With Backlash creeping ever closer, we here at SteelChair were given access to media calls with the biggest stars ahead of the event. One of which was Bobby Lashley, who enters his first WWE Title match in over a decade. Here he talked about the PPV, MVP’s return, Drew McIntyre, and the importance of Black Lives Matter.
You took to Twitter last night to post a powerful message about the Black Lives Matter movement. A lot of superstars have come out to show their support, to share information, and even make donations. What do you feel the support has been from your fellow WWE Superstars regarding the BLM movement?
“I think, especially with the superstars I’m close with, but also across the board, we’re all on the same team right now. I don’t think anyone is looking at our situation and saying anything negative towards it. We’re all on the same team as far as wanting to see some kind of change, some kind of resolution and some handshakes. At the end of the day, we all want to get along. We all got the common goal of wanting to be happy, and if someone doesn’t feel that they’re getting their happiness, we need to find a way to ensure they get that happiness. Everybody is on the same team and on the same thought process about that. I’m pretty confident that we’re going to work towards the right direction, and I think the WWE is definitely going to show their support that’s needed across the board, and everybody else is showing their support also. It’s been awesome. There are some bad things going on, of course, but we’re focusing on what’s more important, which is the resolution.”
There’s a trend in your favour at Backlash as 3 of the last 4 WWE Championship challengers have been crowned champion at the end of the night. Do you think you can maintain this trend?
“Wow, that’s good to know. I can’t break that trend, right? You know what, regardless of what I’ve been doing inside and outside of the ring, I’m excited about this man. I’m excited about Backlash. I’m excited for a number of reasons. For one, I’ve not had a shot at that title in 13 years. So, if there’s someone that deserves it, I’m going to throw my hat in there and say I damn sure deserve it. I’ve been there, done that, and at the end of the day, when we take off those gloves and start swinging at Backlash because that’s what Drew’s about, and damn sure what I’m about, then big things are going to happen. I’m should be able to come out victorious, and that’s what makes me even more excited. I gotta tweet that man, I didn’t know that was the deal.”
How do you see Drew McIntyre as an opponent?
“Well, first things first, I think Drew McIntyre is going to be regarded as one of the greatest WWE champions. I’m going to tell you that right now. But, my question for you, what if I just went into the ring at Backlash, double legged Drew to the ground, and then ground and pound beat him down until he couldn’t do anything but get away, and then locked in an old school Nelson and submitted him? Would that surprise you?”
Elva: Yeah, because he’s really big and powerful, just like you.
“I feel like I put you on the spot there, but this is what I’m trying to tell you and everybody else. It would not surprise you or anybody else if we took the gloves off in WWE and let everybody swing away. If I went through and started smashing all these guys on the roster, would it surprise you? No. This is the thing everyone needs to understand. At Backlash, it’s the same damn way. I can go in there if I wanted to, if I was able to, if they took the gloves off me, I could double leg him to the ground and pound away until he could do nothing but try to get away and when he’d get away, I’d lock in that full Nelson, and he can’t get out. It shouldn’t surprise you.”
You and Drew have a lot of history together, not just in WWE, but also the time in Impact you had together. How valuable do you think it was to have that time away from WWE and time away to grow as performers before making your returns?
“I think he and I followed the same path a bit. You know, the cool thing about it is that last year Drew and I ran as a tag team for a long time with Corbin. I remember one thing that was always said about that tag team was, ‘man, we put those two together, and they are vicious’ because Drew brings out something in me, and I bring out something in him that not everybody can bring out in an opponent. It turns rough, and it turns into a fight, but I think the time away gave us time to find ourselves a bit more through the time in Impact and the other indie promotions we worked for. All those experiences made us appreciate it a bit more. That match is big because he talks about how the locker room has changed and how he wants it to change, and how he has to show people that they should appreciate being there. Well, I’m in the same boat, but at the same time, in a kind of different boat because I was here for a long time, but I wasn’t the chosen one. I was never the chosen one. So, I had to scrape and claw to get up here, so the history we have is going to be like butting heads because we rode on the same path, but one of us was already granted a position whilst the other had to work his ass off to get there. We add a lot of meaning to this match.”
What are the differences between your first run and your second run in the company?
