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Ask 411 Wrestling: Why Won’t WWE Stop Pushing Brock Lesnar?

May 18, 2018 | Posted by Ryan Byers
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Welcome guys, gals, and gender non-binary pals to Ask 411 Wrestling.

As always (or for the last couple of installments, anyway), I am your party host, Ryan Byers. I’m starting to get into the swing of things after the handoff of this column to yours truly, but I can still use your support.

Feel free to show that support by sending in a question for the column here or giving me a follow on the good ole’ Twitter machine here.

And now, on to the heart of things.

Errata, Et Cetera

Due to a scheduling issue on my end, I’m writing and submitting this edition of the column before any of you have seen or commented on my last edition of the column, so let’s just say that I got a lot of things wrong and you all got a lot of things right.

What You All Came For

Andron wants to talk Brock:

We have had Brock Lesnar, Rhonda Rousey, and Bobby Lashley who came from MMA and joined the WWE. Why is WWE treating Brock with such passion compared the others?

Well, I don’t know that I’d agree that WWE is treating Lesnar much better than Rousey as she’s had a pretty good run in light of the amount of time she’s had in the company, and Lashley has just re-debuted within the last couple of months, so that comparison may not be valid.

However, I think it’s still fair to ask why WWE seems to give Brock so much preferential treatment in terms of his push, his contract, and his schedule. Based on comment threads and the like, this seems to be something that quite a few fans don’t understand.

So, here’s the answer: WWE positions Lensar like they do because he’s the single biggest proven pay per view and live event draw that they have on their roster, based mainly on his tenure in the UFC.

If you look at the twenty best-selling UFC PPVs of all time, Lesnar was in the main event of four of them, three of which are in the top ten and all of which recorded over a million buys. The only other performer who matches those statistics is Connor McGregor, who has the same number of shows on the list, though his buy numbers are higher than Brock’s.

Do you know how many performers in WWE history have headlined four different PPV shows that have drawn a million buys?

The answer is pretty much none. Only eight WWE PPVs in the life of the company have broken the million buy mark, and the only people who can claim to have main evented more than one of those shows are the Rock and John Cena.

In other words, Lensar is one of very few performers who have statistically proven that they mean business when it comes to getting people to shell out money to watch combat sports. Combine that with the fact that he does an excellent job of projecting a badass aura, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a main eventer. I’d push him just as hard if I were in charge of the promotion.

Long-time questioner Night Wolf the Wise is playing the name game:

Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson all got to keep their names when they came into NXT/WWE. The reason Triple H gave was because they were established stars around the world and it would be stupid to change their names when fans knew who they are. So what was the reason Prince Devitt didn’t get to keep his name? He’s a well-established star like the rest of them.

Because “Fergal” is too hard to pronounce.

Seriously, though, it simply appears to be a matter of WWE being more willing to let people keep their names from outside the company as time has gone on. Devitt just happened to come into the company on the wrong side of that divide.

If you look at the group of big name indy or international stars who signed with WWE between 2013 and 2015, only one of them got to keep their outside name, that being Samoa Joe, who showed up in May 2015. The others all had to adopt new monikers, those being Sami Zayn, Becky Lynch, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Apollo Crews, Asuka, and Andrade Almas.

Things changed in 2016, though. Joining the company that year were AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, and Shinsuke Nakamura, none of whom had to be renamed.

Times change, policies change, and this happened to be one of those policies that has shifted with the times.

Connor has a simple question that will hopefully have a simple answer:

Why did WWE get rid of King of the Ring?

The longstanding story about the King of the Ring being 86-ed is that Vince McMahon generally does not like promoting major shows where there isn’t a complete or at least near-complete card announced in advance. Obviously with a show built around a one-night tournament, you cannot do that.

This explains why, on the handful of occasions that King of the Ring has been used since 2006, it has always been spread across multiple shows or at the very least made the focus of an episode of regularly weekly television that doesn’t have the same importance as a pay per view.

Michael K. is having an out of body experience:

I was recently watching the Vader-Sting world title match where Vader won his first WCW title and although I’ve seen this match numerous times I just noticed that it appears Jesse Ventura is sitting next to Jim Ross but only Ross is heard throughout the match. Did Jesse’s Mic go out and no one replaced it for some reason?

