The TNA Wrestling world champion is going to fight. Bobby Lashley is returning to MMA. Lashley will be jumping back into the cage for Bellator in a rare MMA fight featuring a world champion from a top United States pro wrestling promotion.
This is an interesting deal as I have seen and heard both arguments as to why it is a good and bad idea for TNA to have Lashley fighting. Those arguments are obvious. I am on the smart move side. I see this as a no-lose proposition. Just having your world champion in a real fight is a big coup for TNA. What do they lose if Lashley looks bad anyway? TNA is in one of its worst states so Lashley losing won’t matter. I can’t see a fan in 2014 refusing to watch TNA because the world champion lost a fight. I can see Lashley getting TNA some good publicity and giving the title a much needed shot of legitimacy. Lashley could always blame some phantom injury on a loss if he loses badly and TNA fans wouldn’t know the difference.
Brock Lesnar is the most famous crossover pro wrestler/MMA fighter of our lifetime. Lesnar not only lost his last two fights, he was destroyed by Alistair Overeem in his final fight. Since returning to the WWE Lesnar continues to be a tremendous draw, maybe even the biggest depending on the criteria you use to assess that. I think Lashley will be just fine win or lose after September 5.
What is noteworthy is that Brock Lesnar will likely be WWE champion by the time Lashley fights. The two top pro wrestling promotions in the United States will have legitimate shooters as their world heavyweight champions. I can’t recall the last time that has happened. It is certainly a throwback to an era where that was a requirement for the world champions.
You have to wonder if a Lashley win would precipitate some kind of grandstand challenge from Lashley to Brock Lesnar for a fight. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what WWE does first before TNA can copy it.
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