It only took him eight months to capture his first championship, as he defeated JBL for the United States Championship on an episode of SmackDown. Although the reign was short-lived, it cememted him as a legitimate upper midcard talent, with a significantly high chance of being a top guy for the company.
Later that year, Lashley tasted a "world" championship after defeating Test, CM Punk, RVD, Hardcore Holly and defending champion Big Show in an Elimination Chamber match at December to Dismember to capture the ECW Championship. This commenced a heated rivalry with Vince McMahon, after a Battle of the Billionaires match at WrestleMania 23. The following month at Backlash, McMahon defeated Lashley to become ECW Champion in a 3-on-1 handicap match that also involved Shane McMahon and Umaga.
Lashley regained the title at One Night Stand just a little over one month after losing it, but was forced to relinquish it just one week later as a result of being drafted to Raw. Lashley received his biggest push to date, as he competed for the WWE Championship in two consecutive PPVs, Vengeance and the Great American Bash, but was unsuccessful in both attempts. Soon after, his push began to fizzle out, and he asked to be released from his contract. During an interview in 2008, he admits that his surgery, which caused him to be out for six months, created a turn in his WWE relationship.
Lashley began to see a decline in fan interest after he started his tenures with TNA. During his first one in 2009, Lashley was involved in a feud with the Main Event Mafia, and then Samoa Joe. The stint was short-lived, as he turned heel and legitimately asked for his release to concentrate on his MMA career.
More than four years after his last TNA appearance, Lashley returned as the mystery opponent of EC3 at the Lockdown PPV. Sporadic appearances and a couple of months later, he became heel again in TNA after joining MVP's stable in the quest to dethrone Eric Young of his TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Slammiversary.
So with ten years in the pro wrestling business, what grade would you give Bobby Lashley's career? Do you think he could have been WWE Champion? Sound off below.
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