Bobby Lashes Back
Bobby Lashley stormed into the ring on SmackDown looking to make a statement, and he did so without having to say a single word. It was only fitting, considering the last time we saw Lashley at The Great American Bash, the look on his face said more than his words could have hoped to express.
On July 23, looking frustrated, enraged, bitter, devastated and incredulous all at once, Lashley stood at center-ring, his unaffected stare burning directly into the face of SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. Long had just delivered the news that WWE physicians had deemed Lashley ineligible to compete in his scheduled Triple Threat Match for the United States Championship due to elevated enzymes in his liver, and neither Lashley’s desperate pleas nor all of the “We Want Lashley” chants in the world could have changed the G.M.’s mind. The ruling was upheld, and as a deflated Lashley strode back up the entranceway toward the locker room, his scheduled opponents, Finlay and William Regal, failed to even shoot a glance toward the two-time Armed Forces Champion.
If a picture tells a thousand words, the images of Lashley at The Bash could comprise a volume, upon the pages of which would be inscribed a tale of intensity, devotion and unflappable will. Lashley said at The Bash that only he truly knows his body, and that he knows in his heart that he was and is not too sick to compete. Less than two weeks after being denied the chance to regain the coveted United States Championship that was stolen from him, those words have proven prophetic. Lashley made an assertive return to the ring on SmackDown, ready to begin the next chapter of his story.
As Finlay and Regal grappled for the third consecutive week, a familiar turn of events once again began to unfold. With some help from his Little Bastard, Finlay gained the advantage over Regal and looked to finish him off with a crushing blow from his shillelagh, unconcerned with the inevitable disqualification that would follow.
As the referee signaled for the disqualification, Lashley rushed to ringside, clearly fed up with being forced to watch from the wings as Regal and Finlay battled over the U.S. Championship that he feels is rightly his.
With shillelagh still in hand, Finlay managed to ward off the charging Lashley and sneak out of the ring, leaving Lashley to vent his pent-up frustration on Regal, who he slammed to the mat with a running power slam. While he may not have gotten his shot at Finlay, Bobby Lashley sent a message to him and all comers: he’s back, possibly better than ever, and has his sights on taking back the United States Championship.
“I sat at home for a week and a half and just thought about this ‘medically cleared’ thing. They were just trying to keep me from wrestling, and it just angered me and pissed me off to death,” said an unsmiling Lashley. “So I came, I made a statement, and everyone who tries to stop me will feel the same thing.”