February 5, 2008
Bobby Lashley officially released from WWE
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
One wrestler's wishes appear to have been granted, as WWE has announced on its website that Bobby Lashley has been released from his contract.
In a posting on wwe.com, the Fed stated that, "WWE has come to terms on the release of Bobby Lashley as of today. We wish Bobby the best in all future endeavors."
Lashley's release comes just over a week after the former ECW Champion stated that he had asked to be taken off WWE's payroll in a message on his official website. As reported by SLAM! Wrestling on January 23, Lashley stated that, "circumstances which are out of my control left me no decision but to leave the WWE."
Lashley officially signed with WWE in November 2003 and began development in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Initially under the ring name "Blaster Lashley" (he'd later add his first name to his moniker), Lashley served time in the Fed's developmental league through the fall of 2005, when he began appearing on Smackdown.
Lashley's career on the Friday night brand would continue solidly through WrestleMania XXII, a run that included a stint as United States Champion. Amidst a feud that saw him team with Batista against King Booker and Fit Finlay, Lashley was diagnosed with having elevated enzyme levels in his liver. He would only be out of action for a couple weeks, however, before returning to the ring.
Not long after his return, however, Lashley was moved to ECW to become part of the Extreme Elimination Chamber match at the ECW-only December to Dismember pay-per-view event. Lashley would go on to win the belt and would hold off all challengers before becoming embroiled in the Donald Trump/Vince McMahon feud, which culminated in Lashley representing "The Donald" in a Hair vs. Hair match at WrestleMania XXIII. Lashley would win the match over Umaga, resulting in McMahon's head being shaved.
Soon after 'Mania, Lashley found himself embroiled in a feud with McMahon, which saw the WWE chairman win the ECW Championship. The two would have several other encounters, often in handicap bouts involving Shane McMahon and Umaga, before Lashley would regain his ECW belt at One Night Stand.
Not long after ONS, Lashley moved to Raw in the WWE Draft, and was subsequently forced to relinquish the ECW title. He would quickly get involved with John Cena in a battle for the WWE Heavyweight Championship, with the result being a loss for Lashley at the Great American Bash.
Lashley's last WWE match would come soon after, as he was taken off WWE TV in an injury angle involving Mr. Kennedy on July 30, 2007, to allow for surgery. Lashley would later make public appearances for WWE, but would not return to the ring before his departure.
Stay tuned to SLAM! Wrestling for more on Bobby Lashley's departure from WWE.