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Wrestling / Bobby Lashley

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The All Mighty.
The Dominator.
Walking Armageddon.
Franklin Roberto "Bobby" Lashley (born July 16, 1976) is an American Professional Wrestler, mixed martial artist, manager, fight promoter and health food salesman best known for his time in WWE, with his first stint going from 2005-2008 and his second beginning in 2018. Already a four time All American, Kansas State Champion, Three Time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Champion, three time free style silver medalist and one time gold medalist, he was also named Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Rookie of the Year.

His professional wrestling started in WWE's developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling, which included a run as a Heel as "Blaster Lashley" as a member of Bolin Services. He made his surprise WWE TV debut on the September 23 (taped September 20), 2005 WWE SmackDown! in response to Simon Dean's open challenge. Across his two WWE runs, he is a two-time ECW Champion, a two-time Intercontinental Champion, a three-time United States Champion, and a two-time WWE Champion. On March 1, 2021, he defeated The Miz for the WWE Title. Meanwhile, in TNA, he is a 4-time World Heavyweight Champion, as well as a former X-Division Champion and the final King of the Mountain Champion. As a mixed martial artist, he has won the Xtreme Fight Night Heavyweight Championship and Shark Fights Heavyweight Championship. In September 7, 2021, Pro Wrestling Illustrated declared him the third best wrestler of the year, behind Kenny Omega and Roman Reigns.

Bobby Lashley has also has competed for Strikeforce, Titan Fighting Championship, members of the NWA, AAA, Juggalo Championship Wrestling, India's Super Fight League, the Inoki Genome Federation, Bellator Fighting Championships and various other independent Pro Wrestling Promotions and Mixed Martial Arts organizations.

"The Trope Business":

  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: The only time he ever ate a pin during his first TNA run was losing to Scott Steiner at Turning Point 2009 after being hit with a "steel pipe". He beat Steiner a month later at Final Resolution by returning the favor.
  • The Ace: In WWE's ECW. He didn't even lose the ECW title in his second reign — he was forced to vacate it because he got drafted to Raw. Since he was never beaten for it, this technically makes him the strongest wrestler in WWECW's brief history. Even how he lost it the first time was full of shenanigans that didn't make it a clean loss.note  This is also one of the reasons why he and CM Punk (his successor as The Ace of the brand) were largely kept apart from each other despite being on ECW's roster at the same time for several months and Punk being booked to be the best wrestler on ECW after Lashley (complete with a six-month undefeated streak), which should've made him a natural choice for number one contender — the bookers didn't want either of them to damage each other's credibility because they knew Lashley wasn't going to be on ECW for long.
  • Action Dad: Part of Goldberg's reason for not relenting on his desire to destroy Lashley for putting his son in a Hurt Lock at the 2021 SummerSlam even knowing that Gage had attacked Lashley first was that Lashley, being a father himself, should know better than to think he could let it slide.
  • All for Nothing: Despite winning the ECW World Heavyweight Championship from Vince McMahon at One Night Stand 2007, he was later stripped of it by orders of Mr. McMahon after he was drafted to Raw the following week.
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Bald of Evil: He's bald and does a Face–Heel Turn by injuring Kevin Owens' bad knee on Raw, and trying to break it using the ring posts. The crowd was not pleased.
  • Bald Head of Toughness: Lashley has been bald as an egg for the majority of his life, and his resumé alone - professional wrestling, championship-level collegiate wrestling, military service, and MMA - tells a person all they need to know about how much of an unstoppable machine he is in and out of character.
  • Batman Gambit: With the help of his manager MVP, Lashley struck a deal with The Miz back at Elimination Chamber 2021 to help him beat Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship using the Money in the Bank contract. Bobby then immediately got dibs on the belt in spite of Miz's incessant stalling, ultimately defeating The Miz and winning the title eight days later on Raw. It was clear from the start that Lashley and MVP saw it much easier for Bobby to take out a weakened champion after the Elimination Chamber match and let Miz cash in and steal the title so that The All Mighty could cut in line and defeat a paper champion, than to become #1 contender and go at McIntyre or any other competent titleholder directly in order to win the championship. In hindsight, this also had the bonus of removing a potential cashing in of Miz's MITB briefcase by having him cash in on the previous champ beforehand.
