Interview: Bobby Lashley talks about Impact in India, Donald Trump and keeping his Impact Heavyweight Championship

Pratyay Ghosh

Impact Wrestling are in India for their historic tapings which will take place later today and tomorrow. I caught up with Impact Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley and we spoke about everything from his pro wrestling and MMA career to plans for keeping his championship, the man who got him into wrestling and Impact’s tapings in India to his experience with Donald Trump at the Battle of the Billionaires.

Q: Hi. Bobby. Great talking to you today. What’s it like being in India? Have you been here before?

A: I have been in India before. I fought for Super Fight League 5-6 years ago. I love India. Speaking about myself, I love to travel, meet people and experience different cultures. And, I love Indian culture. I have a couple of good friends who are from India. The Great Khali is a really good friend of mine and I really like the culture.

My family is from Panama so they have a little bit of ‘not-United States completely’ so this just gives me a chance go out here and meet different people and experience different cultures and then show what I have in a different country and that’s what I want to do.

Q: Do you have any special plans for tonight’s show?

A: I don’t have any special plans. I think the only real plan is that you’ll see the best of me and you’ll see the worst of me because that’s just who I am.

Q: Are you confident of keeping your championship for a long time?

A: Yeah, cause look around (points around the room) and tell me which one of these guys you think can beat me. None of them. So yes, I should have this title for as long as I’m here.

Q: You’ve been with Impact Wrestling for a while now. What are your favourite memories from your time with the company?

A: I think every day is a great memory because there are so many good wrestlers here. We have great wrestlers here.

I had a long feud with EC3. We went back and forth and those were great matches. I also had the opportunity to wrestle Kurt Angle who was the guy who got me into wrestling. I had great matches with Bobby Roode, amazing matches with Eddie Edwards and it’s just so many people.

My biggest thing about Impact is that no matter who I get into the ring with, it’s going to be magic no matter who it is and it’s because we have such great talent.

Q: When Eddie Edwards last held the Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship, he beat you for it. Any comments for him?

A: Yeah, if he ever comes at me again I’ll rip him apart and throw half of him away so he’ll only be half the man after I’m finished with him.

What has been the difference backstage since Anthem took over?

We’ve always been a tight group. The management has changed but we’ve always done the same thing. We’ve never skipped beat. We’ve had a little bit of trouble here and there back in the past but we’ve had bad times and good times but the one thing that remained constant was how hard we worked.

Even when we had trouble with any kind of thing backstage, we’d always get out there and put the best shows on every single time. That’s what we’re all about. We don’t really care who is managing or who owns it. We know that we have a show to put on and we put on the best product that anyone puts on.

Q: Impact Wrestling has been doing well over the last couple of months. What would you attribute that to?

A: To me. I’m the champ. If anybody’s going to get credit then it starts from the top. I’m at the top so it’s me.

Q: I have a question about WrestleMania 23. What was it like shaving Vince McMahon’s head in the middle of the ring?

A: That was just another defining point in my career. When you get put in a position like that, the shave off the hair of the boss of the company, they’re putting a lot of faith in you and they believe in you. So early on in my career, after a couple of years of pro wrestling, they believed in me enough to put me in a match that big and 10 years later I’m still doing it and still holding titles so they knew way back when how good I was.

Q: Any thoughts on Donald Trump? What are your personal opinions based on your experience working with him?

The only personal opinion I have of Donald Trump is that he worked really well with us. He understood what it was about. He didn’t try to push his weigh in there. He treated me with a lot of respect and he treated everyone else with a lot of respect.weigh in there. He treated me with a lot of respect and he treated everyone else with a lot of respect.

And because of that, that match came out as one of my best matches and one of the most memorable in WrestleMania history. I have nothing but good things to say about him.

Q: What was it like before the match?

A: Mr. Trump is a busy man and he has a lot to do. So I only had a few times that I met face to face to work with him and worked with him so we couldn’t put everything together. It just had to go.

Q: Coming back to your time with Impact, who were your favourite opponents?

A: I gotta say, Eddie Edwards was one of them. Kurt Angle was also a huge one. Then there was Bobby Roode. We had some great matches. I can’t name just one person. As I look around this room I see so many great guys I’ve been in the ring with. There are so many great people.

But, I definitely single out Eddie Edwards, Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode. Moose was also great. Chris Adonis is a huge addition to Impact and the opportunity to face him is great too.

Q: What was it like wrestling a legend like Kurt Angle? Is it really easier when you face someone that good?

A: You have to ask him that question because he was the one who faced someone that good (laughs).

Kurt Angle was amazing. He was the person who got me into pro wrestling. He found me when I was at the Olympic training center just wrestling, amateur wrestling. It was only 10 years after he brought me in that we had the chance to wrestle each other.

There was a lot of build up there and I’m glad it actually happened. I didn’t know if it was going to happen before he retired because that was the last match before he retired and if I didn’t get that match I may have never had the opportunity to wrestle the person that brought me into wrestling.

Q: You’ve been successful in both pro wrestling and MMA. When you go in as a competitor, what’s the biggest difference between the two?

A: It’s no different for me because I train the same and prepare the same. I get ready in the same way and with the same mentality.

When I head into the cage for an MMA fight, for that time inside the cage, I hate the person standing across the cage. I want to beat him up and beat him up to the point where he never wants to go against me again. After the match I can shake his hands and he we can be best friends.

It’s the same thing in professional wrestling. I can be friends with these guys but the minute one of them goes after the title, it flips a switch. I hate them and you’ll see it in the matches.

Q: Any message for your fans in India who’ve been watching you on television for over a decade now?

A: I love love love my fans in India. I mean, I’d just tell them to keep up with me because there are big things going on. And let it be known, you’ll see the best of me and the worst of me. For as long as I continue to wrestle, you’ll see the best of me and the worst of me.

When I say the worst of me, I mean that I have to do what I have to do to keep the title. So, if that means being a little bit of a bad guy then that’s what you’’ see but you’’ always be entertained.

We just asked The Shockmaster about Vince McMahon's retirement here

Edited by Staff Editor


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