While Bobby Lashley gave credit to his opponent tonight at GFW Destination X, Matt Sydal, there’s little question he is already looking past the high-flyer to both the currently-vacant GFW World title and his future fights in the GFW and the Bellator rings.
Lashley was speaking to the wrestling and MMA media during a conference call on Tuesday, which also featured Dan Lambert, the co-founder of American Top Team, which is the the Florida-based MMA team that Lashley is a part of.
The Lashley vs Sydal bout live tonight on Pop is being billed a “Shot vs. Shot” bout and the Impact Wrestling website tried to explain what that means: “Matt Sydal and Lashley have both been clamoring for Title matches against different champions. Sydal asked for a future X-Division Championship, while Lashley has demanded a World Title Match. Bruce Prichard decided that only one man will get what he wants, but they have to earn it.”
At the time of the call, it had only been a short while since GFW announced that it was stripping its World champion, Alberto El Patron, of the championship. Later, it was announced that Prichard would determine the fate of the title at Destination X.
El Patron had been suspended in July for an alleged domestic violence situation with his girlfriend, WWE star Paige. Lashley was asked about the suspension and the title.
“If we go out there and do something we have to hold ourselves accountable for the things that we do. The company has to do what they have to do. It’s an unfortunate situation. I don’t know all of the details because I try to stay out of that. My business and my contract says for me to be a performer and do that part, not to do any of the backstage or office stuff,” said Lashley. “The one thing I do know is, who needs the title? That’s me. Give me my title back. I could care less what’s going on with him. I’m just here to compete and now there’s an open title. That’s what I’m focused on.”
And Sydal is in the way, as much as a 5-foot-9, 185-pound Sydal can be in front of the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Lashley.
“He’s really well known. He’s been in the business for a long time and he’s a great wrestler,” said Lashley, referring to Sydal’s years in Ring of Honor and in WWE as Evan Bourne. “It’s a different match-up for me than I’m usually used to, with him being so small, but being a high-flyer is going to be exciting for people. But at the end of the day, Matt’s great, but it’s kind of just one of those things where he’s a stepping stone.”
On Sunday, Lashley competed in Toronto for Smash Wrestling.
“I just had an opportunity to go to Toronto this past weekend and get in the ring with one of the guys that mimics Matt Sydal — a guy by the name of ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey,” said Lashley. “It’s almost the same style that I had to wrestle so I got my little extra practice in to get ready for Matt Sydal. I’m gonna go out there looking to murder him and he’s gonna try and stay away from me and get something over on me.”
In and out of TNA / GFW Impact a number of times, in part because of his desire to compete in mixed martial arts, Lashley said things under the new management are “running smoothly” and it’s a “good product” being produced now.
“We’ve had our ups and downs with them the last couple of years but right now things are really stable and a lot of good guys are coming over,” said Lashley. “Everybody’s looking for a place, and there’s so many wrestlers out there right now, so it’s just another place for people to get on TV, be seen, have an opportunity to wrestle.”