wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: When Did Brock Lesnar Last Submit?

March 14, 2022 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Brock Lesnar WWE Smackdown Image Credit: WWE

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This question by GRT is grrrrreeeeeeeaaaaat (to quote Lee Marshall):

Having just watched something from a Smackdown Episode on the 27th November 2003, I have one such question.

On this episode, the current reigning defending undisputed WWE Champion Brock Lesnar claims that he will never tap out again. Brock had just tapped out to Chris Benoit at Survivor Series in a Survivor Series Elimination tag match and previously tapped out to Kurt Angle at Summerslam of that year as well.

My question is how much of what Brock said was just a prediction and how much was a SPOILER!

Has Brock tapped out since 27th November 2003 and if so to who?

The answer to this one comes down to a bit of semantics.

If the question is whether Brock Lesnar has tapped out since November 27, 2003, the answer is no, he has not lost a match as a result of making that motion since that date.

If the question is whether Lensar has lost by submission since Novemer 27, 2003, then things get a little bit more complicated, and it’s all thanks to one match: The main event of Summerslam 2015, in which Brock locked up with his old rival the Undertaker.

The finish to the bout saw Taker apply his gogoplata. Lesnar briefly rallied and managed to flip his opponent the bird but ultimately passed out in the hold.

Some people would consider that to be a submission loss, even without the affirmative submission because there was a submission hold applied. Others would consider it to be a referee stoppage.

So, essentially, you can answer this question whichever way you like.

Tyler from Winnipeg is opening up the stable:

Can you please include a link to a great hoss match? I love seeing the MONSTER hosses in action!!!

Big Al missed a big opportunity:

Not too long ago I read the book Ring of Hell: The story of Chris Benoit. One of the stories told was the one when Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Eddie Guerrero moved to WWF and became the Radicals. Apparently they all lied to Shane Douglas, who caught wind they were negotiating with WWF, and swore on their kids they were not. Obviously that was a lie. My questions is is why was Shane Douglas not given the same opportunity to join them? Did Vince McMahon not like him or did Shane Douglas piss him off at one point to where Vince wouldn’t bring him in.

Shane Douglas actually WAS given an opportunity to join them, but he didn’t take it and wound up being frozen out – which might have been the result of a series of miscommunications.

For those who might not know the entire backstory, several WCW wrestlers became upset in January 2000 when news broke that Kevin Sullivan was going to be reinstated as the company’s booker. The upset largely resulted from tension between Sullivan and Chris Benoit, as Sullivan’s wife Nancy had left him for the Canadian Crippler during the Taskmaster’s previous tenure booking the promotion, which oddly mirrored an angle that Sullivan himself had come up with. The thought was that, after he lost Woman, Sullivan refused to book Benoit as a credible wrestler and that he was going to revert to those old ways in his 2000 run.

This lead to WCW sending letters to six wrestlers that, if executed by the grapplers, would immediately allow them out of their contracts and free them up to join the WWF. Those six were Douglas, Benoit, Konnan, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko.

However, at around the same time the release letters were sent, Vince Russo had started making his own demands on WCW management, namely that he either be reinstated as head booker or be released from his contract. When Douglas got wind of this, he told the other five wrestlers who had been given the option to leave that they should wait and see how things played out with Russo before accepting their releases.

Somehow, the group that eventually became the Radicals took this as the Franchise no longer being interested in the WWF at all, so they proceeded to sign their releases and arrange a meeting with the Fed without him. It is apparently true that the foursome – and particularly Malenko – lied to Douglas about the fact that they were in Stamford meeting with the WWF. However, that appears to not have been a result of an active desire to freeze him out. They were just following WWF directives to not disclose the meeting to anyone, as the company wanted to keep their eventual debut under wraps.

So the issue appears to be not so much that the WWF didn’t want Douglas as much as a mistaken impression developing that Douglas was not interested in the WWF.

Sources for the above included the January 30, 2000 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Shane Douglas’s interview with the YouTube Channel WSI: Wrestling Shoot Interviews.

It’s also worth noting that Jim Ross, who was in talent relations with the WWF in 2000, has said on his Grilling JR podcast that he absolutely would have signed Shane Douglas at that time had Douglas signed his release.

Patrick wants a positive spin on things:

I have a question about the old Wrestlemanias from Wrestlemania II to V. Which is the most underrated old Wrestlemania with the not so bad matches that don’t involve Hogan/Andre or Bret Hart and Neidhart?

I don’t think that I would call any of the Wrestlemanias that you’ve mentioned in the question underrated, as none of them are particularly good shows. Wrestlemania III is probably the best of the batch thanks to Savage/Steamboat and Hogan/Andre, though the latter really only has value as a spectacle and doesn’t stand on its own merits as a wrestling match if you try to watch it in a vacuum. I will say that Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis from the same card – though it isn’t a mat classic – is better than I would have expected from a late-stage Adrian Adonis match and would probably get more praise as being a standout bout on earlier Wrestlemanias if it weren’t on the same card as and therefore overshadowed by Savage and Steamboat.

The two tag team matches on Wrestlemania II – The Dream Team vs. The British Bulldogs and the Funks vs. Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana – are also pretty fun, though they’re not worth watching the entire card for.

On the whole, if you could cherry pick the best match or two from Wrestlemanias II, III, IV, and V, you could assemble a Frankenstein’s monster of a show that would be good to great, but there is a lot – and I mean a LOT – of skippable stuff on each of those cards.

Kyle has something stuck in his craw:

My question is this: Why do you continue to present the Dave Meltzer/Zane Bresloff Wrestlemania III attendance number of “around 78,000” as being the actual attendance?

Because Zane Bresloff was the promoter of the show, so he would know better than you or me, and he had no incentive to be dishonest.