It sounds to me like you were watching a version of the match that was released by WWE after they acquired the WCW tape library. However, if you go back and find a version of the match that made its way out into the world before the WWF acquisition (a few of which do exist online), you will hear Ventura’s commentary alongside Jim Ross, completely intact and uninterrupted.

Why the difference?

In 1991, Jesse Ventura sued Titan Sports, which at the time was the parent company of the World Wrestling Federation, claiming that they owed him unpaid royalties for commentary and wrestling appearances over the years. Ventura didn’t just sue, though. He sued and he WON, both in the original trial court proceedings and then again when Titan appealed the original decision.

As a result of this lawsuit, WWE will edit Ventura’s commentary out of certain DVD releases when they don’t want to have to pay him royalties. The rule hasn’t been applied consistently, so there are apparently some occasions in which the E is willing to pony up and pay the Body but in other cases they’ll opt to scrub him from the audio track. You just happened to pick a match form a show on which he was scrubbed.

Things got even more awkward when 20th Century Fox decided that they didn’t want to pay Ventura royalties and muted all of his dialogue in subsequent releases of Predator.

I’m pretty sure that I’m going to hate Mikey G. by the end of this answer.

I had a weird thought: what if “Being the man” was a title? The idea is: “to be the man (woooo!) you have to beat the man.” What if you took that literally starting at Flair’s first title reign? (Unless you can pinpoint the first time he said it.) The parameters are the same as any title except it can only be defended in one-on-one matches. The Man cannot change hands by DQ, countout, or draw.

This isn’t an entirely unique concept. In some ways, it tracks with the idea of a linear championship, in which you start with a titleholder and consider the title to have changed hands every time that the champion is beaten, regardless of whether the title was on the line in reality. Then, you keep tracking the linear title in that manner. The website Voice of Wrestling used to track a linear WWE Championship, though that project has apparently gone offline.

With all of that being said, let’s get in to fulfilling Mikey’s request. This is going to be a bear. All of the match results that I’m using to answer this question are coming to you from CageMatch.de, so, if something is missing, blame the Germans and not me. Also, in addition to the title changing hands on pinfall or submission, I have also allowed the title to change hands by fulfilling the stipulation in a stipulation match. (For example, the title changes hands by making your opponent bleed in a first blood match . . . and there is one of those on this list.)

Ric Flair wins his first NWA World Heavyweight Title on September 17, 1981 in Kansas City, Missouri from Dusty Rhodes.

Flair doesn’t lose another singles match by pinfall or submission until February 17, 1982, when he is upset by Butch Reed in a non-title match on a Championship Wrestling from Florida television taping, so there’s an immediate split from the NWA World Heavyweight Title lineage.

Just three days later on February 20, 1982 at another CWF TV taping, Reed loses an NWA International Heavyweight Title match to Dory Funk, Jr., so Dory very quickly becomes “The Man.”

However, at another CWF event on March 4, 1982, Butch Reed defeats Funk in a singles match to take our fake title back.

The honor of being “The Man” stays in CWF for our next change, when David Von Erich beats Butch Reed on April 18, 1982 in Orlando, Florida.

Aaaaaand things go right back to Butch Reed, as he upends Von Erich on April 27, 1982 in a Texas Death Match, starting off Reed’s third reign as “The Man.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ric Flair reclaims the mantle of being “The Man” by defeating Reed at a CWF event on May 10 in West Palm Beach. This is also a successful NWA World Heavyweight Title defense for the Nature Boy.

Dusty Rhodes, who Flair originally beat to become the NWA Champion and kick off this thought exercise, beats Flair in a Bunkhouse Match for the CWF in Tampa on June 15, 1982.

In our first title change outside of the CWF, Don Muraco upsets Dusty Rhodes in a surprisingly quick 49 second match at the Omni in Atlanta for Georgia Championship Wrestling on July 4, 1982.

Muraco takes the mantle of being “The Man” with him to the WWF, where he immediately gets inserted into the main event mix and feuds with both Pedro Morales (who he beat for the Intercontinental Title) and Bob Backlund, ultimately losing to Bob Backlund on February 11, 1983 at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. This is a Texas Death Match in which Backlund’s WWF Title is also on the line.

