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Ask 411 Wrestling: Who Should Have Hosted Past WrestleManias?

April 1, 2019 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Roddy Piper

Welcome guys, gals, and gender non-binary pals, to Ask 411 Wrestling. I am your party host, Ryan Byers, and I am here to answer some of your burning inquiries about professional wrestling.

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Michael Jay brings us an interesting thought exercise:

Seeing that Alexa Bliss is the host of Wrestlemania 35, she’s falls into the same criteria of past hosts that were either WWE Legends (Rock at 27, Hogan at 30) or had no real program going into the event (New Day at 33).

My question is if you were to assign a host for each of the previous Wrestlemanias without one then who would be best and why? Same criteria applies meaning they would have to be considered a legend at the time the event took place or had no real program/match on the card.

Maybe this will be one of the questions that the comment section hates, but, honestly, I think this is one of the more original and fun hypothetical questions that I’ve gotten in quite a while. So, which legend or directionless superstar should have hosted each of the prior Wrestlemanias?

Wrestlemania – Bruno Sammartino – Wrestlemania placed the WWF solidly into the Hulkamania era, but the biggest name from the prior era was Bruno Sammartino. Bruno did appear on the card, standing in the corner of his son David, who wrestled Brutus Beefcake to a no contest when both Beefcake’s manager Johnny V. and Bruno intervened. However, hosting duties would have been a better fit for the living legend, as it would allow him to more clearly pass the torch to a new generation.

Wrestlemania II – “The Poet Laureate of the WWF” Lanny Poffo – If you couldn’t tell, this one falls more into the “wrestler who had nothing else to do” category than it does the “legend” category. With Wrestlemania II being held in three different cities, my thought is that you’d want a host setting up matches in a series of pre-taped segments. With his original, self-written poetry, Poffo would be just the guy to do that . . . bonus points if he dropped a subtle hint that he was the brother of then-Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage.

Wrestlemania III – Bobo Brazil – With Wrestlemania III emanating from Pontiac, Michigan, why not go with Bobo Brazil, a man who was not only a bona fide WWF legend but also had an historic rivalry with the original Sheik in the old Detroit territory? Brazil would have the charisma to captivate a national audience while simultaneously providing a rush of nostalgia for the local fans who would have remembered him from his heyday.

Wrestlemania IV – Sensational Sherri – At the time of Wrestlemania IV in 1988, Sherri was still the WWF Women’s Champion, though the title was lost in the shuffle and would be switched to Rockin’ Robin later in the year. The Sensational One hadn’t yet found success as a manager and was badly in need of something to do with her time. What better way to capitalize on her natural charisma than to have her act as the hostess for the biggest show of the year? Plus, she was already on the card in the Honky Tonk Man’s corner under her alternate persona of Peggy Sue, and I’m sure there could have been some tongue-in-cheek references to that.

Wrestlemania V – Roddy Piper – Piper was technically already part of Wrestlemania V, hosting a Piper’s Pit segment with Morton Downey, Jr. in what was his much-hyped return to the promotion after allegedly leaving the “sport” at Wrestlemania III. Though the Downey spot was memorable, it also didn’t serve to further Piper’s development as a character in the WWF, which might have been helped by an expanded hosting role . . . particularly since the Hot Scot would wind up as a host of WWF Prime Time Wrestling later the same year.

Wrestlemania VI – Brother Love – Honestly, this one is more of a selection by default than anything else, because there aren’t a lot of other good choices that I can see for the show. (Really, that’s a big part of what I think is going on with Alexa Bliss’ hosting gig as well.) Bruce Prichard was at the peak of hosting the Brother Love Show on WWF television at this point, so he was a recognizable name to fans, and he could be featured in a segment in which a top babyface embarrassed him. Plus, when Love was written out of WWF storylines almost a year after Mania VI, it was due to an attack by the Ultimate Warrior, so you could also build some Love/Warrior tension here given that the Warrior was such a big focal point of this show.

Wrestlemania VII – “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan – Given the patriotic fervor surrounding Wrestlemania VII and its Hulk Hogan/Sgt. Slaughter main event, the charismatic Jim Duggan would be the perfect candidate to host the show and rally further support behind the Hulkster. For whatever reason, Duggan was largely a non-factor on the show, only being seen when he joined the announce team for the opening match.