  • Bash Brothers: Miss Blue and Mike Mondo in OVW. Batista and Rey Mysterio Jr. on Smackdown. Boogeyman in the Alabama Wrestling Federation.
  • Bathos: In OVW, his assertive stance to Bolin Services that he could speak for himself while any given one of them, usually Kenny, talked about how badly Blaster Lashley was going to beat someone. While it was all true, he usually did beat someone and was very capable of speaking, they had a good reason to insist on being his mouthpieces.
  • Berserk Button: Mike Cook wearing a Rey Mysterio mask as his entrance attire on his way to fight Bobby Lashley. It has been said people do not fight as well when angry but it did not work out for Cook that time, because Lashley won in 30 seconds.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Lashley big guy and Lio Rush little guy.
  • Book Ends: Lashley's WWE Championship reign began with him underhandedly installing The Miz as a barely-legitimate transitional champion via a Money in the Bank cash-in on Drew McIntyre. About six months later, it ended at the hands of Big E. Langston and his own MITB briefcase.
  • The Cameo: In a movie, The Way of War, and a music video of Nightmare by Kasland
  • Celebrity Endorsement: For Nutrabolics in Canada.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower
    • He's hit the Dominator on The Big Show and on Viscera. During a locker room fight with Finlay that spilled out of the arena, he attempted to crush the Irishman by flipping a car over on him. (Finlay moved, obviously, but still.) His response to being taunted by Umaga's manager outside of a steel cage was to knock down the wall of the cage on Umaga by doing a senton bomb on it. (He hurt himself there, but still.) He is also the first (and officially only) person to beat the Master Lock challenge (John Cena also did it at a live event).
    • His second run with WWE proved he still has it when, during a Christmas-themed street fight with Elias, he got thrown off the top rope onto a pile of LEGOs. If that's not a testament to Lashley's toughness, it's hard to find anything that is.
  • Composite Character: His "All Mighty WWE Champion" stint in 2021 run evokes elements of both his 2014 and 2016-17 heel runs as the TNA/Impact World Heavyweight Champion. He has MVP as his business manager, strategist, and primary spokesman, and had additional black backup in the beginning just as he did early in his TNA return. However, the mere fact that he's had years to come into his own in the promotion, leading to the clear directive that Lashley IS the intended leading heel champion of his brand and not a mere backup plan, in addition to his ability to speak and deliver on loud, boisterous, short-burst promos, all makes for a far closer parallel to his later dominance of Impact Wrestling.
  • Crossover: Fought in Bellator while he was TNA's World Heavyweight Champion because Spike TV wanted TNA to add more mixed martial arts to its programing.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: Actually defeating Roman Reigns at Extreme Rules 2018. And doing so by countering Roman's spear with another spear, no less!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Lashley repaid The Miz's attempts to cheat him out of a WWE championship opportunity by absolutely vaporizing him and taking the title by force. What little offense Miz managed only seemed to make him angrier, if anything.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In late summer 2018, he started employing lots of deadpan sarcasm, especially in response to Baron Corbin's abuse of power as Acting GM of Raw.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Going into FFI Ultimate Chaos, Lashley claimed he was going to stand and out box Bob Sapp. "Fight" came and the first thing Lashley did was perform a single leg take down, the crowd booed.
  • Dissonant Serenity: As explained by Victoria Times Columnist Adrian Chamberlain
    His trademark move, however, is the Dominator. The victim is hoisted on Lashley's stump-sized shoulders, facing heavenwards. Then he flips the poor sap over so he hits the ring face-down. Ouch. "There's no real way to protect yourself on that one but to take it. Eat the mat," Lashley explains helpfully. To tell the truth, I wish Blaster wouldn't say stuff like that. He's a terrific fellow and all, but he's partial to unnerving utterances.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Since Lashley could already do legit body slams, he did not realize there was a cooperative version used for worked matches and continued to do the lift legitimately while trying to hold back on the slam itself. The first time an "opponent", or rather interfering manager, tried to "assist" Lashley, Lashley put him in the hospital since Blaster was used to putting so much more force into the move.
