As documented by Sportskeeda, Bobby Lashley was a guest on the latest episode of WWE’s After the Bell podcast with Corey Graves. During the interview, the United States Champion revealed why he agreed to participate in the love triangle storyline with Lana and Rusev.
“For me, I had to figure out the ‘why.’ A lot of times people don’t want to know the ‘why.’ And I think part of the ‘why’ for me was, when I came back… here are a couple of things – One, they were like ‘well, we want people to hate you.’ That’s a good way. But, two, also I think it was getting me to loosen up a little bit. I trained so long with wrestling, and with wrestling, it was always ‘shut up and train.'”
Lashley said that he’d always been quiet and officials wanted to embarrass him on television to get him to break out of his shell. He also revealed that Olympic gold medalist — and Hall of Famer — Kurt Angle encouraged him to make the most of the opportunity and have fun with it.
According to Lashley, the storyline was also his way of giving back to the promotion. He felt that he had to pay his dues and the story angle accomplished that. However, he stressed that he’s nothing like his adulterous persona outside the ring.
The storyline saw Lana leave Rusev — who’s her real-life husband and onscreen ex — for Lashley. The onscreen lovers also took part in several controversial and risque segments, which many fans felt were disrespectful to Lana and Rusev’s real marriage. The superstars involved even received death threats from their harshest critics.
The romance between Lana and Lashley culminated with a wedding segment which saw Liv Morgan make her long-awaited return to television and confess her love for “The Ravishing Russian.” While Lana and Lashley remained married on television for a while afterward, the feud with “The Bulgarian Brute” fizzled out without being given a definitive conclusion.
Lashley’s efforts appear to have paid off. As of this writing, he’s one of the most prominently featured superstars on Monday Night Raw. In addition to being a champion, he’s a member of the Hurt Business faction.
Being in the stable — which also includes MVP, Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander — has allowed him to demonstrate a more serious side to his character. The group is currently feuding with Retribution, who are arguably the hottest act on the red brand’s weekly show at the moment.