On a recent episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross talks about the career of Bobby Lashley. Throughout the episode, JR discussed how he was receiving many comparisons to Brock Lesnar since debuting with WWE. Ross discussed Vince McMahon meeting Lashley and the comparisons with Lesnar.
“He didn’t meet Bobby in the grandiose way that he met Brock Lesnar, apples and oranges here,” Ross said. “The comparison was physical. Lashley had this great strength, amateur background, he looked great, all the same things you can say about Brock. We’ve got another heavyweight amateur star that we’ve got great expectations for, I can describe when we first signed Brock the same exact way.”
When Lashley finally made his main roster debut in September of 2005, he was introduced as a four-time All-American, 2002 Silver Medalist at the Military World Championship, a two-time Armed Forces Champion and a three-time National Amateur Champion. Lashley was put on the similar path to Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar when they debuted with the company. JR noted that Vince had a new toy in Lashley and how he may have brought him up too soon compared to Lesnar or Angle.
“Vince had a new toy that he loved to look at,” Ross said. “Could Bobby have used a little bit more time in the farm or working the second or third match on house shows? Yes, he should’ve had more time. I had the same battles with Vince about Brock Lesnar. Creative wanted to bring Brock Lesnar up earlier than I wanted him to go and I simply told Vince ‘He can’t protect anybody right now, he’s still learning things and he’s so god damn strong that a small calculated error could be disastrous.'”
Ross mentioned Shelton Benjamin as another star who may have been pushed too soon. Ross mentioned how he believes the WWE fumbled with Benjamin by not having him work with other stars to enhance his promo skills. JR feel that fumble cost them a massive star.
“If we had spent more time with Shelton Benjamin on his promos, we would’ve had a major major star on our hands,” Ross said. “There was nothing, absolutely nothing, in the ring Shelton Benjamin couldn’t do and that holds true today. He’s a freak of nature athletically and a good human being. We should’ve cut him from the herd and put him with somebody so he can have practice on the mic and talking than he did drills in the ring. That’s our fumble, we messed that up for him.”
As of late, Bobby Lashley has joined up with MVP and Benjamin to form their own alliance, The Hurt Business. Ross talked about the grouping of Lashley and MVP and how he sees the two potentially exploding because Lashley can handle his own now and doesn’t need a mouthpiece anymore.
“At some point sooner or later, MVP and Bobby will be an issue and Bobby will have matches with MVP soon,” Ross said. “I think Bobby is at the level now that he doesn’t need a mouthpiece to the degree he needed it [back] then. I like the package of MVP and Bobby together, a lot, but it’s just the matter of Bobby getting better and getting the confidence to cut good promos. I think that day is almost here.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.