(We’ll always remember the good times we shared. PicProps: Esther Lin/Strikeforce)
Wrestling-and-MMA news guru Dave Meltzer reports this week that wrestling-and-MMA pariah Bobby Lashley is currently mired in contract limbo with Strikeforce. If you want to read Meltzer’s full report, we insist you sign up for a subscription (c’mon, Meltzer seems like a good guy), although the gist is this: Lashley’s contract with Strikeforce has reportedly “expired,” but it still requires a period of “exclusive negotiation” with Scott Coker and his crew. That means the former WWE champ can’t talk directly with any other MMA promotions right now and even after that particular contract stipulation lapses, Strikeforce will have the option of matching offers from other organizations.
However, Lashley’s contract doesn’t prohibit him from negotiating with professional wrestling companies, so if he were inclined to segue back into a world where baby-oiled-fake-bakers routinely slice their own faces open with razorblades, the iron is about as hot as it’s gonna get. In fact, things don’t get really interesting until you read what both Meltzer and SBNation are saying about Lashley’s relationship with Strikeforce right now …
Specifically, that the fight promotion “hasn’t expressed real interest” in Lashley since he shit his dress against Chad Griggs in Houston back in August. That news would be in keeping with Coker’s post-fight quotes about Lashley needing to do some “soul searching” to figure out if he even wants to be a fighter anymore. SB Nation’s Brent Brookhouse theorizes that the Lash Dog will have to “drop his asking price by a significant amount to have any hope of ever performing on a big stage again.” OK, real talk: That ain’t happening. We all know this whole MMA thing was a cash grab to begin with. We don’t really believe Lashley is committed enough to the sport to come back for mid-card money just to prove his sand to all of us haters and nonbelievers.
Further bad news for Lashley are reports that serious talk about Dave Bautista coming in for a one-off, big-money pay-per-view bout has cooled considerably as of late. Despite rumors that he’d be in Nick Diaz’s corner over the weekend, Bautista was nowhere to be seen (at least on TV). He didn’t even to pull a run-in during Daiz’s backstage confrontation with Mayhem Miller. We’d like to think that means good sense finally prevailed and Bautista realized getting smashed by Lashley on PPV wouldn’t be the best thing for his brittle 41-year-old body or his “reputation,” but no, MMA Junkie reports the big guy is still totally down. So who knows, maybe that terrible freakshow still has some legs.
Griggs is also taking the assumedly meager money and limited prestige that came with beating Lashley and running with it. That crafty, mutton-chopped devil is allegedly not interested in a rematch. And honestly, neither are we.
So yeah, if you’re Lashley it’s looking pretty bleak for you right now in the world of real fighting. If the WWE is still halfway interested, now might be the time for a triumphant return. The wrestling industry loves a redemptive story of mended fences and teary homecomings. Plus, it sounds like they’re hurting for stars over there.
As for an MMA career that consisted of crushing an increasingly obvious series of cans until one of those cans proved not instantaneously crushable, it’s no wonder Strikeforce doesn’t really want the guy around anymore. We hold out hope for a couple more MMA appearances, but if not: We hate to say we told you so, but – wait no, we actually love to say we told you so. So, uh, we told you so, Bobby, although the Potato’s PR Department informs us we are obligated to wish you all the best in your future endeavors.