Literally one day later on February 12, 1983, Don Muraco beats Bob Backlund to once again become “The Man.” This match is in Landover, Maryland, and Muraco’s Intercontinental Title is on the line, but Backlund’s WWF Title is not.

Bob Backlund regains the fake title on March 2, 1983 by defeating Muraco in a match for the actual WWF Title in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania with Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson as the special guest referee.

Our next “The Man” title change doesn’t occur until Bob Backlund loses the WWF Title, as he is defeated by The Iron Sheik on December 26, 1983 in Madison Square Garden when his manager Arnold Skaaland throws in the towel for him (which is a form of submission).

As everybody knows, the Sheik’s title reign lasts less than one month, as he is upended by Hulk Hogan on January 23, 1984 in Madison Square Garden. Hogan becomes both the WWF Champion and “The Man.” It’s pro wrestling in the United States, so all roads lead to Hulk Hogan.

I don’t know how familiar you guys are with Hulk Hogan, but let me let you in on a little secret about him: He almost never loses. So, he remains “The Man” from January 23, 1984 until February 5, 1988, when Andre the Giant defeats him for the WWF Title and to become “The Man” on Saturday Night’s Main Event in Indianapolis’s Market Square Arena.

Even though Andre immediately “loses” the WWF Title by “selling” it to Ted DiBiase, you can’t sell away the title of “The Man” that Mikey has invented, so Andre doesn’t lose that designation until July 31, 1988, when Hulk Hogan reclaims the crown by defeating Andre in a steel cage match at WWF Wrestlefest 1988 in Milwaukee.

As I mentioned above, Hogan doesn’t lose too often, so he remains “The Man” until April 1, 1990, when he loses the WWF Title to The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VI in Toronto.

The title of “The Man” continues to follow the WWF Title lineage, as Warrior holds it until he is defeated by Sergeant Slaughter at the 1991 Royal Rumble in Miami.

Interestingly, rather than remaining “The Man” until dropping the WWF Title to Hulk Hogan, Sergeant Slaughter loses it back to The Ultimate Warrior on March 17, 1991 at a house show in Miami, beating him in a steel cage match in which the WWF Title was not on the line.

At this point, due to the tumultuous nature of the Warrior’s career and the fact that he also did not care to lose, he remains “The Man” for over seven years, not losing another singles match by pinfall or submission until October 25, 1998, when Hulk Hogan defeats him in the main event of WCW Halloween Havoc, finally getting that win back from Wrestlemania VI.

Our next crowning of a new “Man” is an important one, as Ric Flair actually gets the pseudo-title back by defeating Hogan in a first blood steel cage match at WCW Uncensored on March 14, 1999. The Nature Boy also becomes the WCW World Heavyweight Champion in this match.

On April 12, 1999, Sting becomes “The Man” by defeating his longtime rival Flair in singles action on WCW Monday Nitro. Flair had lost the WCW Title the night before at Spring Stampede, but it was in a four-way match and Mikey stipulated that you could only become “The Man” in a one-on-one encounter, so that title did not change hands.

In a somewhat unexpected result, Rick Steiner becomes “The Man” next, as he beats Sting at the 1999 Great American Bash on June 13 in Baltimore. Sting lost a couple of other matches before this one, but they were not one-on-one bouts, so they do not count for the purpose of our exercise.

Despite beating him at the Bash, Rick Steiner wasn’t exactly a main event star on the level of Sting, which opens the title up to changes hands a little bit more quickly. It does so on July 6, 1999 when Buff Bagwell pins Steiner in a dark match that was part of a marathon WCW television taping in Columbus, Georgia.

In another odd turn of events, Buff Bagwell’s next loss came to Alex Wright, at the time wrestling under his short-lived Berlyn gimmick on the September 13, 1999 edition of Nitro in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Berlyn’s push was fairly short-lived, as he was booked against Brad Armstrong in a match at Halloween Havoc 1999, which he LOST. Thus, Brad Armstrong is now “The Man,” which might be the most prestigious championship that Brad Armstrong ever held during his career . . . and it’s completely fictitious and won’t be remembered by anybody thirty minutes after they’ve finished reading this column.

