Before you fly off the handle and start telling me how much he sucks, how he has no charisma, and all the rest of it, I just want to tell you, I already know.
Back in the old days of wrestling, guys like Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Diesel, and many other big strong men became World Heavyweight Champions. We did have smaller champions, like Flair, HBK and Backlund, but what seriously drew the crowds in were battles between the big men. You couldn't imagine Hogan vs Andre being popular at all if both of them were under 6ft tall. It was all about perception from a casual fans point of view, it was nothing to do with wrestling technique. Same goes for Hogan vs Warrior, it was all about size, muscles, and power.
You don't see that anymore. When was the last time we could be hyped up for a World Heavyweight Championship involving two athletic heavyweights? Honestly, I cannot remember.
The main problem being, is that size and muscle has often been replaced with charisma/wrestling ability/gimmicks. Wrestling lost something that helped the casual viewer to get into professional wrestling. For any casual viewer, they see small guys like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Austin Aries, fighting over World Heavyweight Championships, and they see huge guys getting beaten easily by smaller guys, and it loses all sense of believability. Of course, this is all down to perception.
The pure wrestling enthusiasts who love to see technical wrestling at its finest, they know there are not many big guys out there who can go hold-for-hold with someone like Kurt Angle, or Daniel Bryan. There are a few out there (Samoa Joe springs to mind), but there ain't many, and what you are left with are World Heavyweight Championship matches being contested by guys who are (or really close to) cruiserweights. This creates much better wrestling matches on paper, but you lose the "big fight" feel sometimes.
Sometimes, if a feud is built correctly, or a guy has been a champion for a long time, it can be easy to create that big fight feel without the use of heavyweight wrestlers. This takes work and the correct storytelling. Without that it will fall flat, especially for casual fans. They want to see two heavyweight athletes slugging it out to become the biggest and strongest champion possible. This is why World Heavyweight divisions are often the most watched in combat sports, people want to see the two great heavyweights duelling.
Don't get me wrong, I ain't taking anything away from other divisions, there have been some classic bouts in lower weight categories, but if you ask most fans of boxing, or even MMA, the World Heavyweight Championship is usually the most important.
TNA Wrestling has never had that. You think back to all of their champions, and you will see that the vast majority of them could barely be considered heavyweights. Samoa Joe and Abyss are exceptions, and they didn't hold onto the World Championships for very long.
In this day and age, MMA has become ingrained into society. It's similar to how boxing used to be, there are many characters, many different divisions, and fans who just want to see a good fight, can tune in and get a legitimate contest between two men. What if wrestling operated this way?
Could you imagine if wrestling reverted back to a state where weight limits were strictly enforced? It would be quite the change, but I feel it would make fans think of professional wrestling as more of a sport like they used to. Of course, wrestling is totally different, it's not "real". The fact that it's not real, makes it even harder for casual fans to take it seriously, and with Cruiserweight guys fighting over World Championships, they simply don't understand it.
Bobby Lashley is a wrestler, and a fighter. He may not be the greatest fighter in MMA history, but he's not the worst either. This translates really well into his current World Heavyweight Championship reign. This man is big, muscular, quick and athletic. Gone are the days where heavyweights would lock up and do the test of strength, Lashley will just power his way through anybody. The fact is, Lashleys ring work isn't terrible. In fact, Lashleys wrestling is as real as you can find. He was NAIA (Amateur) Wrestling Champion in 1997 and 1998, he joined the army and continued to wrestle there, and he was training for the Olympics in 2003 before he suffered a knee injury while doing business at a bank where a robbery broke out.
Lashley decided to go into professional wrestling, and he debuted with the WWE in 2004. Lashley won the WWE United States Championship in 2005, only to lose it a few weeks later, and then he was booked to win the ECW...