Childhood & Early Life
Bobby Lashley was born Robert Franklin Lashley, on July 16, 1976, in Colorado. His father was a drill sergeant with the ‘United States Army.’ Lashley has three elder sisters. Due to the nature of his father’s job, Lashley’s family moved from place to place. For early schooling, Lashley attended the ‘Fort Riley Middle School,’ in Kansas. While he was in the seventh grade, Lashley joined amateur wrestling, as an alternative to football.
Lashley graduated from the ‘Junction City High School.’ Thereafter, he attended the ‘Missouri Valley College.’ Lashley continued to be active in amateur wrestling, and won the ‘NAIA National Wrestling Championship,’ in the three consecutive years, 1996, 1997, and 1998. He graduated from the college with a bachelor’s degree in ‘human-service agency management and recreation administration.’
After graduation, Lashley joined the ‘U.S. Army,’ and continued to wrestle in the army’s ‘World Class Athlete Program.’ He won gold and silver medals, in the wrestling competitions conducted by the ‘International Military Sports Council.’ After three years of service, Lashley retired from the army. He hoped to qualify for the ‘2004 Summer Olympics,’ and trained for it. But Lashley was caught in a robbery at a bank, and was hit by a gun. His knee was badly damaged, and Lashley had to give up his amateur wrestling career.
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In November 2004, Bobby Lashley signed a contract with the ‘WWE.’ He was assigned to the ‘Ohio Valley Wrestling.’ In 2005, Lashley performed in several wrestling events for the ‘Raw,’ and the ‘Smackdown!’ brands of the ‘WWE.’ In his debut match, Lashley defeated Simon Dean.
In January 2006, Bobby Lashley became the first ‘Smackdown!’ wrestler to qualify for the ‘Royal Rumble.’ At the event, Lashley defeated Sylvain, but later, he was eliminated by a combination of Big Show and Kane. In April 2006, Lashley competed in his first ‘WrestleMania,’ in the ‘Money in the Bank’ ladder match. He also competed in the ‘Smackdown!’s’ ‘King of the Ring’ tournament. Lashley reached the finals, but was defeated by Booker T, on the ‘Judgement Day.’
In November 2006, Lashley moved to the ‘ECW’ brand. He made his debut, by making a surprise entry to the ‘Extreme Elimination Chamber’ match, for the ‘ECW World Championship.’ He defeated Big Show and Test, to become the ‘ECW World Champion.’ Lashley became the first African American to win the title. In 2007, Lashley defended his title, against many big names such as Big Show, and Robert Van Dam. In June 2007, Lashley defeated Vince McMahon in a streetfight, to win the ‘ECW World Champion’ title for the second time.
In June 2007, Lashley was drafted from the ‘ECW’ brand, to the ‘Raw’ brand. He was the number one contender for the ‘WWE Championship’ title, but lost to John Cena. In February 2008, Lashley was released from the contract with the ‘WWE.’ After this, Lashley appeared in the ‘Triplemania XVI,’ the flagship event of the ‘AAA.’
In December 2008, Lashley made his debut in mixed martial arts, by appearing at the ‘Mixed Fighting Alliance’ inaugural event, ‘There Will Be Blood.’ He defeated Joshua Franklin in 41 seconds, in the first round. In March 2009, Lashley defeated the veteran fighter, Jason Guida, in a unanimous decision.
In April 2009, Lashley made an appearance at the ‘Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s’ pay-per-view event, ‘Lockdown.’ He also featured in the wrestling TV show, ‘TNA Impact!’ In June 2009, Lashley made his in-ring debut for the ‘TNA,’ in a tag team match in which, he paired with Mick Foley, to defeat the ‘World Heavyweight Champion,’ Kurt Angle. In February 2010, Lashley was released from the ‘TNA,’ so that he could concentrate on his mixed martial arts career.
Bobby Lashley concentrated on his ‘MMA’ career in the early half of 2010s. In August 2010, Lashley participated in the ‘MMA’ event, ‘Strikeforce: Houston,’ to face Chad Griggs. Though Lashley dominated in the beginning of the fight, he suffered an injury, and lost the fight. Following the fight, Lashley was hospitalized.
In February 2011, Lashley signed for the ‘Titan Fighting Championship.’ But injuries affected his fights. In 2011, he signed a three-year deal with the ‘Shark Fights.’ Lashley became the ‘Shark Fights’ heavyweight champion, by defeating Karl Knothe.
In July 2014, Lashley signed a contract with the ‘Bellator MMA.’ He made his promotional debut against Josh Burns. Lashley won the fight. In June 2015, Lashley fought Dan Charles, and won the fight in the second round. Lashley was under a contract with the ‘Bellator,’ till his return to the ‘WWE.’
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In 2014, Lashley returned to the ‘TNA.’ In June 2014, he defeated Eric Young, to become the ‘TNA World Heavyweight Champion.’ Lashley was the first African American, to win the title. He defended the title against Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, and Bobby Roode. In March 2015, he lost the title to Kurt Angle.
In 2015, Lashley competed in the ‘TNA World Title Series,’ to regain the ‘TNA World Heavyweight Championship.’ He advanced till the semi-finals, but was defeated by Ethan Carter III. Later, Lashley defeated Eddie Edwards, in a ‘Winner Take All Six Sides of Steel’ match, to win the ‘TNA X Division Championship.’ He also regained the ‘TNA World Heavyweight’ title. Lashley won the title four times in his career. In 2018, Lashley was released from his contract with the ‘Impact Wrestling.’
In April 2018, Lashley returned to the ‘WWE,’ with the night after ‘WrestleMania 34.’ He participated in the ‘Greatest Royal Rumble,’ but was defeated by Braun Strowman. He participated in tag-team matches with fighters such as Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Braun Strowman. Lashley defeated Roman Reigns, at the ‘Extreme Rules’ fight.
Bobby Lashley was in a relation with former ‘WWE’ diva, Kristal Marshall, from 2006 to 2010. They have a son, Myles, and a daughter, Naomi. The couple parted ways in 2010. Lashley has a daughter named Kyra, who was born in 2005. The identity of the kid’s mother is kept secret. He is currently single.
Lashley has started many business ventures. In 2007, he opened a shop that sells health drinks. In 2009, Lashley announced the launch of the ‘Lashley Network,’ which comprises of an official gym, a nutrition store, and a social networking website. In 2010, he opened a gym, ‘American Top Team Altitude,’ in Colorado.