Franklin Roberto "Bobby" Lashley -
 (born July 16, 1976) is an American mixed martial artist, actor,and a former collegiate amateur wrestler as well as a former professional wrestler. During his professional wrestling career, he was best known for his time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he was a one-time United States Champion and a two-time world champion, having had two reigns as ECW World Champion.
Lashley attended Missouri Valley College, where he won three national college amateur wrestling championships between 1996 and 1998 and placed fourth in 1995. In 1997 and 1998, he was theNational Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Wrestling Champion. Lashley later joined the United States Army, where he continued to wrestle. He was training for the Olympics in 2003, when he suffered a knee injury while doing business at a bank where a robbery broke out. The injury ended his Olympic plans, and Lashley went into pro wrestling soon after.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2004-2008)
In November 2004, Lashley began working in the professional wrestling area and signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment. He was assigned to the development territoryOhio Valley Wrestling, where he was known as Blaster Lashley, and was a member of the Bolin Services stable along with Mike Mondo and Ken Doane. However during that time Bolin Services began to crumble with Lashley refusing to help Doane win matches, resulting in him turning face and going by his Bobby Lashley name.
Various feuds and United States Champion (2005–2006)
In mid-2005 Lashley appeared at four live events, wrestling in dark matches for both the Raw and SmackDown! brands. On September 23, 2005, Lashley made his televised WWE debut as aface on SmackDown! using the name Bobby Lashley. Lashley was introduced as a three-time National Amateur Wrestling Champion, a four-time All-American, a two-time Armed Forces Champion, and a 2002 Silver Medalist at the Military World Championship. In his first match, he defeated Simon Dean. In his pay-per-view debut at No Mercy, he defeated Dean once again. Lashley went on to defeat numerous superstars both on SmackDown! and Raw. On the November 11 episode of SmackDown!, Lashley defeated Orlando Jordan in a qualifying match for a place on Team SmackDown! at Survivor Series where he was the first to be eliminated. Prior to this elimination Lashley was dominating the Raw Superstars, showcasing various "power moves" and a finisher on Carlito. Yet a chokeslam from Kane, who was on the apron, caused Lashley to be eliminated.
On January 6, 2006, Lashley became the first announced participant from SmackDown! to be entered into that year's Royal Rumble. At the Royal Rumble, Lashley was the eighth wrestler to enter the match. He eliminated Sylvan, but he was then eliminated by the combination of Raw's then World Tag Team Champions The Big Show and Kane. Following the Royal Rumble, Lashley began a feud with John Bradshaw Layfield leading up to a match at No Way Out. The match was Lashley's first loss in singles competition due to interference from Finlay. During February and March, Lashley was involved in a feud with Finlay, where the two would brawl on many occasions, including a lumberjack match that Finlay won after using a shillelagh.
On April 2, after winning a Last Chance battle royal by last eliminating MNM, Lashley competed at his first WrestleMania (WrestleMania 22) in the Money in the Bank ladder match. The match was won by Rob Van Dam. Lashley next entered SmackDown!'s King of the Ring tournament. He lasted until the finals, defeating Mark Henry and Finlay in the process. In the final round, held at Judgment Day he was defeated by Booker T with help from Finlay. Later, as Booker was being crowned, Lashley performed a spear to Booker. These acts developed into a feud with the newly named "King Booker" and the other members of his court (Queen Sharmell, Finlay, and William Regal). During this feud, Lashley won his first professional wrestling championship by defeating JBL for the United States Championship, which he lost to Finlay a little less than two months later. Lashley later joined forces with Batista against the Court. Not long after losing the United States Title, Lashley was declared unable to compete according to a physician who stated that during an annual exam, Lashley was found to have elevated enzymes of the liver and therefore, would not be cleared to wrestle until further evaluation. Lashley returned a couple of weeks later to the SmackDown! roster to continue his feud with the Court and went on to earn his first match for the World Heavyweight Championship at No Mercy against King Booker. This match later became a four way bout that also included Batista and Booker's ally, Finlay. King Booker won that match after pinning Finlay.