Wrestlemania VIII – Bobby “The Brain” Heenan – Wrestlemania VIII was the first Mania where Bobby Heenan was not managing anybody on the card. Though he was still affiliated on-screen with Ric Flair, he generally did not accompany him to ringside and in fact did not do so in his WWF Title match against Randy Savage on this show. Though he did do color commentary alongside Gorilla Monsoon and conceivably could still do so if he were hosting the show, it would be nice to allow the Brain to do something that would get him out in front of the live audience without having to take the sort of physical risks that he was concerned about taking as a manager.

Wrestlemania IX – Todd Pettengill – Mania IX is almost universally accepted as being the worst Wrestlemania in history, so why not top it off with a hosting job by someone who is among the least-respeccted announcers in WWF history?

Wrestlemania X – Paul Bearer – At the time of Wrestlemania X, the Undertaker was on the shelf nursing a back injury, meaning that this is one of very few shows in the series that he did not wrestle on after his initial debut. Having Taker come back and host wouldn’t make much sense, in part because he wasn’t particularly vocal at the time and in part because, after the show, they were going to debut Brian Lee as the fake Undertaker to set up the infamous Undertaker versus Undertaker match at Summerslam. However, Paul Bearer, a pretty solid promo, could take on the hosting duties, perhaps alluding to an impending return of his protégé, only to then be doubly surprised to see DiBiase show up with the imposter a few weeks later.

Wrestlemania XI – Gorilla Monsoon – I had quite a bit of difficulty coming up with a member of the then-current roster that would have made a good fit to host here, so I decided to pick one from the legend column, going with Gorilla Monsoon. The big guy had stepped aside from being a full-time commentator by this point, and he wouldn’t become the president of the World Wrestling Federation for another few months, so this would be an opportunity to get him back in front of fans in between his two roles and perhaps even set up the idea that he was tapped to be Jack Tunney’s successor because of how well he did at hosting the show.

Wrestlemania XII – Sunny – Granted, Sunny did manage the Bodydonnas to the WWF Tag Team Titles in the Free for All pre-show match, but I still count that as not having much to do. This was right around the time that Sunny first started to blow up as a major star, as it was in 1996 that that she became America Online’s most downloaded celebrity (back when AOL was actually a thing). This would be a good position from which she could show off her charisma behind the mic and increase her profile.

Wrestlemania XIII – Shawn Michaels – Michaels was on the shelf at the time of the thirteenth Wrestlemania, having allegedly injured his knee and “lost his smile,” though the fact of the matter is that he was just ducking out on a match with Bret Hart during the height of their behind-the-scenes feud. He was used on the card to provide commentary for the cobbled-together main event of the Undertaker vs. Sid Vicious, but putting him a host position would allow one of the biggest stars in the company at the time to have a more prominent role on the biggest show of the year.

Wrestlemania XIV – “Classy” Freddie Blassie – This year’s show is a difficult one to pick a host for, because most of the major acts have something to do and a lot of the people who would otherwise qualify as returning legends are off earning big paydays of their own in WCW. Thus, we’re going to go WAY back into the vaults to bring in Freddie Blassie. Despite being in his early 80s at the time, Blassie always seemed to fit in when he made cameos during the Attitude Era, probably because he always had a hardboiled persona that would have fit in with the Steve Austins and Triple Hs of the world had he been their contemporary. Plus, Blassie’s big gimmick during his days as a heel was filing his teeth down and biting his opponents, while the major drawing card of Mania XIV was Mike Tyson, the most infamous biter in all of combat sports. You could get a cute moment playing off of that.

Wrestlemania XV – Jim Ross – Good Ole’ J.R. returned earlier in 1999 doing a heel gimmick in which he was aligned with “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, but that was scrapped pretty early on when it failed to work for a variety of reasons. Ross was then taken off television for a period of time, returning to provide play-by-play during the main event of this very show. Making Ross the full-on host for the evening would allow for the show to be sold in part on his return, and it would give him more exposure before once again becoming a significant part of the World Wrestling Federation.

