Since Ezekiel Jackson's return to Monday Night RAW, his push has been in question, as some people aren't in favor of it due to lack of ability or connection with audience.
I have been a fan of Big Zeke since his draft to ECW in mid-2009, dominating everything and everyone in his path. Rarely was he ever pinned, and became a part of the ECW's controversial stable, the Ruthless Roundtable.
As of recent, I began to think of his current state in the WWE, and how it relates to former WWE Superstar, former TNA Wrestler and current Strikeforce Fighter, Bobby Lashley
No, I am not just comparing them because they are both African-American, but because of their similar paths throughout WWE in their years with the company (with Zeke being currently).
Both of these men started out on the Smackdown brand, but in different fashions.
Bobby Lashley made his debut in September 2005 as an MMA specialist. Ezekiel Jackson made his debut as the bodyguard of the also re-debuting Brian Kendrick. Of course, both powerhouses went undefeated for a number of months.
Although Ezekiel did not win the United States championship like Lashley, they both made their way to WWE's C-Show, ECW, in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Neither man spent many months there due to being drafted or closure.
Ironically enough, they were both sent to the RAW brand following their tenure in ECW (Zeke was sent to Smackdown, but only had one match before being drafted to RAW).
Let's rewind for a second while they were in ECW.
Both of these men "dominated" ECW and won the ECW Championship.
It took Ezekiel Jackson eight months due to being in the shadows of William Regal, but he finally accomplished it on the final episode before its closure. Lashley basically won the title on his debut at December to Dismember in 2006.
Lashley dominated the Land of Extreme the entire six months he was there, having feuds with Big Show, Rob Van Dam, Test, Kenney Dykstra, Mr. Kennedy, Umaga and, unfortunately, Mr. McMahon.
OK, so this is a SMALL similarity, but a similarity nonetheless.
When Ezekiel Jackson returned last month in his debut on RAW, he was revealed as the final member of Team RAW at Bragging Rights, a match they went on to lose but was one of the last ones pinned.
When Bobby Lashley debuted, he qualified for Team Smackdown at Survivor Series 2005. Their team won the match, but Lashley was the first eliminated.
Their participation in the matches, however, gave the jump-start they needed for a strong push on their respective brands.
This past Monday on RAW, Ezekiel Jackson qualified for the upcoming King of the Ring tournament by defeating Alex Riley. Seem familiar to you hardcore fans?
In 2006, Bobby Lashley competed in the returning King of the Ring tournament as well, defeating Mark Henry and Finlay before moving to the finals. At Judgement Day, however, Bobby Lashley was unsuccessful in defeating King Booker to win it.
Over the years, the KOTR has elevated superstars such as William Regal, Booker T and Brock Lesnar to superstar stardom. It is unlikely Big Zeke will win with the other competitors in question, but this could be the huge opening Zeke needs to get a mega push he needs to stay employed.
From what you can tell, Ezekiel Jackson and Bobby Lashley are BIG men. Very muscular and strong, these two have powerful ability in the ring.
Both men have taken on the "dominance" gimmick, with Lashley's finisher being called "The Dominator." If they ever clashed, you should not expect a dominant showing, but a powerful clash of the titans.
With every good push, comes a surprising fall—in this case an injury.
Ezekiel Jackson, upon winning the ECW Championship, was sent for Smackdown in plans for a big push. However, before it could go full throttle, he suffered a major biceps injury at house show in April earlier this year. He was out for a total of six months.
Bobby Lashley, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky. Following a big match with John Cena for the WWE Title at the Great American Bash, Lashley suffered a major injury to his prior injured shoulder in what would be his last WWE match in July 2007. Lashley never made his return as he released in February 2008.
If WWE had held on to Lashley, he might have had a huge future with WWE...that is, if they hadn't been so thoughtless as to get rid of him.
Every time I see Ezekiel Jackson nowadays, I think of Bobby Lashley and his lost opportunity. I can only hope WWE doesn't drop the ball on Big Zeke like they did with Lashley.
WWE has not had a black heavyweight champion since King Booker FOUR years ago, so if this mini push on Zeke continues, we could see him in the main event soon. Fingers crossed he wins the KOTR on Monday.
Possibilities are always open for Lashley to return to WWE, but the biggest problem is the schedule. So don't be surprised if see him wind back up in TNA if he continues wrestling.
Big Zeke is on his way to the top, so the footsteps of Lashley should not be followed. With their similar paths, accomplishments and abilities, these two could put on one hell of a match.
Thanks for reading Bleachers! I'll be back next week with another Deadly Dream Match with "Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Benoit." Comments and likes are welcome! Happy Thanksgiving!