ECW World Champion (2006–2007)
On November 14, 2006, Lashley moved to the ECW brand. He debuted on the brand by making a surprise appearance to sign a contract for the final spot in the Extreme Elimination Chamber match for the ECW World Championship at December to Dismember. At December to Dismember, Lashley was the fifth person released into the match. He eliminated both Test and The Big Show by pinfall after a spear to become the new ECW World Champion. This made Lashley the first African American to hold the ECW Title.
After winning the ECW World Championship, Lashley then had successful title defenses against Big Show, Rob Van Dam, Test, Hardcore Holly, Kenny Dykstra, and Mr. Kennedy. On the March 19, 2007, episode of Raw, Lashley officially became the first and only person to ever break Chris Masters' masterlock hold and thus the first and only person to ever defeat the masterlock challenge.
In early 2007, Lashley was selected by Donald Trump to represent him in a "Battle of the Billionaires" match, against Vince McMahon's representative, Umaga which also featured Vince's long time adversary Stone Cold Steve Austin as the guest referee. At WrestleMania 23 in a Hair vs. Hair match, Lashley defeated Umaga following a spear and helped Trump shave McMahon's head afterwards in accordance with the match's losing stipulation. After WrestleMania, Lashley feuded with Mr. McMahon. McMahon booked himself, his son Shane McMahon, and Umaga in a 3 on 1 handicap match against Lashley at Backlash for the ECW World Championship. After two high impact diving splashes from Umaga, Mr. McMahon tagged himself into the match and pinned Lashley to win the title. Lashley legitimately injured his shoulder during the match and after an examination days later, it was revealed he had a damaged rotator cuff but would not need surgery at the time. At Judgment Day, Lashley defeated Vince, Shane, and Umaga in a 3 on 1 handicap rematch after hitting the Dominator on Shane McMahon. Lashley did not win the ECW World Championship, however, because he did not pin Mr. McMahon. As a result, Mr. McMahon retained the title. On June 3 at One Night Stand, Lashley defeated Vince McMahon in a street fight to win the ECW World Championship for a second reign despite interference by Shane McMahon and Umaga in the match, making Lashley the first man to win the ECW World Championship twice since WWE reactivated the title.
Pursuit of the WWE Championship, injury and departure (2007–2008)
On the June 11 edition of Raw, Lashley was drafted from the ECW brand to the Raw brand as part of the 2007 WWE Draft, as a result of the drafting, Lashley had the ECW World Championship taken from him. He took place in a challenge match against Mick Foley, Randy Orton, King Booker and John Cena for the WWE Championship at Vengeance: Night of Champions which Cena won to retain the WWE championship. Lashley became the number one contender for the WWE Championship by winning the "Beat the Clock" challenge on the July 2 edition of Raw. On July 22 atThe Great American Bash, he was pinned and defeated by John Cena, after the match they shook hands as a sign of respect, this was Lashley's final WWE pay-per-view appearance. On July 30 episode of Raw, Lashley was defeated by Mr. Kennedy. During the match Lashley was "injured" after Kennedy kicked Lashley's shoulder into the ring steps, allowing Lashley to have time off for surgery for the legitimate injury he suffered at Backlash, this was Lashley's final appearance in WWE.
After six month injury, in January 2008 on the forum of his official website, Lashley announced that he was released by WWE. He clarified his comments by claiming that he did not want to leave WWE, but had to due to circumstances beyond his control, he also stated that he was now training for a career in MMA. WWE announced that Lashley was released from his WWE contract on February 4, 2008.
Asistencia Asesoría y Administración and Independent Circuit (2008)
After departure from WWE, Lashley returned to wrestling by appearing at Asistencia Asesoría y Administración's flagship event TripleMania XVI. He, along with Kenzo Suzuki and Electroshock, defeated Chessman, Silver King, and La Parka, Jr.
Also after his departure from the WWE, Lashley would appear in many independent promotions. Such as World League Wrestling. He also appeared in the Denver based Fusion Pro Wrestling, teaming with AJ Styles, and Paul Diamond to face the "Three Egos." He also wrestled for the Inoki Genome Federation in Japan.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2009–2010)
Lashley made an appearance at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Lockdown pay-per-view event on April 19, 2009 and he also later appeared on that week's episode of TNA Impact!, both times pointing and smiling at The Main Event Mafia, thus appearing as a heel. On July 15, TNA announced that he had signed an official contract with the company. On July 23, Kurt Angle introduced Lashley as the newest member of the Main Event Mafia. Lashley entered the ring and hugged Angle while the rest of the Mafia held a beaten and battered Mick Foley upright. Angle then told Lashley to finish off Foley but as Lashley prepared to spear Foley, he turned on Angle and cleared the Mafia from the ring, thus making him a face.
