Barnett briefly was announced as the TNA World Heavyweight Champion as the match ended in controversy with referee Brian Hebner missing Lashley’s shoulder going up. Referee Brian Stifler then came out to explain what happened before senior referee Earl Hebner re-started the match. Lashley ended up winning off the re-start to retain his title.
Barnett, who has done commentary for New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS since early 2015, is currently serving a MMA suspension from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after he failed an out-of-competition drug test on December 9th. Barnett’s last UFC fight came on September 3rd, 2016 – a win over Andrei Arlovski in the main event of a UFC Fight Night event from Germany. Barnett has a MMA record of 35-8.
There is some pro wrestling history between Barnett and Lashley – Barnett defeated Lashley back in 2011 during an IGF Heavyweight Title tournament match in Tokyo. Barnett ended up losing in the finals of that tournament.
Below are photos of Barnett at Thursday’s tapings, courtesy of Jacob Cohen on Twitter:
Scoop #10: Josh Barnett challenges Lashley for a World Title Match, Lashley says in MMA there are rules, in Lashley's world there are none pic.twitter.com/CCNzC4x7t1— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) January 12, 2017
Scoop #28: Main Event Time! Lashley vs. Barnett! pic.twitter.com/nbU4v5NTEI— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) January 13, 2017
Scoop #29: Josh Barnett defeats Bobby Lashley to become the new TNA World Champion pic.twitter.com/IMFlxke6vu— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) January 13, 2017
Scoop #30: Wait, refs are arguing about the finish, Earl Hebner out talking to Borash pic.twitter.com/Q9IqceEtKw— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) January 13, 2017
Scoop #32: Lashley defeats Josh Barnett to retain the TNA World Title pic.twitter.com/6vtwjQilnz— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) January 13, 2017