Wrestlemania XVI – The APA – In the year 2000, Wrestlemania’s fans missed out on a beer-swilling, foul-mouthed, ass-kicking badass on the card, and of course I’m talking about Ron “Faarooq” Simmons . . . and his tag team partner Bradshaw. Seriously, though, the former Acolytes were a consistently over tag team act that somehow wound up without a match on the biggest show of the year. They could have taken over hosting duties from their “office” backstage, perhaps with Simmons offering up a “Damn!” or two after witnessing some of the breathtaking stunts in the insane TLC match that was held among other members of the tag team division on this show.

Wrestlemania XVII – “The American Dream” Dustin Rhodes – The tag line for the seventeenth Wrestlemania was “Houston, We Have a Problem,” stolen from the film Apollo 13 and used because of the host city for the event. With Mania being closely tied to Texas this year, why not use the services of a host who is closely associated with the Lone Star State? WCW had folded very shortly before this show, and it had been acquired by the WWF, freeing up Dusty Rhodes to make an appearance on the show (assuming he was even under a WCW contract at the end of the promotion – it wouldn’t surprise me if he was unsigned despite appearing on their TV). Big Dust could skillfully hype up the matches of fellow Texans the Undertaker and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin . . . though it would probably be best if we kept him away from both the announce booth and the gimmick battle royale, albeit for different reasons.

Wow, this answer has gone on for far longer than I thought it would, and I know that we have readers who like some variety in these things, so why don’t we wrap it up here, halfway through Wrestlemania’s run, and pick up with the rest of the answer next week.

Moving right along . . .

Chris B. makes some very specific wardrobe choices:

I seem to recall a few years ago on NXT from time to time a female wrestler called “Blue Pants” would work a match. I seem to even recall her winning a couple of them.

I saw her a couple of times and then she vanished. Who was Blue Pants and was there ever a plan for her? Or was she just a local worker they would bring in if they needed to?

Ms. Pants was independent wrestler Leva Bates, who had been in the game for about eight years before NXT started using her as an enhancement talent in September 2014. She was originally just brought in to do some jobs on TV tapings, but she unexpectedly became a hit with the goofy fanbase at Full Sail University and was brought back as a result of it, probably more than she would have been otherwise.

Though she became a bit of a cult hero and even got in an appearance on a Takeover show, Bates was never under a full-time WWE contract, and there were no known plans for her to ever be offered a deal. There were some reports that a few wrestlers were jealous of her because she managed to get over without being part of the company, but her departure from the promotion was not because of any one incident and instead occurred because the company never had any plans for her in the first place, and it felt like it was time for her to move on.

If you’re a fan of Blue Pants and want to see what she’s up to these days, she’s all over the indy circuit, most notably appearing for women’s promotions like SHIMMER and Shine.

. . . and if you REALLY want a Leva Bates deep cut, see if you can go find episodes of the old Wrestlicious TV series, where she played the role of “Emo Leigh.”

Get it?

Jeff S. is the master of the universe:

I’ve read several places that after buying Jim Crockett Promotions in 1988, Turner Broadcasting briefly named their new company the Universal Wrestling Corporation before very quickly changing that to World Championship Wrestling (the name of their TV show). The Time Warner-owned corporate entity that was World Championship Wrestling, Inc. reverted back to the UWC name after the sale of the WCW assets to the WWF in 2001 and continued to exist on paper under this name until it was finally dissolved in 2017.

My question is this: for that brief period in 1988 when it was still the UWC and not yet WCW, was anything really done with the UWC name? Were shows promoted under that banner, for instance? Was the name ever mentioned on television? Was there ever a UWC logo?

What made me start wondering about this is that a YouTuber recently uncovered a prototype of an old NES game that nobody even knew had been in development. It’s a wrestling game featuring several WCW wrestlers (Sting, Flair, the Road Warriors, et cetera) and was apparently developed in the late 80s, but it uses the UWC name instead of WCW. Seems weird that a basically fully developed game would use the UWC name considering how briefly it was in use.

I am not aware of the Universal Wrestling Corporation name being used before the public in any way, shape, or form . . . and that may very well have been intentional.

As Jeff correctly noted, the Turner organization purchased the assets of Jim Crockett Promotions. At the time, JCP was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance, and the NWA name was heavily promoted on Crockett’s television, with the main championship that the promotion was built around being the NWA World Heavyweight Title. In wrestling historian Tim Hornbaker’s book Death of the Territories, it is implied in the chapter surrounding JCP that, upon the buyout, Turner had originally hoped to use the NWA name for its wrestling product, though they couldn’t for a couple of different reasons: 1) they didn’t actually own it, as the NWA was a separate corporate entity from JCP and 2) even if they entered into an agreement with the NWA to use the name, as JCP had, there are always business risks in building your business around a trademark that you don’t own.