Now things get really interesting, as “The Man” becomes a woman. Brad Armstrong adopts his ill-advised Buzzkill gimmick a couple of months after beating Berlyn, and, in one of his first matches under that name, he loses an intergender match to Madusa on the December 20, 1999 episode of WCW Nitro. At the time, Madusa is the WCW Cruiserweight Champion, having beaten Evan Karagias for the belt the night before on Starrcade.

Then things go from bad to worse, as Madusa’s next singles loss comes at the hands of Oklahoma, a.k.a. former WWF/WCW/TNA writer Ed Ferrara doing his only-he-thinks-its-funny impression of Jim Ross. This match is at WCW Souled Out 2000, and it earns Oklahoma the WCW Cruiserweight Title in addition to our title of “The Man.”

I was afraid that the lineage would end here, because I did not recall Ed Ferrara having another match in his “wrestling career,” but it turns out that I was wrong, because, when he was an announcer during the very early days of TNA, he got into the ring on the company’s eighth weekly pay per view event on August 7, 2002, where he lost a Dupp Cup Invitational match to Bo Dupp, who now qualifies as “The Man.”

The very next week – and I swear I am not making this up – Bo Dupp loses another Dupp Cup match and the title of “The Man” to Teo a little person wrestler who would later go on to star on the Spike TV pro wrestling reality series Half-Pint Brawlers, which yours truly had the pleasure (?) of reviewing for 411mania back in 2010. For the record, the Dupp/Teo match was on TNA weekly pay per view #9 on August 14, 2002.

And this is where we find ourselves in a bit of a conundrum. According to CageMatch, which has been my source of match data up to this point, Teo does not have another singles loss for the rest of his professional wrestling career, at least as long as they have tracked. We know this technically isn’t true, because, as noted above, Half-Pint Brawlers was on the air in 2010 and chronicled Teo and the rest of his crew on tour. However, there’s nothing out there listing those matches as far as I can tell, most likely because they’re typically sold shows for entertainment at bars or concerts as opposed to traditional pro wrestling events. I could theoretically scour the internet and try to find some scant record of Teo wrestling someplace, somewhere in order to continue the lineage, but would that really be fair when all of our results up to this point have come from the same, relatively reliable source?

So, what to do? What to do?

The aforementioned Voices of Wrestling Linear Championship includes a rule which states that the champion has to wrestle at least once every 365 days in order to maintain his or her position as linear champion. If that doesn’t occur, the linear title goes to the then-current WWE Champion. However, I haven’t enforced a rule regarding wrestling a minimum number of matches up to this point, in part because it wasn’t part of the criteria that Mikey gave me and in part because our title of “The Man” doesn’t have a real world championship that it’s tied to that we can use for a reference point.

The only thing that I can think of that halfway makes sense would be to have “The Man” title revert back to the last person who held it before Teo dropped off the face of the earth, that being Bo Dupp, and we’ll have it revert back to Dupp as of the date of the last Teo match that we have record of (considering that to be, more or less, his retirement date), which is April 14, 2007.

That means the next titleholder is the first person to beat Bo Dupp in a singles match after April 14, 2007, and that person is, oddly enough, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in a match on WWE Sunday Night Heat on June 18, 2007. Duggan is a WWE regular at that time, and the former Bo Dupp is working a match here as an enhancement talent under the name Murray Happer.

This brings the title of “The Man” back to WWE for the first time since 1998, and Duggan holds it there until July 28, 2007, when he loses it to William Regal in a Raw brand house show match held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

However, Jim Duggan gets the title back the very next night, July 29, 2007, beating Regal at another Raw house show in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Our next title change is back on Sunday Night Heat, specifically on the August 20, 2007 episode, when Shawn Daivari gets a victory over the veteran Jim Duggan in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Cody Rhodes becomes “The Man” (a title that originated in a match between Ric Flair and his father, fittingly enough) when he picks up a victory against Daivari on a Raw house show on August 25, 2007 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

During this period of his career, Cody is on the road full time with WWE but is also popping in and out of Ohio Valley Wrestling on occasion, which is interesting because it results in him dropping the title of “The Man” to Mike Kruel when Kruel also successfully defended the OVW Heavyweight Title against Rhodes in a match taped for OVW television in Louisville, Kentucky on September 26, 2007. (Oddly, Mike Kruel, who is a relatively obscure wrestler, has now been mentioned in two out of my three editions of this column since taking over.)

