Lashley Eyes Lesnar MMA Fight; Vince McMahon-Leg Slapping; WrestleMania RumorsMarch 15, 2021
Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Lashley Wants to Fight Lesnar
Bobby Lashley is best known for his career in WWE, but The All Mighty is trained in multiple fighting disciplines and would be willing to put them to use for the opportunity to challenge Brock Lesnar.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, Lashley said he would be willing to fight Lesnar in almost any athletic competition:
"I'm willing to wrestle, I'm willing to do 100-meter dash, I don't care. I love those big matchups! Brock is one of the biggest thing across the sports industry, sports world across the board. So if I can have an opportunity to fight Brock or wrestle Brock or do anything against Brock, I'm 100 percent in and I will be ready. That's all I gotta say about that!"
During the 10-year period from 2008 to 2018 after Lashley left WWE, he had a long and fairly successful run in mixed martial arts. The 44-year-old went 15-2 in various promotions, including a 5-0 mark in Bellator.
Lesnar became an even bigger star in UFC than he was during his first run in WWE. The Beast only had nine fights from 2007 to 2016, but he won the UFC heavyweight title by beating Randy Couture at UFC 91.
Since losing the WWE Championship to Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 36, Lesnar hasn't been seen on television. Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported in August that Lesnar is a free agent, as his WWE contract has expired.
Until Lesnar decides what he wants to do, Lashley will continue to be a major part of WWE's build to WrestleMania. He's the WWE champion and appears to be headed toward a match with McIntyre at the biggest show of the year on April 10-11.
Latest on WWE Leg-Slapping Ban
WWE chairman Vince McMahon is known for being particular about how he wants WWE superstars to perform, ranging from how each match gets laid out down to not wanting terms like "belt" and "wrestler" used on television.
The latest quirk grinding McMahon's gears is wrestlers who slap their legs.
Per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), one Superstar did a sloppy leg slap on an episode of SmackDown that led to McMahon banning the act altogether.
The Superstar wasn't called out by name, but Meltzer said it is a big-name performer.
Since McMahon's moods change regularly, there's no reason to think the leg-slapping ban will last forever. He tried to experiment with no wrestling during commercial breaks in 2019 but gave it up when it had a negative impact on the quality of matches on Raw and SmackDown.
WrestleMania Attendance Rumors
WWE recently announced that tickets for the two-night WrestleMania in Tampa, Florida, will go on sale Tuesday.
The company has been coy about how many tickets will be available, but WWE is reportedly looking to draw a huge crowd amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jon Alba of Spectrum Sports 360 has confirmed that WWE "is aiming for about 45,000 people per night at Raymond James Stadium" for WrestleMania 37.
Alba noted that 45,000 fans would make it the "largest crowd at a sports or entertainment event in America since the pandemic began."
Per Raymond James Stadium's official website, it can host 65,000 fans for NFL games with the ability to increase attendance by an additional 10,000 for other events.
The NFL allowed 25,000 fans to attend Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7. The rest of the stadium was filled with approximately 30,000 cutouts.
WWE has been using Tropicana Field—home of the Tampa Bay Rays—as its host site for all events since Dec. 11. Fans have attended shows at the stadium virtually.
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