Bobby Lashley Says Apollo Crews Reached Out Before His 2018 Return, Hurt Business Wanted Crews First

The Hurt Business could have looked a lot different if original plans went through.

Bobby Lashley returned to WWE in April 2018, immediately becoming a weekly fixture on television once again. Apollo Crews was called up to the main roster in April 2016, but struggled to find a role until 2020. It was a feud against Lashley to put Crews on the map.

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Speaking on WWE After The Bell, Lashley revealed that Crews reached out to him before Lashley had returned, seeking advice.

"Before I even came back, Apollo sent me a DM -- I didn't even know Apollo -- and was like, 'I have a couple of questions to ask you. Did you ever get frustrated when you were here?' I was like, 'You're talking to a man that's not in and wants to get in. You're in the greatest place you can be and you're an amazing talent, that can't be denied. Just stay there. Maybe it's not your time right now. Eat catering, have a good time, whenever you have an opportunity, do the best you can and you won't be denied.' It takes time, sometimes. When I came back, I was like, 'You can have me beat Roman, go after Brock, and do main event matches or you can make me suffer and pay some dues. I don't mind either.' That's what I told [Apollo], 'Don't mind it. Anytime you have the opportunity to get in the ring, just do it and when you do it, they'll find a place for you. Keep bugging them. Tell them you'll do this and that. Keep throwing things at them. Maybe, sooner or later, something will stick. The greatest thing you have going for you is how talented you are and how much respect everyone has for you. That won't be denied. You'll eventually be in a big position. Stick in there.' When I got in and had the opportunity to work with him, I was like, 'Apollo is a cool dude,'" he said.

In May 2020, MVP offered his managerial services to Lashley, who wasn't doing too well with his "wife" Lana by his side. Lashley would end up dropping Lana to align himself with MVP. In June, MVP offered his services to Apollo Crews, who ultimately turned him down, kicking off a long-running feud between Lashley and Crews, which expanded when Shelton Benjamin joined MVP & Lashley and Cedric Alexander turned on Crews & Ricochet to join The Hurt Business.

Lashley revealed they wanted Crews to join the group, but plans didn't go in that direction.

"When we started the Hurt Business, we wanted Apollo first. 'Apollo, you need that. You're too pretty and too nice. You gotta be hated. You gotta have some grit.' We tell Cedric, 'Be as dirty as you can,' and Cedric is dirty. Apollo needs that too," said Lashley.

Crews would feud with the Hurt Business throughout the summer of 2020 and into the fall before he was drafted to SmackDown.

Business is still booming for Lashley, who became WWE Champion on Monday's Raw.

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