Kruel is in brought in to do a dark match on a Friday Night Smackdown taping, where he loses to Funaki on October 2, 2007 in Dayton, Ohio.

Up next we have a rare change of “The Man” title outside of the continental United States, namely in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where Matt Striker defeats Funaki on a WWE house show on November 9, 2007.

The very next night (November 10, 2007) in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Tommy Dreamer defeats Striker in a singles match to become “The Man” and probably to not accomplish much else, quite frankly.

Bringing the championship back to the U.S. mainland, Dreamer loses it to Big Daddy V (a.k.a. Viscera/Mabel/Nelson Frazier) on a co-branded Smackdown/ECW house show in Fort Myers, Florida on November 17, 2007.

We now have a truly international title change, as Kane beats Big Daddy V on a Smackdown/ECW house show held in Belfast, Northern Ireland on December 4, 2007.

Bringing the title of “The Man” back to what I would call the true main event scene for the first time in a while, Batista beats Kane in a Last Man Standing Match on the December 11, 2007 edition of WWE Smackdown, which emanated from Boston, Massachusetts.

Our next champion is Edge, who defeats Batista on an ECW/Smackdown House show on December 26, 2007 in Albany, New York. This is a no disqualification match in which Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship is also on the line.

Rey Misterio, Jr. becomes “The Man” on the December 30, 2007 episode of Smackdown, where he beats Edge in a Beat the Clock challenge match. Misterio also earns a World Heavyweight Title match here by winning the Beat the Clock challenge.

Unfortunately for Rey Rey, his next match with the Rated R Superstar is not quite as successful, as he falls to Edge on an ECW/Smackdown house show in Jonesboro, Arizona on January 12, 2008. Edge’s World Heavyweight Title is also on the line.

Edge has one of the longer reigns as “The Man” that we’ve seen in a while, particularly from an active, full-time professional wrestler. Ultimately, he lets the title go on March 11, 2008, when he is beaten by The Undertaker in a dark match following a Smackdown taping in Chicago, Illinois.

On June 1, 2008, Edge takes the title back from the Dead Man in a TLC Match held on the 2008 edition of WWE One Night Stand, broadcast from San Diego, California. The two men are also wrestling for the vacant World Heavyweight Title in this match.

In a match that has a unique finish albeit one that I have absolutely no memory of, The Big Show defeats the Undertaker at WWE No Mercy 2008 on October 5 in Portland, Oregon. Show rammed Taker’s head into an exposed turnbuckle and then hit him with two knockout punches, one of them to the back of the head, in order to force a referee’s stoppage.

Nine days later in Las Vegas, The Undertaker becomes “The Man” once again by pinning the Big Show in a dark match at the end of a Smackdown taping on October 14, 2008.

In another match that I have zero recollection of, Jeff Hardy defeats the Undertaker by pinning him in an Extreme Rules match on the November 11, 2008 episode of Smackdown, which is taped in Manchester, England.

Chris Jericho works his way into being “The Man” for the first time when he defeats Hardy on the December 8, 2008 episode of Monday Night Raw from Philadelphia, which is also the episode of the show that played host to that year’s Slammy Awards.

On December 13, 2008, John Cena beats out Chris Jericho to become “The Man” on a WWE house show in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Keeping “The Man” title in the WWE main event scene, Shawn Michaels beats John Cena in a 24 minute match on the January 12, 2009 edition of Monday Night Raw, live from Sioux City, Iowa.

Two weeks later, John Cena gets his win and “The Man” title back by defeating Michaels in a match on the January 26, 2009 Raw, which also qualifies Cena for a slot in that year’s Elimination Chamber match.

The Big Show becomes the man once again when he unseats Cena on the February 17, 2009 episode of Smackdown at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.

Our next title change is south of the border, as Triple H pins the Big Show at a WWE Smackdown house show in Guadalajara, Mexico. HHH is the WWE Champion at the time, so “The Man” title is reunited with that belt.