Thus, rather than taking the somewhat risky move of using the NWA name for their new promotion, Turner and UWC instead decided to call the whole thing World Championship Wrestling, which had previously been the name of one of JCP’s television shows, meaning that it was both something that they owned AND something that would be familiar to fans.

Though I’ve not seen this directly stated anywhere, based on Turner’s initial desire to use the NWA name and its switch to WCW when that didn’t pan out, I’ve always inferred that Universal Wrestling Corporation was never intended to be what the public called the now Turner-owned wrestling organization and that it was always just meant to be a “behind the scenes” name, much as it was when it was reinstated as the shell of the former WCW in 2001.

Bryan J. also has an NWA-related question, though it dovetails with one of the hotter topics in wrestling these days, All Elite Wrestling:

The NWA had a relationship with WCW in the 80’s and later with TNA. Do you think AEW would be wise to try and partner with them?

No, not really.

Though the NWA name was huge back in in the 1980s and earlier, it doesn’t have nearly the cache that it used to. Yes, there was some affiliation between WCW and the NWA in the early 1990s, but the NWA name was secondary at that time to the Turner-established brand. Yes, the NWA name was used on WWF television during the Attitude Era, but everybody associated with it was made to look second rate, and it was so brief that it appears Bryan didn’t even remember to mention it in his question. Yes, TNA started as an NWA affiliated and used their championships for several years, again, the NWA name was secondary to the TNA name, and the agreement between the two entities ended not terribly long after TNA got on to Spike TV and received its largest nationwide exposure.

There are a few hardcore fans out there who still see the NWA name as something special, but I think that most of them have come to realize that a product isn’t going to be any more exciting or relevant just because it happens to have inked a deal with the individuals who own the legal rights to those three letters.

AEW should just focus on doing its own thing, because at this point the NWA name means, well . . .

HBK’s Smile would like to bring back a somewhat polarizing recurring feature in this column:

New question when you feel like it and/or up for it. It would be to trace the history of the AWA Linear Title. There are a few times after its inception where the belt was separated from the lineage, so I will defer to you as to when it is most appropriate to split the lineage from the belt, if ever. Perhaps this one won’t end up around Roman Reigns’ waist.

The AWA World Heavyweight Championship actually has a bit of an odd origin, as Verne Gagne essentially declared himself the first champion on August 16, 1960. The cover story was that Gagne had been challenging NWA World Heavyweight Champion Pat O’ Connor to a match and Gagne was named World Champ when O’ Connor refused to defend against him, but really it was just Gagne creating a belt for the new promotion out of thin air.

On May 10, 1961, future Kansas City-based promoter and NWA president Bob Geigel defeats Verne Gagne at an AWA event held in Fargo, North Dakota.

Hard Boiled Haggerty beats Geigel at another AWA show in Fargo, this one occurring on June 7, 1961.

Bob Geigel gets his win back a month later, defeating Haggerty on July 7, 1961 once again in Fargo, North Dakota.

Just a couple of weeks later, Leo Nomellini defeats Bob Geigel in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the AWA on July 25, 1961.

On March 12, 1962, Don Manoukian defeats Nomellini in a two out of three falls match for the AWA in Reno, Nevada. I have to admit that I have never heard of Don Manoukian before.

Despite my not having heard of Manoukian before, he actually goes on a pretty decent little run, as he’s not beaten via pinfall or submission until October 13, 1962, when Bearcat Wright defeats him on an AWA card in the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California, becoming the linear AWA Champion in the process.

Jumping to the other side of the country, Dick the Bruiser beats Bearcat Wright on April 9, 1963 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Given the location, the Bruiser was likely promoting the show, and I’m sure he put himself over because he wanted the very prestigious yet fake linear AWA Championship.

Later that month, Lou Thesz beats Dick the Bruiser in a three-fall match, two falls to one. April 26, 1963 is the date for the match, and it occurs in St. Louis, Missouri. Thesz is defending the NWA World Heavyweight Title against the Bruiser in this match as well, so the linear AWA Title is now unified with the actual NWA Title.