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way: As he put it to The Miz on February 22, 2021:
    Lashley: Okay, listen. We made a deal! You have one hour to come to your senses and give me what I want. And if you make a bad decision, you will be starring in a new reality show called How Lashley Sent Me To the Emergency Room. One way or another, I'm gonna beat the life out of you and take that WWE Championship. And it's gonna be painful, merciless, and awesome!
    • Miz chose to cower out and stall for time, while Braun Strowman picked that moment to demand a title opportunity, resulting in a match being booked the following week and Lashley having to beat Strowman to keep The Monster Among Men out of it. Lashley defeated Strowman to his own surprise, intercepted Miz's post-match run-in to beat him down for his troubles. March 1 saw Miz trying to worm his way out of the match via such tactics as trying to make a deal with Drew McIntyre to screw Lashley, pretending to have stomach cramps backstage, literally taking the title and running away as soon as the bell rang, questioning what kind of champion Lashley would be, then trying to cut and run again at the end of the night—before Shane McMahon finally shut him down by turning it into a Lumberjack Match. Cue one contender for the most merciless Curb-Stomp Battle in The New Twenties WWE. Miz chose the hard way, Lashley kept his word. And most agree that it was indeed awesome.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • In TNA his turn came about when he asked to be released from the company. This was because his wife Krystal had been attacked multiple times by Scott Steiner. Lashley said it was so he could focus on his MMA career, but in prior weeks, Krystal had stated she preferred attending Bobby's MMA matches because no one ever assaulted her during those. This evidently did not get enough of a negative response because he soon resorted to randomly attacking people to get his release.
    • He did it in WWE after mercilessly attacking the already injured knee of Kevin Owens, much to the boos of the crowd. This act also served as a Face/Heel Double-Turn that solidified when Owens finally returned from injury as a face-leaning tweener.
  • Face Your Fears: Fear of a freakishly athletic worm eating body builder who fights with shards of glass embedded in his head is a perfectly understandable fear for a professional wrestler, but Lashley overcoming the fear of the Boogeyman haunting his gym worked out well for both of them, as it lead to a successful Tag Team.
  • Faint in Shock: Out of fear when confronted by Boogeyman.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: During the battle royal to determine the first World Wrestling League heavyweight champion, Bobby Lashley eliminated Hércules Gómez by poking him in the back while Gómez was celebrating on the apron after eliminating Colt Cabana. Thankfully, that wasn't the end of the match.
  • Finishing Move: Alternatively The Dominator or Forgetaboutit, the spear after he got complaints about hurting people's shoulders with the moves. He added a Dragon Sleeper in TNA.
    • After Lana starts managing him, Lashley added the Full Nelson in his finisher list, as a Continuity Nod of him winning the Master Lock challenge in his first WWE run. He continued using the Full Nelson after he ditches Lana in favor of an association with MVP, renaming it the "Full Lashley" and then the "Hurt Lock" as The Hurt Business membership grows.
  • Force Feeding: Wrestling infomercial salesman health nut Simon Dean vowed to lower himself to eating a plate full of hamburgers if he lost to Bobby Lashley again, which he did. Bobby made sure he ate at least one of them by forcing it in his mouth after the match.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: When he did a job for AAA's La Legion Extranjera.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • A gradual one in OVW, as he steadily refused to help his Bolin Services teammates (especially Ken Doane) win matches, since he increasingly did not get their help (not that he needed it).
    • Happened again in TNA, as his increasing dominance as TNA World Champion made MVP feel the need to step up more to protect Lashley and control his championship schedule while he felt he didn't need it. Then after he lost the title to Bobby Roode, MVP talked his way into taking a title shot for himself while getting increasingly arrogant about "making" Lashley successful in TNA. By the time the Beat Down Clan became firmly established and helped him win the title back, he'd already grown tired of MVP and started embracing the fans' solidarity again. So he left, becoming the stable's enemy…and ironically, its last remnant.
  • In-Series Nickname: Back in TNA, he was called the "Thunder God" or "God of Thunder". Not coincidentally, he used KISS's "God of Thunder" as his theme in OVW. Not everyone liked the moniker though.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: More literal than most cases, as more often than not he really does own the gym in question.
  • I Know Collegiate and Army Wrestling and MMA: On his Smackdown debut, all his athletic accomplishments prior to professional wrestling were run down so the audience would know it.
