Bobby Lashley has only been back in the WWE since the night after WrestleMania 34, but this was the first time he had been seen in the company since July 2007.
Now, three months on from his return, Lashley will have one of the biggest matches of his career at Extreme Rules this weekend when he takes on Roman Reigns in a singles match.
The 41-year-old road back to the WWE was a long one, ten years in fact. During that time though, he evolved as a superstar in order to make himself a better performer, as he revealed during an interview with Boston's 98.5 The Sports Hub, via Wrestling Inc.
"When I was with WWE before I was a big guy throwing people around, power moves then after that when I left WWE I was like 'I still enjoy professional wrestling,' but some of the smaller guys look up at me and say I don't wanna wrestle him I don't wanna get thrown around by that guy.
"When I went to Impact it was me proving myself on a daily basis to a lot of different people. I mean I had matches with Austin Aries, matches with Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode, Drew McIntyre, I mean I wrestled everyone.
"During that time I wasn't just sitting back saying, 'man I hope WWE picks me up, I hope they see me, I hope to get back.'"
Hard work and focus
Lashley credits his hard work and undisturbed focus in helping him become a WWE superstar once more, as well as constantly keeping himself busy in the public eye.
He said: "It was: I'm gonna prove myself across the board. I'm gonna go out there and fight. I'm gonna show everybody I have the balls to get in the cage and fight at some of the highest levels.
"I want to show them what I can do in professional wrestling that I'm not just a guy who picks people up and throws them down. I'm a guy who can go in there and have great matches with a lot of different people.
"So I was showing these things every day for the past ten years and on top of that keeping myself in peak physical shape. I'm not covering up. I don't need a t-shirt on to go wrestle. I don't need to cover myself up, because I'm in shape, I bust my ass.
"The results of what I'm doing are on TV you can just look at me. They just had to look, 'what has Bobby been doing this whole time?' -- 'Look at this.' So after the interest was there on both sides, it was basically a handshake after that, 'let's make this happen.'"
Sure enough, the hard work and focus did pay off, as he's now going to face the face of the company, and potentially Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in just a couple of weeks time.
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