And the titles remain unified, as Thesz does not lose a match that takes our linear championship off of him until January 7, 1966, when he also loses the NWA World Heavyweight Title to Gene Kiniski in a two-out-of-three falls match, also in St. Louis.

In a Texas Death Match, Fritz Von Erich defeats Gene Kiniski on November 14, 1967 in Dallas. Joe Blanchard is the special guest referee, and the NWA World Heavyweight Title is NOT on the line.

Four days later in Houston, Texas, Gene Kiniski gets his win back over Von Erich, besting him in a two-out-of-three falls match with Billy Red Lions as the special guest referee. This was also an NWA World Heavyweight Title defense.

In another best two-out-of-three falls match, Johnny Weaver defeats Gene Kiniski on a Jim Crockett Promotions card in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 8, 1968. The NWA Title is not on the line. Interestingly, Weaver and Kiniski have a rematch on March 7 with the title at stake, but Kiniski loses via disqualification, so neither the NWA Title nor the linear AWA Title change hands.

Hiro Matsuda becomes the linear AWA Champion on July 4, 1968, when he defeats Johnny Weaver in a “judo jacket” match, which, if I understand it correctly, just means that both wrestlers are wearing gi jackets. This is also a match for Jim Crockett Promotions.

Johnny Weaver gets his win back on July 25, 1968, besting Matsuda in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is also listed as being a match for Weaver’s NWA Mid-Atlantic Southern Heavyweight Title, which I didn’t realize that he held up to this point.

Speaking of the lengthy-named NWA Mid-Atlantic Southern Heavyweight Title, Weaver loses it, along with the linear AWA Title, on March 6, 1969 in Greensboro, to The Missouri Mauler.

Interestingly, the Mauler goes on the road after this and begins wrestling a series of matches for Championship Wrestling from Florida. While there, he loses a match to Ciclon Negro in Tampa, Florida on July 29, 1969.

Five months later, The Missouri Mauler gets his revenge by defeating Negro on a CWF card in Tampa on December 16, 1969.

On December 17, the Mauler beats Danny Miller to win the NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Title. The, on January 6, 1970, Danny Miller defeats the Mauler in a rematch in Tampa to win back his Brass Knuckles Title and to become the linear AWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Exactly one week later, The Missour Mauler beats Danny Miller again to retake the Bass Knuckles Title and the linear AWA Title. The show is on January 13, 1970 in Tampa.

Dory Funk, Jr. bests The Missouri Mauler in a match on February 3, 1970 in Tampa. Funk is also defending the NWA World Heavyweight Title at the time, so, for the second time in this exercise, the NWA Title and the linear AWA Title are unified.

Funk goes almost a full year without being defeated, as it’s not until January 12, 1971 that Jack Brisco defeats him at a CWF event in Tampa to become the linear AWA Champion. The NWA Title was not on the line here, though this match sets up an NWA Championship bout the next day, which goes to a double disqualification.

On March 2, 1971, we get an interesting match that results in a father/son duo holding our linear AWA Title, as Dory Funk, Sr. defeats Jack Brisco at a CWF show, once again in Tampa.

The elder Dory Funk takes the linear AWA Title back to his home promotion, NWA Western States, in El Paso, Texas. While there, he is defeated by Ciclone Negro in a Texas Death Match on April 5, 1971, marking Negro’s second reign with our phony version of the AWA Championship.

On May 12, 1971, Dory Funk, Sr. gains a measure of revenge, defeating Negro in another Texas Death Match, this one in Lubbock, Texas. Pat O’ Connor is the special guest referee for some reason.

Dory goes back from west Texas to Championship Wrestling from Florida, where he is defeated by Jack Brisco on June 29, 1971 in Tampa in a Texas Death Match. You know, for a guy who is supposedly the master of the Texas Death Match, Dory sure seems to lose a lot of them.

And now we go overseas. Jack Brisco takes a tour of Japan with JWA, the predecessor promotion to both NJPW and AJPW, where he loses a best-of-three falls match against Antonio Inoki on August 5, 1971 in the Aichi Perfectual Gymnasium.

Inoki holds the linear AWA Title for the remainder of his run with the JWA, as he departs the company in 1972 to become the founder and primary star of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Despite being the founder and primary star, Inoki actually loses his match on the first-ever NJPW card, going under against Karl Gotch on March 6 in Tokyo.