  • Irony: When the Beat Down Clan got established with a name after helping him win back the TNA world title from Bobby Roode, he chose to leave anyway because of his issues with MVP and ended up becoming one of the stable's enemies as well as its first defector. With the Hernandez contract debaclenote  forcing the stable to dissolve and TNA not having plans for the other members in the aftermath, Lashley was literally the last former member of the BDC left in TNA before he took off in 2018.note 
    • Also, in 2007, he became the first man to cleanly break out of Chris Masters' finisher, the Master Lock - a full nelson submission hold. Eventually he started using the full nelson as a finisher himself, calling it the Hurt Lock.
  • Jack of All Trades: For a guy who got burned out by WWE's heavy schedule, Lashley really keeps himself busy.
  • Jerk Jock: As a heel, his character naturally tends toward this trope, given his legitimate athletic background. Perhaps the best example of this was his run of dominance in 2016 TNA, where he smiled and pretended to be friendly to his opponents while telling them to their faces that they weren't good enough to beat him.
  • The Juggernaut: Aside from that little embarrassment of being the man Vince McMahon pinned for the ECW championship, he has pretty much always been booked this way and is successful in actual competition (amateur wrestling and mixed martial arts) to boot.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: WWE got a lot of flack for putting him in one with Marcus Cor Von on the poster for an ECW pay per view. Besides maybe the fact the two were nearly the exact same size, there was no reason to do this, since Bobby was in the main event and Marcus was a jobber, and there was next to nothing going on in between them, past or future.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Quite literally, as at least once on SmackDown! when whoever Lashley was feuding with at the time was in the ring cutting a promo, some guy could be seen holding up his son who was chanting "Lashley! Lashley! Lashley!"
  • Last-Name Basis: Sometimes referred to only as "Lashley."
  • Leitmotif
    • Mercy Fall's "Hell Will Be Calling Your Name".
    • Used KISS's "God of Thunder" in OVW.
    • Uses Lil Wayne's "I'm Me" on the independent circuit.
    • Breaking Benjamin's "Blow Me Away" in AAA.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He was agile enough to clear the ring ropes with his jumps.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Sports one during his matches for Lucha Liga Elite.
  • The Mole: Against the Main Event Mafia in TNA.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Once countered Seth Rollins' Finishing Stomp to the back of his neck by... just blocking it via his neck muscles being too strong for Seth to force his head to the mat.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Walking Armageddon/The Destroyer" Lashley.
  • No Man of Woman Born: Go ahead and gloat "No mortal man can beat me". Omos learned that the hard way on the Raw before Wrestlemania 38.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Overruled MVP's denial of further title shots for Bobby Roode when Roode accused Lashley of being afraid of him, or really, even doubting he could beat him. In actuality, Kurt Angle was going to overrule MVP either way after having taken MVP's job as TNA's director of wrestling operations, but Roode's accusations sped up the process.
  • Odd Couple: While rivals teaming up for the sake of tag team gold is one of the oldest pro wrestling tropes there is, his AWF tag team run with Boogeyman is still odd even with that context.
  • Older Than They Look: Lashley is 47 as of 2023, practically past retirement age by wrestling standards, but he looks, acts, and wrestles like he hasn't aged a day since his WWE debut at age 29.
  • One-Steve Limit: Ignored by Antonio Inoki's IGF, where he was put in a tag team with Bob Sapp. Noticed in TNA, where they will avoid calling him "Bobby" when Bobby Roode is around.
  • Power Stable: Bolin Services in OVW.
  • Power Trio:
    • Has formed one in TNA with his former enemies, MVP and Kenny King.
    • An unnamed trionote  with Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre formed after Corbin's ousting from power after TLC 2018.
    • The Hurt Business with MVP again and Shelton Benjamin. Later upgraded to Power Stable with the addition of Cedric Alexander.
    • The Pride with The Street Profits. Later upgraded to Power Stable when B-Fab joined The Pride.