On the July 30 edition of Impact!, Lashley made his in-ring debut for TNA in a tag team match as he and Mick Foley wrestled against World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle and Legends Champion Kevin Nash, where if Angle or Nash was pinned, whoever defeated them would win their respective title. It started out as a handicap match thanks to the Main Event Mafia attacking Lashley before the match, but eventually Lashley entered the match and helped Mick Foley pin Nash to win the match for his team and become the Legends Champion. On the August 27 edition of Impact!, Jeremy Borash interviewed him and TNA President Dixie Carter in which she said their goal was to make him a World Champion in both MMA and TNA. At No Surrender, he defeated Rhino with a knockout punch.
After No Surrender, Lashley began a feud with Samoa Joe. After teaming with Team 3D in a winning effort against Rhino and The British Invasion (Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus) on the October 1 edition of Impact!, Joe assaulted Lashley and choked him out with a rear naked choke. The following week, Lashley cost Joe the X Division Championship in a match againstAmazing Red. At Bound for Glory, Lashley defeated Joe in a submission match. The following month at Turning Point Lashley's winning streak came to an end, when Scott Steiner pinned him in a Falls Count Anywhere match following a shot with a steel pipe. On November 26, Lashley defeated Abyss, Desmond Wolfe, and Robert Roode to win the TNA Championship Series tournament and earn himself a future World Heavyweight Title shot. At Final Resolution, Lashley avenged his prior loss and defeated Steiner in a Last Man Standing match with a pipeshot.On the January 4, 2010, Monday night edition of Impact!, Lashley and Kristal turned heel after requesting their immediate releases from TNA in order for Lashley to fully concentrate on his MMA career. Lashley went on to attack random wrestlers until he was granted what he wanted. On the January 21 edition of Impact! Lashley suddenly apologized to new executive producer Eric Bischoff for his actions, saying he just wanted to compete, but was nevertheless fired by him the following week. On February 10, 2010, Lashley's profile was removed from the official TNA website. In an interview with Heavy Sports Lashley claimed that the release was legitimate and had been done in order for him to fully focus on his MMA career.
Inoki Genome Federation (2011)
Lashley returned to professional wrestling in 2011, when he signed a contract with Japan's Inoki Genome Federation. He made his debut at an IGF wrestling show in September, teamed with Harry Smith against Kendo Kashin and Kazuyuki Fujita in a losing effort.
Mixed martial arts
Early MMA career
Lashley made his mixed martial arts debut at the Mixed Fighting Alliance (MFA) inaugural event "There Will Be Blood" on December 13, 2008 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. He won via TKO (cut) over Joshua Franklin in 41 seconds of the first round. Lashley's next fight was on March 21, 2009. He was supposed to fight Ken Shamrock, but his opponent was changed to veteran Jason Guida after Shamrock tested positive for steroids. Lashley won the fight after a unanimous decision. Lashley signed with the Maximum Fighting Championship and made his debut on May 15 against Mike Cook, who made his ring entrance wearing a Rey Mysterio mask, which Lashley took as an insult. He went on to defeat Cook with a guillotine choke just 24 seconds into the first round. On June 27, 2009, Lashley defeated Bob Sapp at the PFP: Ultimate Chaos event in Biloxi, Mississippi. He won the bout via TKO (strikes) in the first round, making Lashley's MMA record 4–0.
He was scheduled to make his Strikeforce debut against undefeated heavyweight Shane Del Rosario at Strikeforce: Miami, but for unknown reasons, Strikeforce decided to change his opponent. Lashley was then expected to face journeyman Jimmy Ambriz on January 30, 2010 at Strikeforce: Miami, but that matchup was also scrapped. Lashley wound up facing formerUFC fighter Wes Sims at the event. Lashley defeated Sims via 1st round TKO victory to remain undefeated.
