01 April 2014

What to do with Bobby Lashley...

One thing that has gone seemingly under the radar among TNA fans, is the return of Bobby Lashley. While Bobby's return to TNA was indeed a surprise, it has not been met with much fanfare. Now, I may be in the minority here, but I think there is a lot of potential in Bobby Lashley and think TNA is a good fit for him. His first run in TNA never really seemed to get going, the attempt to balance both pro wrestling and MMA was too much of a challenge and he left to pursue MMA. Fast forward four years and Lashley has returned and seems committed to TNA and pro wrestling. But with so little fanfare and fans seemingly indifferent to Bobby's big return, what can TNA do with the former ECW World Champion and quasi-WrestleMania headliner? Well, I'll pretend like I know what I'm doing and put on my fantasy booker hat and tell you what I think can be done with Bobby Lashley.

First off, I don't think Bobby works as a good guy for TNA fans. They see him as another WWE cast off looking to take the spotlight away from their beloved TNA originals and the whole ditching TNA to pursue the greener pastures of mixed martial arts doesn't help. Lashley has the tools: Great athlete? Check.  Tons of ability? Check. Great look? Check. However, let's face it, Bobby isn't the most charismatic guy in the world, he just sounds too damn nice and people don't like nice, at least not in the world of wrestling. That being said, it seems like TNA is still pushing the same old big strappin' good guy character and while that may be the only way they know how to present Bobby, I think TNA may be missing out on an opportunity to do something different and really take the big man to a new level. Interestingly enough, it was something we have kind of already seen in TNA, albeit briefly. Check out the video below. (Skip to about 2 minutes in to see the promo).

I think back to January 4th, 2010 when Bobby came out with his then significant other, former WWE diva Kristal Marshall. She did all the talking while he stood there looking mean. The reaction from the crowd was off the charts and I really thought this was where Bobby's character should go. Unfortunately, it ended up only being a one night thing as both were gone shortly thereafter.  Lashley could be TNA's version of WWE's Brock Lesnar; a former MMA star/pro wrestler who has come back to "clean up" wrestling, a business he feels has wronged him. The big difference would  be Kristal would need to be brought back on screen to make it work, this may be a problem since the two have spilt up. So who could talk for Lashley? Who could possibly bring the kind of legitimacy to the character that we need? Another woman? Any "fake" relationship will seem just that; fake and not feel real, but what about someone else who had their legitimacy and reputation "destroyed" by sports entertainment. Perhaps someone who could use a new role in TNA...

Yes folks, Tazz, a guy who people actually believed was a shoot fighter back in the 1990's. The first MMA/Pro wrestler hybrid I could think of and a guy who has since become the butt of a lot of people's jokes as an announcer. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Tazz as an announcer, but I really think he could be more useful as someone's mouthpiece. I had hopes for the pairing of him and Samoa Joe back in 2009 and was really hoping he'd have that role for the Ace's and Eights. Neither one really panned out. I can see an angry motivated Tazz really breathing life into this new Bobby Lashley character. Think of the potential feuds: Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Bully Ray. Hell, give me Gunner vs. a heel Lashley and I'll show you a bad ass feud. Plus, with TNA reinventing former WWE talents with new personas (ex. Jeff Hardy as Willow/Derrick Bateman as EC3) this new Lashely would be a perfect fit for the new era of Impact Wrestling. So what do you guys think? Would a character like this peak your interest in Bobby Lashley? Or has that ship already sailed?

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