I don’t know why some fans are dedicated to doing WWE’s kayfabing for it.

Robert L. from Detroit is angling for a rematch:

I was listening to an episode of Kurt Angle’s podcast on the subject of his 30 Minute Iron Man match with Shawn Michaels. Their Vengeance 2005 match was also mentioned, and Batista’s name came up. It got me thinking. I can’t recall Kurt Angle and Batista ever having a program, or a match, and could only find one instance of them in the ring together in June 2005 on a RAW, can this be right?

The June 20, 2005 episode of Monday Night Raw did, in fact, feature the first and only singles match to ever take place between Dave Batista and Kurt Angle. It emanated from Phoenix, Arizona and saw Batista win in just over two minutes via disqualification when he was attacked by Triple H and Ric Flair.

That was the only singles match between the two men, and it was one of only four times that they were in the same contest at all. The first of those was the 2005 Royal Rumble match. The second was the singles match. The third was a tag team match that occurred on the same episode of Raw as the singles match, with Batista teaming with Shawn Michaels and Angle teaming with Triple H. The fourth and final time (to date) the two were featured in the same bout was a six man tag that occurred as a dark match following the August 15, 2008 Monday Night Raw. Batista headed up a dream team consisting of himself, John Cena, and Hulk Hogan, while Angle teamed with JBL and Shawn Michaels.

Craig is slathered in baby oil:

When Lex Luger left WCW for the World Bodybuilding Federation, was that a planned temporary measure before joining WWF possibly to recover from injury or ride out a non-compete contract? Or were all parties expecting him to actually stay away from wrestling if the WBF had lasted?

It was 100% a ploy to get him into the WWF without actually getting him into the WWF and build him up for his eventual debut there. It was so transparent that I’m a bit surprised it actually worked.

Night Wolf the Wise is squaring a circle:

I wanted to ask you question about wrestling rings. From my understanding, the wrestling rings from the early days used to be old boxing rings. Many wrestlers describe them as being hard as concrete. Did all wrestling companies shift away from those types of rings to something that had less impact or did they still use those boxing rings?

Yes, with the possible exception of an incredibly low level indy that neither you nor I have heard of, essentially all wrestling promotions have shifted away from using boxing rings and are now using rings specifically designed for professional wrestling.

HBK’s Smile is launching an ICBM:

By my count, wrestlers from four continents have held the Intercontinental Title, those being North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Has any wrestler from either South America or Australia ever challenged for the title, whether as a member of the WWE or a local hero getting a title shot (like a more grounded-in-reality version of the Umaga-Santino match in Italy)?

I could have sworn that the answer to this one was going to be “no,” but then I started digging through records and found an Intercontinental Title match featuring a South American – or at least a match that is listed in databases as being for the IC Title.

On a taping for the old WWF Championship Wrestling program that occurred on November 17, 1982, WWF Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales (in his second reign at the time) reportedly defended the title against Tony Russo. If you remember Russo from his time in the WWF, you’re probably wondering why I am mentioning this match, because he was always billed in the Fed as being Italian. However, that’s not the case. Tony Russo’s real name was Jose Ficca, and he was born in Quillota, Chile.

After breaking in to wrestling in Argentina, Ficca had runs in Mexico, Australia, and the United States under a variety of different gimmicks. Oftentimes he wore a mask, like when he was the Golden Hawk, but when he was not under a hood he was usually portrayed as being Greek or Italian, presumably because it was thought that a Greek or Italian wrestler would get over better with immigrant populations in the big cities of the U.S. as opposed to a Chilean wrestler.

Russo’s career lasted almost thirty years, with no record I could find of him performing past the mid-80s. He actually just passed away on August 9, 2020 at the age of 84. He was living in North Carolina at the time, an area he grew to love when he worked for Jim Crockett Promotions.

You might have noticed that, earlier in the answer, I hedged a bit in saying that Russo had received an Intercontinental Title match. That’s because contemporary databases do list the bout that I mentioned above as being for the belt – but I have found similar results in the past in which a champion wrestled and it was listed as a title match despite there being no reference to the title being on the line live in the arena. Russo was always a preliminary wrestler in the WWF, so one would be right to question whether he ever actually received an IC Title shot. However, the databases are what we have to go with, so it’s what will go with at this point.

I also found a similar match for Russo against then-IC Champion Tito Santana, taped on March 6, 1984, also for WWF Championship Wrestling.

Russo isn’t the only South American to have this distinction, though. On January 5, 1988 in Huntsville, Alabama in a match taped for WWF Superstars, Intercontinental Champion the Honky Tonk Man faced Omar Atlas in a match that some sources list has being for the championship. Atlas was originally from Caracas, Venezuela, another South American country. Honky and Atlas would have a similar match at a Superstars taping on March 19, 1988 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

On the other hand, I could not find a record of a true Australian challenging for the Intercontinental Title, though I’m open to being corrected.

The closet thing to an Australian wrestling for the belt would have been Tony Garea, who had several cracks at the championship against Don Muraco between 1981 and 1983 and one more in 1986 against Randy Savage, which was taped for WWF Wrestling Challenge. However, Garea isn’t from Australia. He’s from New Zealand. Though there are portions of New Zeland that are on the Australian tectonic plate, from a geographic perspective its islands have never been considered part of the Australian continent.

Of course, you know what this means:

We need to start a campaign to get Massive Q an Intercontinental Title match.

That will do it for this week’s installment of the column. We’ll return in seven-ish days, and, as always, you can contribute your questions by emailing [email protected]. You can also leave questions in the comments below, but please note that I do not monitor the comments as closely as I do the email account, so emailing is the better way to get things answered.