In yet another international title change, Randy Orton overcomes Triple H in a no disqualification match on the April 20, 2009 broadcast of Monday Night Raw, which is held at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Literally the very next night (April 21, 2009) in the same building, Triple H regains the crown from Randy Orton by beating him in a steel cage contest that is a post-taping dark match following WWE Smackdown.

Randy Orton becomes “The Man” again on June 28, 2009 when he beats Triple H in a Three Stages of Hell match at The Bash in Sacramento, California. Randy Orton is also the WWE Champion coming into the match, so he also retains a real world title in addition to winning our fake one.

Orton holds the title for about two and a half months, ultimately dropping it to John Cena, who beats him in an “I Quit” match at WWE Breaking Point on September 13, 2009. Orton’s WWE Title is also on the line in this contest.

Randy Orton takes “The Man” title back yet again, this time one-upping Cena in a Hell in a Cell match on the Hell in a Cell pay per view (where else) on October 4, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. Orton also regains the WWE Title in this match.

Capping off their feud (or at least this iteration of it), John Cena defeats Randy Orton once more, this time in their sixty minute Iron Man match at Bragging Rights on October 25, 2009. And, of course, that also gives Cena another WWE Title reign to his credit.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Sheamus bursts onto the scene and gets one of the quickest main event pushes in recent WWE memory, defeating Cena in a tables match at WWE TLC on December 13, 2009. Sheamus also becomes the WWE Champion in this one.

Sheamus loses the WWE Title in an Elimination Chamber match, so he does not lose his spot as “The Man” when he drops the championship. However, he does lose it at Wrestlemania XXVI on March 28, 2010, when he finds himself pinned by Triple H.

Sheamus gets his win and the moniker of “The Man” back on April 25, 2010, when he takes out HHH in a Street Fight at WWE Extreme Rules.

Hey, it’s John Cena again! He beats Sheamus at a Raw brand house show in Charleston, West Virginia on June 11, 2010. That’s also a successful WWE Title defense for then-champion Cena.

On June 27, 2010 at another Raw house show, Sheamus defeats John Cena. In between this match and the last one, Sheamus had become WWE Champion by defeating Cena, Edge, and Randy Orton in a Fatal Four-Way match, though he could not become “The Man” in that bout.

Randy Orton becomes “The Man” again, beating Sheamus in a dark match following the September 20, 2010 episode of Monday Night Raw. The night before, Orton had beaten Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Edge, John Cena, and Wade Barrett in a Six-Pack Challenge to become the new WWE Champion.

On November 22, 2010, Mike the Miz cashes in his Money in the Bank contract on Monday Night Raw in Orlando, Florida; thus defeating Randy Orton to become the new WWE Champion. Of course, this also makes Miz “The Man.”

Edge picks up yet another run as “The Man” when he defeats Miz on the January 31, 2011 episode of Monday Night Raw, which is held in Providence, Rhode Island.

And here we wind up with another retirement jumbling our fake championship’s lineage a little bit. Edge doesn’t actually lose another singles match for the remainder of his in-ring career, so we’ll do the same thing that we did before and have “The Man” revert back to the Miz as of the date of Edge’s last match, which was April 5, 2011 in a dark match following that evening’s Smackdown taping.

On May 6, 2011, John Cena defeats the Miz on a Raw house show in Dothan, Alabama. Cena is also the WWE Champion in this match and successfully retains that belt.

Now we get a new name in the mix for “The Man” for the first time in a little while, as CM Punk defeats John Cena on the June 13, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw from Uniondale, New York.

Punk’s reign is short-lived, however, as he drops a fall to Rey Misterio, Jr. on a Raw brand house show on June 25, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.

On July 25, 2011, John Cena defeats Misterio on Monday Night Raw in Hampton, Virginia. Rey had just won a tournament to crown a new WWE Champion earlier in the evening, and Cena immediately defeated him in an impromptu championship match. (The title was vacant, of course, because CM Punk “walked out” of the company with it at Money in the Bank that year.)

CM Punk becomes the man again at WWE Summerslam 2011 on August 14, when he defeats John Cena in a match that is also billed as crowning the undisputed WWE Champion. But wait just a second . . .

Moments later, Alberto Del Rio cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase to beat CM Punk become both the WWE Champion and “The Man.”

On September 18, 2011 at Night of Champions, John Cena beats Del Rio in a WWE Title match, which also makes him “The Man.”