“I think it’s quite a bit different. I think the crowds are different. I think the style is different. I think the atmosphere is different. I think it is completely different, but everything evolves, and that’s what we have to understand. Everything evolves. Was it bad then? Is it bad now? No. Both eras had their time and their place. It’s professional wrestling. The time I had before, it was a little rougher in style, and in the time before, it would have been hard not to have the WWE Championship or Universal Championship on someone like myself. Times have changed. Social media is a much bigger thing. The locker room is different now. The way we interact is different. Everything is different. I’m not saying it’s bad, just that it’s different.”
Through your WWE career, you have never wrestled The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Edge, or Sting. Out of the selection here, who would you like a match with?
“If you ever get the chance to wrestle The Undertaker and say no, you’re out of your freaking mind. So, there is no way I would not say, Undertaker. But then again, the Brock match has been something that has been talked about since the day that I came into wrestling, so I know that’s a match that the fans want. I think for me, that’s a match that I kind of want too. Brock has been at the top of the business for so long. To have us clash, I think the fans would be really interested in that one.”
What are your thoughts on MVP’s return?
“It’s been great. MVP was a great friend of mine before, and then we worked for a long time. We’ve always been friends. He came to watch a couple of my fights, I kept up with his jujitsu career, and I think another cool thing about him as our careers kind of moulded is we both have kids now. When we first started out, I was just about to have my daughter, and he didn’t have any kids, so it was a whole different lifestyle. Now, as we come back, a lot of the things are the same with me is that we want to make this a point so our children can see it, that limelight. To be able to come back and do something we love and that we have so much history in when we left 10-12 years ago, and then we’re back doing it again at the highest level. I mean, it’s awesome, we’re both kind of living our dreams, and we’re going to do whatever we need to to achieve the things we want to achieve.”
How did you handle the fight between MVP and Lana and how does this affect you going into Backlash?
“Okay, so hitting MVP was not the smartest thing she could have done. It’s not, but MVP is a man, and he isn’t going to put his hands on a woman. You’ve also got to understand that MVP is not a manager, MVP is a wrestler, I wrestle with MVP, and I’ve done a lot of things to MVP. Lana is a woman, a gorgeous woman, and that fact that she hit him won’t hurt him. It was to disrespect him. MVP is okay, and I think he can move past that. As for how I handled it? I handled it like any guy would if your girlfriend or your wife doesn’t get along with your best friend. Which happens every single day, I just try to stay out of it because at the end of the day, what’s going to happen is going to happen. I don’t really know what that is. They don’t have to be around each other. Lana can stay in her direction, and he can stay in his, and we can still be happy together. So ultimately, that’s what I’d like to see, everyone just gets along so we can win the title.”
What is it like working with Drew McIntyre, a man who shares a similar style to you, especially in a title picture?
“I’m super excited about being in the title picture, but something like that is something I enjoy. Styles make matchups, and we have all types of styles that we give to our fans. The style that I and Drew have can be a mix of everything that can become that really strong style because ultimately that’s what’s going to happen when you get us in there. I am excited about it because I love to train, and I love to fight. I’ve been in a two a day training program for the last week, so I’m going to be in the greatest shape of my goddamn life. I don’t care if we do this fight in a cage, outside on the street or if it’s in a ring. I know one thing is for sure, I’m going to be ready for this damn thing.”
You vs. Drew has the potential to be the greatest fight of all time, but we also have Edge vs. Randy Orton, which is being spoken about as potentially being the greatest wrestling match ever. What do you think it’s going to take the pair to put on the greatest wrestling match ever?
“All they gotta do is do what they do. I know both of those guys, they’re as smooth as butter. I bet Orton said give me Edge, and we can have the greatest wrestling match ever, and you can put that on the poster. So they’re willing to accept the challenge, and I think they will deliver.”
Did you think your Rusev storyline got a proper conclusion and did you have any ideas on how you wanted it to end?
“No, I don’t. I don’t think it had a proper conclusion. I think there was so much we could do. We had a full head of steam, people wanted Rusev to rip my arms off and beat me with them. I think we were at the point where I really don’t know what happened to tell you the truth because I think we were at the point where the end needed to happen. I don’t know where we could of went, but I just wish I could have had the match I wanted to have with Rusev because I’ve seen him in some really great matches, and I think I could have had one with him.”
Backlash airs on Sunday, June 14th at Midnight BST exclusively on WWE Network.
Special thanks to DS Communication – All pics and videos courtesy of WWE