After WWE Title win, Bobby Lashley is ready for Brock Lesnar, calls Randy Orton the GOAT
By Ryan Satin
FOX Sports WWE Analyst
After winning the WWE Championship this week on Raw, Bobby Lashley says he’s focused on one thing – creating a legacy.
Lashley’s title legacy began Monday night following a win over The Miz in the main event of Raw to become the third Black champion in WWE history, behind The Rock and Kofi Kingston.
"I’m on cloud nine right now. This is probably one of the greatest achievements in my athletic career," the 44-year-old WWE Superstar told me via Zoom just hours after becoming champion.
"The one thing that is more important than anything for me, it’s more than money, it’s that legacy. I was able to etch my name into the history of professional wrestling that only a few people can say that they actually have. Then, when you look at the lineage of people that have held that title, to put my name amongst those guys … I can’t even articulate what that means to me."
"This is huge, because being the WWE Champion, they expect a lot out of you," he continued. "You gotta carry the show. You got a lot of things to go through. You gotta put on some of the best matches. You gotta do the things that a lot of the other guys aren’t doing."
"Before I came back on this last run, I told them, ‘I want all of that. Because that’s what I came back for. I’m coming back for that WWE Championship and I’m not stopping until I get it. Then, when I do get it, I’m ready to build a legacy.’ I wanted Bobby Lashley’s time, ‘The Almighty’ Lashley’s time, with that title to mean something, and mean something big. That’s what I want to make happen."
One person who played a pivotal role in helping Lashley make that happen was his on-screen manager MVP, who returned to WWE last year. The Executive Vice President of Talent Acquisitions and Managing Partner of The Hurt Business not only enhanced Bobby on-screen as a mouthpiece, but behind the scenes as well by pushing him to achieve greatness.
"[MVP] was a big driving force," said Bobby. "It was good to have somebody that’s right by your side. Because I always say there’s that little voice in your head that’s saying, ‘Go, go, go’ … but there’s also that little voice in your head that says, ‘You can’t do it.’ We all have it."
"MVP’s voice was louder than that voice. MVP was like, ‘Don’t listen to him. You should be the champion! If you don’t believe that you should be the champion, then I can go somewhere else and find somebody else, but I’m telling you it is your time!’ He’s been just harping on me," he added. "Sometimes you need that person! And MVP is that guy for me. He’s a friend."
"It’s one of those people that after the match, you have all those people who say ‘great match, great match, great match,’ and I turn to him and Shelton, and I say ‘talk to me.’ Then we really talk dirt. He’ll say, ‘Well, you know, it was a good match, but this is where you need to tighten up.’ And that stuff’s important. Those are the people that I need on my side. I don’t need a bunch of yes people. I need a bunch of people that can give it to me straight."
Bobby admits, though, that this was something he was lacking when he first returned to the company in 2018. It had taken him ten years to get back and the former (WWE)ECW Champion didn’t want to rock the boat by going against the grain. Over the past year, however, and more specifically the last few months, the former United States champion says the right mindset finally began to click for him while being paired with MVP.
WWE Hall of Famer Booker T also pushed him to make a change with a comment he made about "The Almighty" on a WWE pre-show.
"Booker came on and said it one time on one of the pre-shows, he was like, ‘Man, you should be main eventing. I don’t know what you’re doing right now, but I don’t know why they don’t have Bobby main eventing WrestleMania.’ Booker said that. To me, that meant the world, because I have so much respect for Booker," he explained. "I have so much respect for a lot of the guys that I came up and first worked with, like JBL and Booker, some of those guys, so I’ve been hearing some really good word from some of those guys and those words really resonated in me and let me realize to stop just having fun."
"You’re not here to have fun. Vince doesn’t want you here to have fun. Vince wants to get in an argument with you because you’re fighting for something that you want. Vince wants you to step out of the box and do something bigger. Vince wants you to want WrestleMania so much that the crowd forces them to give you that title. And I think I started to get into that point this last year, several months definitely. I’ve been mean, man. I’ve been mean. I go out there with a vengeance and there’s a whole lot of confidence running through me."
"When I was able to go through that curtain [after winning the WWE Championship] and give Vince a hug, he grabbed me and he held me for a while and was like, ‘Man, I’m proud of you.’"
Now, with WrestleMania on the horizon, Bobby has a few potential opponents in mind – the first being former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, who held the title before Miz and Lashley cheated him out of it at Elimination Chamber with the Money in the Bank contract.
"Drew, definitely. Drew has been one of the most dominant WWE Champions in history. In history. He’s definitely a force to be reckoned with, and to have a match against Drew would be just incredible," he said. "Because, right now, Drew is unstoppable. ‘The Chosen One.’ But the only man that can stop Drew [points to self]. The betting odds are gonna go crazy on that one. Me against Drew. What’s the over/under. Who wins that? Who’s the favorite? And if you say him, you’re wrong!"
Lashley is also still interested in the potential dream match of facing off against Brock Lesnar on "The Grandest Stage of Them All," which he believes is finally more possible than ever now.
"Another person, ‘The Beast.’ Where is he? Is he trapped in the woods somewhere? Is he hiding? Is he ready for his big return? Like, where you at, bro? Everybody knows. You know. I know. Drew knows. Everybody knows that when Brock comes back, there’s gonna be a lot to answer to, and I welcome it," he boldly stated. "Before, it was one of those things where everybody said they wanted to see that match, and that match was probably not ever gonna come. Didn’t have anything that he wanted. But I do now. So it’s different. We’ll see. We’ll see if ‘The Beast’ comes back out to play."
Lashley additionally talked up the potential of matchups against The Fiend and Randy Orton, who he called "probably the greatest wrestler in the history of wrestling," and all of the young talent looking for opportunities like Ricochet, Ali, Drew Gulak and Elias.
While Lashley’s future title challengers may still be unclear, one thing that’s for certain is whoever he wrestles next should prepare themselves for a battle against a man determined to hold onto his belt at all costs.
Watch Bobby Lashley every week on Monday Night Raw LIVE on USA Network at 8pm Eastern.