Bobby Lashley Recalls Bank Robbery That Dashed His Olympic Wrestling Hopes

Bobby Lashley's hopes of being an Olympian were dashed by an unfortunate injury suffered during a bank robbery.

The All Mighty WWE Champion is the latest guest on Stone Cold Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions, and during their conversation, Lashley spoke about his aspirations to compete at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The year prior, however, his plans were derailed during a - what should have been - routine stop at the bank. Here is what happened:

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"It was after the world team trials and I just moved up in weight class. So first I was at 187. I was cutting all the way down to 187. Couldn't do it anymore, Moved up to 211. That's where I felt good. Had a tournament world team trials and I took third, so I was in the top four of the ladder, and a new weight class, and I was ready. So next year was coming around.

A couple of months after that I was going to the bank. I just went there to go deposit some money, do some bank stuff. How the tellers work, you know, everybody comes in and they say, 'all right, come here, come here.' So I got into the back of the line. At first, when I walked in, three guys were standing on the side. Now that I looked back at it was kind of stupid, but I wouldn't think that this was going to happen. They had bandanas kind of on their neck. You wouldn't think they're coming to rob the bank. Come in and give these guys a little nod, 'What's up,' you know. Go inside and get some money out of the ATM and then I go into the line.

As soon as I get into the line it's like, 'bam bam,' When I first heard it, all the ladies that were in the round part were facing the door so they were like screaming and dropping down. I was like, oh, and I turned, and when I turned, I later found out because I saw the video, like the bullet kind of went right over. The guy when he kicked open the door, I don't know if it was reflex and shot or if he really wanted to shoot, I don't know what it was, but they kicked open the door and he's boom, he's going. When he did that, I just took a dive down to the ground. As soon as I hit the ground I just, it was like a thud and just pure panic. I was shaken but I was like, almost feel like I was trying to push myself through the concrete like trying to disappear and be calm.

Then I heard another shot. I move forward a little bit, I think, 'no-no, don't move, relax. Then these guys went through and it was like my whole body was numb at the time, and I just kept thinking, you know, this is not how this is supposed to end. I came from nothing, and I put myself through college, join the military, wrestling's going great. I was like, 'there's no way I'm gonna get executed on the ground here, like laying down.' That thought was going through my mind the whole time.

Those guys did their thing for a little while and then they end up leaving, but I helped everyone up and then when I later looked down, my knee was as big as a huge softball at the end of it. I went and had surgery they had to remove my bursa sac, the fluid in the knee. Then they had to cut the back open because it drained back there. Tore my meniscus all kinds of stuff. Had that surgery. Then a couple months after that, I'd have another surgery because it was like an infection in there. That basically just ended my whole -- well not ended my amateur wrestling career, but I would not have been able to go to the Olympic trials. It was just too close."

Lashley has gone on to have a successful career in both MMA and professional wrestling. He currently holds the WWE Championship and is scheduled to defend it against Goldberg at SummerSlam. Fightful will have live coverage of WWE's annual summer spectacular next Saturday, August 21, 2021.

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