Sunday, January 29, 2023

Bobby Lashley explains why The Hurt Business isn’t Nation of Domination, talks about possible New Day showdown

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Around this time last year, Bobby Lashley was wrapping an angle that found him in a romantic situation with Rusev’s wife, Lana. Many collectively moaned over what we thought was an odd use of a WWE Superstar who has always been considered the ultimate demolition machine. However, the lightness of that angle ultimately helped push Lashley into the position he currently holds as the United States Champion and part of one of the most established factions in recent memory alongside the MVP, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander – collectively known as The Wounded Affairs.

AFTER: Edge opens up about similarities to Roman Reigns, explains his Rocky moment

As Lashley prepares to defend his US title at Elimination Chamber (Sunday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. ET, WWE Network) against Keith Lee and Riddle in a triple threat match, The Hurt Business muscle spoke to Sporting News to explain why his faction has nothing to do with The Nation of Domination, what it is to work with MVP again and the idea of ​​an all or nothing title match at WrestleMania where The Hurt Business would stake his “Raw” tag team titles and the United States Championship against The New Day with Intercontinental champion Big E.

SPORTS NEWS: You and MVP have a history together outside of WWE. How does it feel to be back together at this point in your respective careers as The Hurt Business?

BOBBY LASHLEY: It’s a blast, man. Probably one of my favorite moments in my entire career because it’s real. There have been angles before people believe but this one is genuine. MVP, Shelton and Cedric flew to Denver, where I am, just to see my guy in a suit. It’s freezing here! But they wanted to come here and go out together. Wrestlers normally don’t do this. These are my friends. I’ve known MVP for maybe 18 years now. I knew Sheldon in college when we fought against each other. We all see ourselves in Cedric and we have a lot of knowledge that we pass on to him.

Once, Cedric entered the building and he had his costume on a hanger. MVP stopped him and asked why his costume was on a hanger. He needed to put it on because costume is who we are. It’s not a character we just do on TV. This is who we are. We are professionals.

SN: When the faction first met, people immediately thought it was the second coming of the Nation of Domination. What did you think when you heard that?

BL: My first thought was: “Thank you!” But that’s not who we were. Because you see a group of black guys, some people immediately associate them with another group of black guys. I love what The Nation has done, but that’s not what we do at all. But we are totally different. It is not about black and white; we are on green and gold. We are thugs in costume because we have a hardcore style but want to look good doing it. We wanted to show a different portrayal of black men because we didn’t see that. We are four professional black men who can bother you. This is what we are.

SN: When you talk about amateur wrestling, what happened when you had to change careers?

BL: I was in a bank that got robbed and had to dive for cover to avoid the shots and split my knee.

The fight is crazy after college, because what are you going to do after? Even if you go to the Olympics, you are looking for a lot of dedication with no money. This injury forced me not to even try. And with the Olympics every four years, do I put myself on the shelves for another four years? It was a crucial decision for me. Did I want to get through it all? At some point you have to start life. I was lucky that I didn’t even have to make that decision because I got an offer way bigger than anything else when WWE called me. When one door closed, another opened. It allowed me to train for my Olympic gold medal by playing every day.

SN: Do you think your fate as a professional wrestler was predetermined?

BL: Absolutely. And that’s why when you see me outside the ring – where I’m always in “Kill Mode” – I’m never in a bad mood. I appreciate everything. Really embarrassing things happen to me on TV but I was able to laugh at myself. The critics say what they say and I laugh with them because I would have laughed at myself too. I’m too high on the positives to think about the negatives.

SN: When you talk about embarrassment, you have to talk about your love triangle with Lana and Rusev. What do you think of being in this angle?

BL: It happened so fast. When I was introduced to this, I was told what to do and … (moans). I did not understand the magnitude. But the only thing I knew was that I was doing something different. And you can say whatever you want about Lana, but she was 100% committed and invested in this character. I felt uncomfortable doing it. I’m still in combat mode but it was good to get out of that mode. But I needed to relax and have fun with it. I relaxed because I knew we were trying to keep people entertained. I figured that out, although originally I didn’t like the idea and found myself cool with it. It’s not comfortable for me but I understood the lesson I was being taught.

SN: After that angle, The Hurt Business begins to form when MVP shows up at the Royal Rumble. Did you know that when he returned to WWE, you would be working again?

BL: Yeah, because I told him we would. At first it went in one ear and came out in the other but he listened. He’s like a mix between The Rock, Don King and Suge Knight. I wanted him to come back here so we could run together, and then we started putting him together. Mentally, I thought about it for years if and when he came back through those doors of WWE. It eventually turned into The Hurt Business and we had the components with Shelton and Cedric. Sometimes you have to believe in someone else’s belief in yourself and this is where MVP as a spokesperson comes in. He is our advocate because there is no doubt that each of us could lead. this company. We just needed someone to tell everyone.

SN: You have a match at Elimination Chamber against Riddle and Keith Lee, who are two Superstars who can be seen as the future of WWE. They also have leftovers of you in their style. Is it exciting for you to be a part of this game?

BL: The future is bright. These two guys have the potential to do great things in this industry. But that’s after my retirement, of course. They have very good games but I’m not trying to have a good game. I try to beat them. I’m going to grab Riddle and beat Keith Lee with him.

SN: WrestleMania is coming. Is there a match with someone you haven’t had yet – who would they be against and why?

BL: It would be a clone of myself (laughs). There are so many different people. It really depends on what the fans want. If you want a fight, give me Brock Lesnar. If it’s a street fight, I’ll take on Drew McIntyre. If you want to find out who’s the biggest dog in the neighborhood, I’ll take Roman Reigns. If you want a shipwreck, go with Braun Strowman. And if you want a technical match, I’ll drop by with AJ Styles and Seth Rollins. I cannot choose a person. It just depends on what kind of match is needed at that time.

SN: At the Royal Rumble, you and Big E had a moment. People have realized that you two have never interacted in the ring. Social media was buzzing with this possibility. Obviously, you’re both champions on two different shows, but would you be interested in a title vs. title match at WrestleMania?

BL: You know, it would be great to have two titles. Big E and I have deliberately stayed away from each other for so long, but I don’t think we can do it for much longer. One of the reasons is that we have the Raw Tag Team titles and I know The New Day wants them to come back. So if Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods come after us and Big E finds a way to get involved, now is The Hurt Business vs The New Day. We have never seen this game.

SN: You’re in great shape at 44, but do you set a time limit when you decide to call it a career?

BL: I still have a good number of years on my contract, but it’s one of those things where you see guys who’ve fought for too long and start to fall. But I tell my loved ones if you see me slowing down and picking up some extra pudge on my body, pull me aside and tell me. Sometimes we don’t want to be honest with ourselves. Right now, I feel invincible. But if someone tells me I’m slowing down, I’m going to look at myself. But, if I had to guess, I have five years left.


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