Whilst the two competitors in the match were not main event talents, and the match itself was not even for any championship, it was still one of the most important at that year’s WrestleMania.
In this article, we’ll talk you through how Bobby Lashley vs Umaga was the biggest money match at WrestleMania 23.
Bobby Lashley vs Umaga
The match at WrestleMania 23 saw ECW Champion Bobby Lashley against Umaga, but this match was not for Lashley’s championship.
Instead, the bout was set up by two of the most infamous characters in WWE history – Vince McMahon and Donald Trump.
Yes, the former President of the United States Donald Trump was part of one of the biggest angles in WWE history…and it was good?
Years before he would buy the WWE in storyline (and cause the stock to crash, due to people thinking it was real), Donald Trump competed in a contest with real-life friend Vince McMahon, culminating at WrestleMania 23.
On Raw, McMahon and Trump entered into a wager. With money being no object, they needed something else to put on the line at WrestleMania – their hair.
The winner of the match at WrestleMania 23 would get to shave the other one’s hair. This was the ultimate humiliation, but there was one issue – Donald Trump couldn’t wrestle.
To solve this, each man picked a “champion”, like the knights of old, to represent them in the battle.
McMahon chose Umaga, the Samoan Bulldozer who had only lost to one man in the WWE, and that was WWE Champion John Cena.
Meanwhile, Trump looked further afield, selecting his wrestler from the ECW roster. He picked ECW Champion Bobby Lashley, already touted as one of the big stars for the future.
These two men seemed like the perfect match, and it was a coin toss over who would win the bout. In the build up to WrestleMania 23, the pair had a number of fun segments together, including Lashley leaping through a steel cage to attack Umaga.
The build up to WrestleMania 23 was fantastic, and it added even more to it when Stone Cold Steve Austin was added to the mix, as the special guest referee.
With all the bells and whistles, as well as Donald Trump’s inclusion in the angle, billed as “The Battle Of The Billionaires”, gave the WWE mainstream exposure and helped make it one of the biggest matches the WWE had in years.
Bobby Lashley vs Umaga put on a great match at WrestleMania 23. It was fraught with interference, but that only added to the insanity of the match.
Vince McMahon was joined by his son Shane, interferring in the match by attacking Lashley, trying to save his hair from the clippers of Donald Trump.
However, Donald Trump stopped McMahon with a huge clothesline, before Austin hit Umaga with a stunner, followed by a spear and pin by Bobby Lashley to win the match and save Trump’s hair.
After the bout, Austin, Lashley and Trump shaved Vince McMahon’s head, before Austin gave Trump a Stone Cold Stunner to send the crowd happy into the next match.
Vince McMahon would keep his hairless head on TV, wearing a durag to make full use of his now shaven noodle.
He also began speaking in black vernacular, making a mockery of himself weekly on television.
It also led to him winning the ECW Championship from Lashley, in a three-on-one handicap match that also featured Shane McMahon and Umaga.
This run was, sadly, one of the highlights of the new ECW, and was ultimately made by the incredibly fun Umaga vs Bobby Lashley match from WrestleMania 23.
Bobby Lashley on Donald Trump
WWE Superstar Bobby Lashely spoke to Digital Spy about Donald Trump appearing with him at WrestleMania 23.
The former WWE Champion called the experience “really cool”, and that he just did his part in the match and did not try to dominate the conversation.
“It was actually really cool because it wasn’t one of those things where he wanted to take over like, ‘oh it’s me, Donald Trump ,’ it wasn’t that at all.
“He actually came into the position and was like, ‘look man I want to make this as great as possible, so tell me what I can do’.
“He didn’t tell me how to do my match, he didn’t tell Vince how to run WWE, he just came in and said, ‘this is awesome, tell me what I could do on my part to make this the best ever,’ and he did his part.”
“At the time when I was doing it I didn’t really understand the magnitude of it. No one could have seen Donald Trump becoming the President.”
Bobby Lashley’s match with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 39 was cancelled, and he instead won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on the Smackdown prior to the show.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.