WWE Champ Bobby Lashley Plans to Dominate Goldberg at ‘SummerSlam’
WWE champion Bobby Lashley is as confident as ever. And why wouldn’t he be considering his decisive victory over Kofi Kingston just last month at Money in the Bank? Not to mention other recent big wins, including one over former titleholder Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania.
The top Raw superstar has lived up to “The Almighty” nickname, but a big test comes next: WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg, who returns to challenge Lashley for the gold at SummerSlam. TV Insider caught up with Lashley to preview the showdown in Las Vegas and talk about what it’s like to remain at the top of the mountain.
Your bond with MVP seems stronger than ever. How do you feel your partnership has evolved?
Bobby Lashley: He and I started out together. We came up with Booker T, Fit Finlay, JBL, the Guerreros, Undertaker. They were in the locker room with us and taught us the style of wrestling. We’re kind of those guys in this generation now. He and I talk on a daily basis. We are good friends. It’s a natural fit. There was this early interview before even forming the Hurt Business where Drew [McIntyre] was kicking his head off every week. MVP told Drew, “I’m going to get you back. I promise you.” He got him back with me. So everything fell in line. Everyone that put their hands on MVP when he first came back, I got a hold of them.
Talk about foreshadowing. One you are looking to get a hold of is Goldberg, even though fantasy booking is still holding out for you versus Brock Lesnar. How do you feel about facing Goldberg at SummerSlam?
You feel the excitement when Goldberg walks to the ring. I was there. After I beat Keith Lee on Raw, Goldberg’s music came on and the whole place erupted. There is no question about his star power. It was something that was needed in my career to have this kind of match. When Goldberg comes, he looks toward those big matches. I don’t know what is going on with Brock, but we have several different pay-per-views throughout the year. SummerSlam is not the biggest one. It is one of the biggest ones. There are still options to maybe see some of these big matches everyone wants.
Gold medalist Gable Steveson said he would be attending SummerSlam. What do you think about the potential of him coming into WWE?
When I met him, he seemed like a really humble kid. I wish I had his potential at such a young age. That kid is going to make so much money in his life because he has so many years ahead of him. He is tagging Dana White on social media. He tagging Vince McMahon, Jon Jones. That is what he should be doing. He should be getting his name out there. I think if he comes to WWE, he would do really well. He is a big kid and very athletic and charismatic. I think he should wait a little bit. He is 21. Wait until I retire at least. When I’m gone, he’ll have an opportunity to possibly win another world title.
You were telling a pretty captivating story with Kofi Kingston. Do you feel there is still more to explore between the two of you?
I think there is. Kofi is one of those guys where he won’t ever give up. Kofi has already positioned himself as one of the greats in the business. He is an incredible worker. He has great matches across the board. He has the potential to do so much more. If I have the opportunity to wrestle Kofi again one-on-one I’d accept it.
What’s the atmosphere like in WWE right now with all of the recent behind-the-scenes shakeups?
I think the feeling is good. We get tested with so many things. Everyone will say, “This is it. This is the downfall of WWE.” It’s never going to be. We have so much talent in WWE. WWE is never going to be beaten or contested. It’s always going to be the flagship of professional wrestling. That’s never going to change.
It’s been a rough time with the pandemic. We’ve seen a number of talents’ time in WWE end, but as you and others have shown, it’s not always for good.
I just tell the guys if you do get that call, and they say your contact expired, or they have to let you go, the worst thing you can do is be one of those people who goes online bad-mouthing. It looks really sad. A lot of these guys wouldn’t even be the guys they were without WWE. They made a name for themselves. They can just look back at the money they received from WWE up to this point. Then you’re here telling this company you hate them, but you have a brand new house, swimming pool in the back, kids are taken care of with a lot of money in the bank.
When I first left, I kept my head down. I kept grinding and knew I was going to find another option to get in again. I never burned any bridges. I came back and became a world champion. Things change all the time. And if it’s not your time, it’s not your time. You just keep grinding because there is a lot of money to be made in the wrestling business. I want to see everyone succeed.
When looking at the WWE roster, who is impressing you right now?
One person I like his stuff is Drew Gulak. He is awesome. Every time I see him at work I grab him and brainstorm different things. He is one of those guys who is a student and teacher at the same time. He is great. We have so many guys who are amazing. Ali is amazing. Ricochet is amazing. Riddle has been on fire. Keith Lee, Damian Priest, Sheamus, our whole roster is exciting…Big E is running around with that Money in the Bank briefcase. So many people. The roster is packed. I’m excited to hold the title to have these potential matches coming up.
What are your expectations going into the Goldberg match at SummerSlam?
I have a lot of respect for Goldberg for what he has done in his career. It really doesn’t matter if Goldberg is in shape or ready or can do a longer match. That is irrelevant. It was like the last pay-per-view I was in. It didn’t matter if Kofi was in shape or ready to have a long match. It was just me beating him up for however long I wanted to beat him up. It’s the same thing here. He can take a break and relax because the outcome will be the same. Me kicking his ass for as long I want to kick his ass. If it’s 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes, I can throw him around for as long as I need to do it.
WWE Raw, Mondays, 8/7c, USA Network
Bobby Lashley’s episode of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions is streaming on Peacock
SummerSlam, August 21, 8/7c, Peacock, and Pay-Per-View