  • Prejudiced For Pecs: Just look at the page photo. His only competition in WWE for pectoral superiority is Big E. It's one of the reasons for the Narmy Vocal Dissonance; a guy who is built like a brick wall should not have the kind of high, soft voice that he does. In true professional wrestling fashion, it is also said to be the reason why he was booked to win the ECW title ahead of the smaller CM Punk. It became a central issue in his feud with Mr. Kennedy and MVP (not directly between them, but JBL constantly accused general manager Theodore Long of favoring wrestlers like Batista and Lashley because of their build).
  • Put on a Bus: Out of the WWE after Mr. Kennedy injured his shoulder with the steel steps. The Bus Came Back in 2018.
  • Red Baron: "The Real Deal", "The Dominator," "The Boss", "The Destroyer". Spanish TV commentator Héctor del Mar took to calling him "The Dark-Skinned Superman". Perhaps the best of these, though? "Walking Armageddon".
    • In his WWE heel run, his manager Lio Rush took to calling him "The All Mighty" (and the nickname stayed with Lashley for years to come) — which could also overlap with Blasphemous Boast depending on your particular belief system.
  • Redemption Promotion: Inverted. At least in TNA he seems much more dominant and natural as a heel than as a face, despite by all accounts being a pretty decent person behind the scenes.
  • The Rival: Seven in OVW, John Cena in WWE and Samoa Joe in TNA.
  • Signature Move: A running power slam. Sometimes TNA's commentators call it "The Dominator", but that's a different move with a different lift and landing. He has won more than a few matches with it, granted, but don't be too surprised if anyone kicks out. Also a fan of the military press.
  • Smug Snake: As a heel, Lashley just radiates smugness because he knows his physical dominance makes him so tough to beat.
  • Squash Match: Several. He made his PPV debut flattening Simon Dean at WWE No Mercy, October 9, 2005, in a mere 1:56.
  • Start My Own: Has his own gym called Family Fitness Center. He also started up The Lashley Network, a group of websites for his gym, his official nutrition store and his social networking website. He later opened another gym called American Top Team Altitude, which showcases MMA events. This led to his own MMA management company, Lashley Management.
  • Take That!: Not Lashley himself, but on their Twitter page, TNA put up a picture of him holding their heavyweight belt captioned "The Real Champ Is Here", and if that wasn't subtle enough, they had "you can't see me" crossed out with "You can't beat me". What in the world they were referencing?
  • Tournament Arc: Won the heavyweight division of the TNA Championship Series.
  • Training Montage: Parodied in Bobby Lashley vs. Boogeyman where Boogeyman is hanging out in Bobby's Family Fitness Center and Bobby is working out to psyche himself up to prove he is not afraid of the Boogeyman. Played straight as The Destroyer in TNA.
  • Versus Title
    • Ultimate Chaos: Lashley vs. Sapp
    • Shark Fights 21: Knothe vs. Lashley
    • Super Fight League 3: Lashley vs. Thompson
  • The Worf Effect: In the middle of his WWE undefeated streak, he was cleaning house for Smackdown during their Survivor Series match against Raw, only to be casually put down by Kane.
  • Worthy Opponent: Kurt Angle vs Bobby Lashley was an admitted dream match for both of them. Though how much of that was Angle wanting a TNA World Title Shot is up to debate.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Defeated Alexis Laree in a second round match in the OVW Television Title Tournament on the May 28 (taped May 24), 2005 episode of OVW TV after she had defeated his teammate, Mike Mondo. It wasn't something he wanted to do - he asked Alexis to withdraw - but another Bolin Services teammate, Ms. Blue, decided to hit the ring and attack Alexis, so Bobby had to go save her, and once Ms. Blue was out of the ring and Bobby was in, the match had officially started. That said, he probably could have put Alexis down with something softer than a running power slam, and definitely did not have to give her a second one after his victory.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Subverted during his 2021 feud with Goldberg. After defending his WWE Championship at SummerSlam, Lashley and MVP continued to attack Goldberg only for his son Gage to jump the rail and go after Lashley, who retaliated by putting him in a Hurt Lock. However, he did relent after MVP got him to realize who he was attacking, and in later promos MVP made it a point to tell everyone that Gage went at Lashley first, from behind (thus Lashley was unable to see who it was) and he reacted in self-defense. Didn't stop Goldberg from repeatedly swearing revenge and even screaming bloody murder.
  • Yanks with Tanks: He wrestled for the United States Army.

Alternative Title(s): Lashley