wrestling / News

Bobby Lashley Says Paul Heyman Saved Him From Having to Do a Mr. T Character, Talks Getting Hate For Lana Angle

January 6, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Bobby Lashley wwe Raw 3-11-19

– Bobby Lashley spoke with Sports Illustrated for a new interview discussing his current storyline with Lana, working with Paul Heyman and more. You can check out some highlights below:

On his two biggest wrestling storylines involving Donald Trump and marrying Lana: “You never know what’s going to happen in this wrestling business. The Donald Trump thing was huge, it was enormous, and this one is going to be another crazy experience. I never know what to expect, but I’m riding the wave.”

On getting hate for the storyline having an interracial relationship: “Yes, I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of hate. We as a society come out and we’re anti-bullying, anti-hate, anti-this, anti-that, but I think we actually pick and choose who we hate and bully. Because everybody still knows me, and knows what I do and what I’m capable of doing—what I’ve done in my career as far as the military, being a single father, putting myself through college, graduating with honors, and I could keep going. But I received a tremendous amount of hate here across the board personally for the things that, I guess, I do. It’s all over the board. It’s from the fact that this is interracial, because I’ve had guys saying the n-word to me and, ‘I’m going to kill you, we’re going to get you when you come down south.’ I just kind of sit back and laugh about it. I’ve even experienced some people that are in the business of wrestling—tweeting things and posting pictures, and I just sit back and laugh. A lot of times we feel that the person being hated on or being bullied should be a frail person. But now you take somebody like myself and Lana, who is a gorgeous woman, and we don’t look like the typical people that are bullied. I’m glad I have thick skin. Because if I didn’t have thick skin, some of the things that I’ve had to experience would be very difficult to take.”

On working with Rusev: “I think he’s incredible. Everything that’s going on has pumped him up a lot more, too. In-ring, it’s been phenomenal working with him. Looking through the roster, I look for people I actually want to challenge. When I started out in the business, I looked for people ready to fight. Some of the people that I started out with in the business, like Finlay, Booker, JBL, Big Show, it was a fight every day. The good thing is, I can get that back with Rusev. Some of the guys that I go out there in the ring with, you can’t really beat them up that bad because they’ll fall apart. But somebody like Rusev, he can go. That’s why I’m excited about having more matches with him. He wants to fight, and I’m ready to fight. That’s all I’ve done my entire life.”

On his relationship with Paul Heyman: “When I first started out, I came to OVW in 2004. There were a lot of different people who came through, and they were bringing different trainers and different writers putting the show together. I remember when Paul Heyman first came, he called me up in the morning and said, ‘Hey man, what are you doing? Let’s go eat breakfast.’ I’d never met Paul at this point, but we go and eat breakfast. It was unbelievable, we were there talking for four hours. I felt like I’d known him forever. I didn’t know this at the time, but Paul saw me–this big, jacked up dude–and didn’t know me. And none of the other writers knew who I was. They were just writing on what they thought they knew of me–that I should be like Mr. T and run around like, ‘I pity the fool!’ But that’s not me. And that’s why Paul wanted to sit down and talk. He knew he needed to write for this guy, but he didn’t know who I was, and he wasn’t going to just guess. So we just sat and talked forever, and he said, ‘I get this guy.’ And he got me over in a short amount of time.

“I’m a very subtle person. I come from a background where you shut up, you train, and you compete. That’s what Paul saw, and everything he did from then on was highlighting who I was, not trying to put me in a box that didn’t fit. That’s why I was so excited when he came [as the Executive Director of Monday Night Raw], because I knew he gets me, could write for me, and put me in the right position and place on the show. Coming back now on the roster, it’s completely different across the board—how people act, how people get over, how the story is put together. Everything is so different. Right now, we’re trying to break me out of my comfort zone and have a little more fun.”

On the storyline possibly giving him momentum for a title run: “Absolutely, that’s the reason why I came back. After being gone for 11 years, a lot of the new crowd hadn’t seen me in WWE. Right now, in such a big role, it’s going to put more eyes on me. 2020 is the year to make a run for that big match. People have been talking about how me and Brock would be amazing, and there have been all kinds of different comparisons. If people want to hate me and put me as a heel against Brock, I’m 100% down for it. But at the same token, I think there is an opportunity for people to see what I’m doing with Lana and like it, and want to see me go after Brock. Regardless of anything else, that needs to happen.”