WWE LIVE in Bournemouth
Bobby Lashley returns to a WWE ring (Credit: WWE.com)
WWE superstars descended on Bournemouth this week for an appearance at the BIC this week. Among them was none other than Bobby Lashley, who is back with the WWE for the first time in a decade.
Sam FM Breakfast presenter Damien St John learned to wrestle on his stag-do last year, making him the perfect person to chat to the former United States and ECW Champion.
"My first day back was great. I thought that one day it might happen and finally it did. Everyone was so friendly, really warm". Plenty has changed in the past ten years, including the introduction of the WWE Network and of course some the names in the locker room.
Just how many faces did The Dominator recognise? "Quite a few", replies Lashley with a smile. "First time around there were guys like Umaga and JBL but now I'm seeing a few from my time away from WWE, the likes of Samoa Joe, Bobby Rude, Dolph Ziggler, guys like that".
Finn Balor, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are just some of the superstars appearing at WWE Live this Spring (Credit: WWE.com)
What are the plans for Lashley's current run in the WWE? "I'm here to go for it. I'm up to speed and training hard. Some people in the business are just happy to be here and put people over but I'm here to work. Hopefully I'll show the WWE Universe that I'm more agile now too".
Lashley entered the WWE back in 2005 and clocked up a host of memorable moments during a three-year run, including three title reigns and a hair-raising Battle of the Billionaires match with future US President Donald Trump in his corner at WrestleMania 23:
Think you've got what it takes to be a WWE Superstar? Then grab your suitcase. Be prepared to spend up to 200 nights a year travelling, driving through the night or catching the last flight out of town, only to be up early ready for another showdown the next day in a brand new city.
So how does Lashley keep busy during the commute? The answer is unsurprisingly humble. "Mostly talking to my kids. I get up early for my work-outs then go for a walk around wherever I am, see a few sights".
Among those sights recently was the city of Jeddah, where Lashley showed up for the Greatest Royal Rumble, eliminating The Great Khali and Elias who he interrupted in explosive fashion to announce his return to the WWE back in April:
It's almost 30 years since the WWE first came to these shores and many fans are speculating there could be something special coming up like the legendary SummerSlam '92 at the old Wembley Stadium.
The WWE is no stranger to Bournemouth either, with Lashley having found a little time this week to take in the local scene and even a walk along the seafront. "It's beautiful down here. I went to the pier and to the store. People came up to me to say hello".
Do fans ever try out moves in the street? "No," he laughs. "They're friendly, not stupid".
At 41, Bobby Lashley has spent a lifetime in both the squared-circle and the Octagon (Lashley has a 15-2 win record in MMA) and if current form is anything to go by he shows sounds as fired up and ready to go as ever.
So where next for Lashley in the WWE? "I've got my sights on Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. I'm heading straight for the top". Let's hope so.
Catch WWE Monday Night Raw and Smackdown LIVE at The O2 London May 14th-15th.
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