Gotch remains the linear AWA Champion for over two years, not losing via pinfall until August 1, 1974, when he is defeated by Antonio Inoki on an NJPW card in Osaka.

In a somewhat infamous match, Tiger Jeet Singh defeats Inoki on March 13, 1975 in Hiroshima. Inoki’s NWF Heavyweight Title is also on the line.

Two days later on March 15, 1975, Seiji Sakaguchi defeats Singh on an NJPW card in Aichi. Sakaguchi becomes the linear AWA Champion here, but Singh’s NWF Heavyweight Title is not on the line.

As part of the 1975 World League Tournament in New Japan (the early predecessor to the G1), Killer Karl Krupp defeats Sakaguchi on April 11 in Fukushima.

On April 27, 1975, in a non-tournament match, Antonio Inoki defeats Krupp in Otia, because, in New Japan, everything eventually comes back around to Inoki. During this run, Inoki also defeats Tiger Jeet Singh on June 26 in Tokyo to regain his NWF Heavyweight Title and re-unify it with the linear AWA Title.

Now here’s an interesting one. Inoki goes without losing via pinfall or submission for quite some time, and then we come to a match on November 25, 1978. At this point, Inoki travels to Germany, where he competes on a card promoted by German wrestler Roland Bock. On that card, Bock himself defeats Inoki in a match that was wrestled under the rounds system. The two men competed for ten rounds, after which the match was submitted to a panel of judges for a decision.

I had to give some thought as to whether this would count as a linear AWA Title change because, typically, we have only counted victories by pinfall or submission as being title changes. However, ultimately I decided that this should count, for two reasons: 1) winning via decision is a legit way to win a match in most real combat sports and 2) in prior linear title histories, we have said a title change occurs in a stipulation match where a wrestler wins via the rules of the match (e.g. drawing blood in a first blood match). In this bout, the rounds and the possibility of a judges’ decision was essentially the stipulation of the match, so I think it ought to count.

Thus, Roland Bock becomes the linear AWA Champion as of November 25, 1978.

However, this puts us in another odd predicament, because, based on the limited records that we have of his career, Bock doesn’t lose another wrestling match by pinfall or submission (or judges’ decision) before the end of his career. His last recorded match is on January 1, 1982, once again against Antonio Inoki, this time in Tokyo.

This means that we invoke a linear championship rule that I have not had to invoke since I did my very first linear championship. In the past, when somebody has retired as linear champion, we have reverted the championship back to the person who last held it, as of the date of the current champion’s final match.

Thus, once Bock wrestles his final match on January 1, 1982 and rides off into the sunset, the championship goes back to the person who held it before Bock, Antonio Inoki.

Hulk Hogan is the next person to defeat Antonio Inoki, with the show occurring on June 2, 1983 in Tokyo. Hogan wins via knockout in a match that serves as the finals of the 1983 IWGP Tournament. (Before the IWGP Champions were formed, the acronym was used for the name of an annual tournament.) Of course, there is some irony in Hulk Hogan becoming our linear AWA Champion when he was never able to capture the actual AWA Championship during his career – due in large part to the fact that he was loyal to Inoki while Venre Gagne wanted his champion to work for Giant Baba’s All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Aaaaand this is where our tracking of the linear AWA Title as a separate entity from the other linear championships that we’ve tracked in the past. Hogan became “The Man,” the first linear championship we ever tracked in this column, on January 23, 1984, the same match in which he defeated the Iron Sheik to become World Wrestling Federation Champion for the first time. Because the linear AWA Title and the title of “The Man” change hands under the same circumstances, the two titles remain unified from this point out.

If you missed it the first time, you can track the rest of the lineage of “The Man” here. At the time of the original column, Brock Lesnar held the title, though he was subsequently beaten by Roman Reigns at Summerslam 2018, which puts the linear AWA Title around the waist of the exact same man who has wound up with almost every such championship that we’ve traced.

For a while, there was a question as to whether Reigns would ever return to the ring to lose all of the linear titles that he has accumulated in this column, and, though he is now wrestling again, he still has yet to lose a singles match since his return.

That will do it for this week’s installment of the column. We’ll return in seven days, and, as always, you can contribute your questions by emailing [email protected].