Bobby Lashley had his fair share of success during his first run in WWE. After debuting with the company in 2005, he became both United States Champion and ECW Champion, and he was also selected to represent future President of the United States in the Battle of the Billionaires at WrestleMania 23, defeating Umaga to force then-WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to shave his head.
However, following a six-month hiatus due to injury in 2008, Lashley was released from his WWE contract. While there have long been rumors that he may have left due to pay issues, Bobby Lashley disputed those rumors in a recent video posted by RainmakerNYC.
“No, that’s 100 percent not true. I was making a tremendous amount of money then.” (h/t WrestlingInc)
Continuing, Bobby Lashley explained that leaving WWE allowed him to pursue other ventures outside of sports entertainment, leading to an MMA career that saw him go 15-2, with 12 of those wins coming via knockout or submission.
“It was an opportunity for me to go fight and legitimize my character a little bit. So I fought for eight years under [Scott] Coker and Bellator and Strikeforce and everything else, and now coming back … I take all that with me to kinda legitimize my character a little bit.”
Bobby Lashley Is Scheduled To Face Brock Lesnar At WWE Crown Jewel
Following his return to WWE in 2018, Bobby Lashley’s star continued to rise, and he added both the Intercontinental Championship and WWE Championship to his list of accomplishments.
Lashley walked into the October 10th season premiere of WWE Raw as United States Champion, having captured the title from Austin Theory at Money in the Bank. However, both Lashley and the wrestling world were shocked when Brock Lesnar made his surprise return to the company for the first time since losing to Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, laying waste to Bobby Lashley with multiple F5’s before locking in a Kimura.
While the damage done to Lashley’s arm was extensive, Seth Rollins goaded him into going through with their scheduled United States Championship match. Despite Lashley’s powerful strength, the arm was too injured to properly apply the Hurt Lock, and he lost his championship after falling victim to multiple Stomps from Rollins.
The next week, Lashley opened Raw by calling out Lesnar, and the two had an incredibly hard-hitting brawl in the Oklahoma City arena. It was announced later in the show that they will go one on one at WWE Crown Jewel, marking Brock Lesnar’s first feud that isn’t related to a title since fighting Randy Orton in 2016.