what I do and I love everything about it.”
Bobby Lashley would ultimately make his televised WWE debut on the 23 September 2005 broadcast of SmackDown, where he was introduced as a three-time National Amateur Wrestling Champion, a four-time All American, a two-time Armed Forces Champion, and a silver medalist in the 2002 Military World Championships. Needless to say, he decimated Simon Dean.
Lashley found success in his first stint as an ECW World Champion and a United States Champion. After two runs in IMPACT Wrestling and a 15-2 MMA career, Bobby Lashley returned to WWE in April 2018, winning two WWE Championships and two Intercontinental Championships. He remains a Tag Team Championship away from being a Grand Slam Champion in WWE.