New details have emerged thanks to F4Wrestling via WrestleZone that might add some extra emphasis on Bobby Lashley’s clash with Josh Burns at Bellator 123 this weekend.
It’s being reported that Lashley is not at present being promoted for TNA’s upcoming Bound For Glory pay-per-view, traditionally their biggest event of the year. Being that Lashley is the current TNA World Heavyweight Champion, this would have to come as something of a surprise.
The message being sent is very clear — to maintain his position within TNA, Lashley has to prove his legitimacy as a bona fide MMA/pro wrestling crossover star. This is very much a make-or-break fight for the champion’s 2014 career resurgence.
A loss could prove disastrous to Lashley, as it would almost definitely rob him of his position at the top of the card for Bound For Glory. On the other hand, it’s a huge opportunity for Josh Burns to pull off an upset and build some serious momentum for himself.
With his last fight being a loss to Raphael Butler nearly a year ago, few would pick Burns as the favorite going into this bout. However, with Lashley having much more at stake and a similarly lengthy time having elapsed since his last competitive fight, there is a lingering chance that Burns could shock the world at Bellator 123.
Lashley needs a win tomorrow night — there is simply no getting around it. He is a central figure to the working relationship between Bellator and TNA, and anything less that a victory could prove to be disastrous for him.
That being said, a resounding win would not only be a triumphant return to MMA for the former NAIA National Wrestling Champion, it would be a huge boon for his pro wrestling career.
A wrestling fighting in an MMA match during their tenure as the top champion of a major promotion is a first for American pro wrestling. The recent buzz surrounding Brock Lesnar as WWE Champion has proven that audiences are interested in seeing MMA and pro wrestling cross paths, and Lashley has to potential to go a step further than Lesnar has.
As mentioned in our previous coverage of Lashley’s fight against Burns, the bout is a de facto title match for the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Taken as part of what has shaped up to be a very strong card, fans will certainly be watching intently as Bellator 123 airs this Friday, September 5th on the Spike TV network.