Bobby Lashley became the WWE Champion for the first time in his career this past Monday in Raw. Lashley started in pro wrestling about 16 years ago and now the 44-year-old is the second oldest first-time WWE Champion in company history. The oldest? WWE’s Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Since his WWE Title win, Lashley did a lot of media interviews talking about his victory, looking ahead to WrestleMania and more. Here are some highlights from two different interviews.
Lashley talked about sharing his WWE Title moment with other wrestlers he works with (from Sports Illustrated):
“Seeing so many people ringside—like Ricochet, Elias and Braun—that meant a lot. I’ve shared moments with all of them. Sharing it with Shelton, Cedric and MVP, that’s very meaningful, too. I’ve had so many calls and messages—I heard from my college wrestling coach, my high school wrestling coach, even people I trained with in Japan. It’s been amazing.”
Lashley spoke about sharing this moment with his kids:
“The three of them, they’re my life, my driving force. I wrote a long message to them before the match last night, and I can’t wait to share it with them [Tuesday night].”
Lashley discussed what winning the WWE Title means to him:
“I went into professional wrestling believing that the world title would be my world medal. This has always been my goal. Even when times were tough, I didn’t stop. I never stopped, I kept working to get better. My dad taught me hard work, and I’m teaching that to my kids. And it’s true—the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Lashley made it clear that if he faces WWE Champion Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania then it’s going to be a memorable match:
“If I fight Drew at WrestleMania, then damn right, we’re going to kill it. That’s the match I need to prove the type of champion I will be. We won’t be pulling punches, we’ll be going all out. Give us the chance, it will be everything and more.”
Following his WWE Title win, Lashley talked to Fox Sports about what it means to be WWE Champion.
“I’m on cloud nine right now. This is probably one of the greatest achievements in my athletic career. 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. 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.”
Lashley spoke about what The Hurt Business group (Lashley, MVP, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander) has meant to his career.
“[MVP] was a big driving force. 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. 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.”
Lashley talked about how Booker T really believed in him and how Vince McMahon greeted him after Lashley’s WWE Title win.
“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. 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.’”
Regarding future opponents, Lashley mentioned several big names including Drew McIntyre and Brock Lesnar.
“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. 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!”
“Another person, ‘The Beast.’ (Brock Lesnar) 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. 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 also mentioned Randy Orton while adding that he thought Orton was “probably the greatest wrestler in the history of wrestling.” That might ruffle a few feathers, so to speak, but it is what Lashley thinks.
You can watch Lashley’s in-depth interview with Fox Sports below.