Lashley was expected to fight on April 17, 2010 at Strikeforce: Nashville, as the promotion had already submitted an opponent for Lashley and was awaiting approval from the Tennessee Athletic Commission. According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, the bout would likely be the fourth bout on the CBS televised portion of the event. On April 5, Lashley confirmed that he will not appear on the card since Strikeforce officials could not guarantee an appearance on the televised portion of the card due to time constraints. Bobby was set to appear at Strikeforce: Los Angeles in June fighting Ron Sparks however he suffered a knee injury and did not compete.
Lashley faced Chad Griggs at Strikeforce: Houston on August 21, 2010. Lashley came out shooting the takedown, and ground and pounding. Lashley dominated at first but Griggs caught him with a series of uppercuts on one of the takedowns in the first round, opening a gash under the left corner of Lashley's left eye and Lashely had trouble keeping Griggs from striking him even though he had dominate control over him on the ground but Griggs was still finding openings on the bottom. Lashley was able to continue in the second round, continuing takedowns and ground and pound. Lashley eventually passed to mount halfway through the second round and unloaded many good punches on Griggs while maintaining control. Referee Jon Schorle then asked the fight to be stood up due to inactivity, even though Lashley was in full mount at the time, Lashley then complained to the referee about the cut under his eye. Referee Jon Schorle then asked the ringside doctor with 33 seconds left in the second round to inspect the cut with Lashley deciding to continue fighting, this created some controversy as referee Jon Schorle did not put the fight back in mount where it was originally stopped. Griggs then sprawled out of a desperate takedown by Lashley near the end of round two and hammer-fisted the eye of Lashley's that was already cut until the round ended. A ring doctor then stopped the fight, resulting in Lashley losing at the end of the second round by TKO. Backstage after the fight, Lashley was taken off on a stretcher due to dehydration.
Titan Fighting Championship
On February 18, 2011, Titan Fighting Championship had announced the signing of Lashley. He was expected to debut against James Jack however on March 16, 2011, officials announced they had lost contact with Jack and instead John Ott stepped in to fight Lashley. The pace of the fight slowed down drastically in the second round, where Lashley began to display the same cardio problems that affected him in his previous fight. He was able to win a unanimous decision, despite suffering the effects of illness.
Lashley stated prior to the bout that he wishes to fight 4 or 5 more times in 2011.
Lashley was scheduled to fight Eddie Sanchez at Titan Fighting Championships 19. But on July 22, 2011, it was announced that Lashley withdrew from the fight due to personal reasons.
Lashley has signed a three-year deal with Shark Fights and was expected to make his debut against Darrill Schoonover in November, The fight was to be for the heavyweight title. However Schoonover later pulled out of the bout due to an injury. Lashley was then set to headline Shark Fights 21 against Tim Hague. But Hague pulled out of the bout for unknown reasons and was replaced by Dave Huckaba. On November 7th it was confirmed that the fight with Huckaba had been scrapped for unknown reasons, Lashley was then scheduled to face Mark Martinez but Martinez was later pulled out of the bout due to expired blood work.
On November 11th, 2011 Lashley became the new Shark Fights Heavyweight champion defeating Karl Knothe in the first round by submission. Knothe was the fifth different opponent scheduled to face Lashley after numerous fighters pulled out due to various reasons.
Lashley graduated from Missouri Valley College in 1999 with a degree in Human Service Agency Management. Lashley has a daughter, Kyra, who was born in 2005.
In 2007, Lashley opened up a shop that sells health smoothie drinks.
He dated former WWE Diva Kristal Marshall.The couple had a son, named Myles in July 2008.
In July 2009, Lashley announced the launch of The Lashley Network. The Lashley Network of websites comprises his official gym, his official nutrition store, and his social networking website. In a press release for the launch he stated that he is keeping his name out in the television media and on the internet so he can reach his goal of being the top fighter in MMA.
In March 2010, Lashley announced the grand opening of his new gym in the Denver, Colorado area titled American Top Team Altitude. The facility will serve as a gym such as popular chain Gold's Gym and will also showcase MMA events.
Lashley was featured in the 2010 video game EA Sports MMA.
In May 2010, Lashley announced the opening of his new MMA Management company Lashley Management. Lashley, along with co-founder Judith Sussman, represent current and future MMA fighters.