It has been over 10 years since Bobby Lashley stepped foot in a WWE ring. During his last run, Lashley had many prominent spots as a performer. Along with winning the United States Championship shortly after his debut, Lashley also won the ECW Championship, feuding with Vince McMahon. Lashley was also a feature at WrestleMania 23, competing in a winning effort with Donald Trump in his corner against Umaga with Vince McMahon in his corner.
During his time away from WWE, Lashley continued to hone his craft in the wrestling ring, competing in Mexico and Japan, as well as spending a total of five years from two different stints in Impact Wrestling. His run in Impact Wrestling allowed him to significantly develop his character, and also improve his mic skills. Lashley, during his time with Impact, also garnered a resume which included a run as X Division Champion and four reigns as Impact Wrestling World Champion.
On Raw, Lashley made a return to a thunderous reception from the post-WrestleMania crowd in New Orleans, Louisiana, after interrupting Elias during a song. Lashley showed the WWE crowd that he has not lost a step, delivering an impressive stalling suplex to The Drifter.
Lashley received many positive reviews on social media, particularly from his former employer, Impact Wrestling ex-President Dixie Carter.
Lashley thanked Carter for her kind words, as well as many other wrestlers for their congratulations. Another former Impact Wrestling star, Chelsea Green (known in Impact Wrestling as Laurel Van Ness), stated that Lashley returning to Raw made her so happy, and that “great people deserve these opportunities.” Matt Hardy told Lashley, “welcome back to the great game.” Triple H also commented on Lashley returning to the WWE, stating, “This time of the year can mean the end, the beginning, or the return… Better than ever, [Bobby]. Welcome back home.”
Regarding why Lashley returned to the WWE, he stated that he did not come back to the company to “wait in line,” but to shake things up. Right now, there is not a definitive direction that has been reported of where Lashley’s next feud will be, although Elias looks to be the current route. For months, there have been rumors of Lashley potentially competing against Brock Lesnar, per CBS Sports.