SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Bobby Lashley defeated Josh Appelt at 1:43 of the second round via submission in tonight’s co-main event at the Bellator 162 event airing live on Spike TV.
During his post-victory interview, Lashley gave a shout-out to Jerry “The King” Lawler in the front row. They showed him in the front row. Lawler had done a lot of publicity for Bellator all weekend, including hosting a public workout with Lashley outside of his bar on Beale Street. Before the fight they showed Memphis Grizzlies’ NBA stars Mike Conley and Vince Carter were shown in the front row at tonight’s Bellator 162 event in Memphis, Tenn. at the FedEx Forum.
“There are a lot of people to go after,” Lashley said. “The first person I have go after is Eddie Edwards, you’ll find out about that later,” he said. Then he said to the powers that be that he wants to be in the Bellator Heavyweight Tournament.
Play-by-play announcer Sean Grande, who is a lifelong pro wrestling fan and former Wrestling Forum Newsletter associate editor back in the 1980s, clarified that Edwards is the new TNA Champion “and he’s the only one who’s had any success against Bobby Lashley.”
The announcers shifted to discussing how Lashley might do when finally matched against an elite heavyweight. They noted that he looked winded at the end of the first round, but caught his breath between rounds and looked good in finishing off Appelt early in the second. Lashley had reason to be tired. He outstruck his opponent 58 to 0, landing 58 out of 66 attempts.
They also showed Lawler and Bubba Dean, a Bellator cameraman, chatting with each other. Lawler and Dean had worked together for years in WWE.
For a detailed report on tonight’s Bellator card including more details and analysis of Lashley’s fight, check out the report at our sister site, MMATorch.com: BELLATOR 162 LIVE RESULTS 10/21: Shlemenko vs. Grove, Lashley vs. Appelt, Kato vs. Matthews, Yamauchi vs. Couture
Keller’s Analysis: Lashley looked fine, but it’s hard to get much of a feeling from a fight where he wasn’t tested at all and basically looked like he was in a sparring contest followed by a submission attempt workout with some resistance by his workout partner. At age 40, the time is now for Lashley to decide if this is a “fun side project” or if he wants to try to test his limit against better fighters. Entering the heavyweight tournament would do that, and he sounds ready for it. I was surprised we didn’t references by the announce team to Lashley’s WrestleMania Moment with Donald Trump, especially since Grande talked about pro wrestling and MMA being as different as James Carville and Mary Matalin, so it’s not like political references were off-limits. With the cross promotion for TNA, though, you’d think TNA Impact Wrestling was still on Spike TV and not Pop TV. Grande also talked about Lashley having a tough wrestling schedule, although TNA’s schedule these days is so light it’s difficult to even classify it a “schedule.”