Alberto Del Rio takes back the mantle of “The Man” when he beats Cena in a Last Man Standing match at WWE Vengeance on October 23, 2011. Since the last time “The Man” had changed hands, Cena had beaten Del Rio in a triple threat match for the WWE Title, and this was Del Rio winning the belt back.

Just eight days later, The Big Show beats Alberto in a non-title match on the October 31, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here’s yet another “The Man” change resulting from a Money in the Bank cash-in. After beating Alberto Del Rio to become “The Man,” Big Show beat Mark Henry to become the World Heavyweight Champion at TLC on December 18, 2011. Daniel Bryan pulled off the cash-in seconds later, though, becoming both the World Champ and “The Man.”

Daniel Bryan holds on to both the World Title and “The Man” title until April 1, 2012, which is the date of Wrestlemania XXVIII in Miami, Florida. Infamously, Bryan lost to Sheamus in seventeen seconds on that show.

Mark Henry defeats Sheamus on the April 23, 2012 Monday Night Raw in a non-title match in which Daniel Bryan is the special guest referee and gets a bit of revenge on the man who beat him at Wrestlemania.

Sheamus immediately becomes “The Man” again by beating Henry in a rematch on the episode of WWE Smackdown taped on April 24, 2012.

Sheamus manages to have an impressive run with the championship, but he is ultimately unseated by CM Punk on October 2, 2012 in what was a WWE Champion vs. World Heavyweight Champion match trotted out to headline the first ever episode of WWE Main Event.

John Cena defeats his old rival CM Punk on the November 12, 2012 edition of Monday Night Raw from Columbus, Ohio. Mick Foley is the special guest enforcer for this match.

In a bit of an upset, Dolph Ziggler is the next man to become “The Man,” as he beats out Cena in a ladder match at WWE TLC on December 16, 2012. Ziggler also receives a contract for a future World Heavyweight Title match by winning here.

On the day after Christmas, John Cena becomes “The Man” once more, beating Dolph Ziggler in a Street Fight on the December 26, 2012 Raw brand house show.

Cena manages to rack up a pretty lengthy reign for the modern era, until he is defeated by Daniel Bryan in a WWE Title match at Summerslam on August 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California, but . . .

Randy Orton immediately cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to defeat Bryan for both the WWE Title and “The Man,” also at Summerslam.

The title comes back to Daniel Bryan at WWE Night of Champions on September 15, 2013, where he defeats Orton in a match with the WWE Title also on the line.

Randy Orton gets both titles back from Bryan at Hell in a Cell in Miami, Florida on October 27, 2013. Shawn Michaels is the special guest referee. In December of this year, Orton also beats John Cena in a match to unify the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles.

In a shocking upset, Kofi Kingston beats Randy Orton on the January 13, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw from Providence, Rhode Island, which decouples “The Man” from the WWE world titles for the first time in quite a while.

Alberto Del Rio beats Kofi to become “The Man” on the January 27, 2014 Monday Night Raw episode from Cleveland, Ohio.

At the February 16, 2014 WWE house show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Batista pins Alberto Del Rio, regaining our artificial championship for the first time in several years.

Alberto Del Rio takes “The Man” title back from Batista, besting him on February 24, 2014 on Monday Night Raw from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

That reign only lasts a matter of days, though, as Sin Cara (the Hunico version) unseats Del Rio at a house show on February 28, 2014 in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Taking the title of “The Man” from a Mexican competitor to a British competitor, Wade Barrett pins Sin Cara on the March 8, 2014 WWE house show in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is appropriate because I always thought that Barett looked like a Mormon.

I hope you like Sheamus, because here he comes again, putting an end to a nice little winning streak that Barrett had built up. Sheamus pins Wade on the May 27, 2014 episode of Smackdown to become “The Man.”

Hey, here’s some fresh blood! Antonio Cesaro, Sheamus’s future tag team partner, defeats him to become “The Man” on the June 10, 2014 episode of Smackdown, taped in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Well, this is definitely a wrestler who I didn’t expect to be “The Man” twice . . . Kofi Kingston beats Cesaro on the June 30, 2014 edition of Monday Night Raw in Hartford Connecticut.

Antonio Cesaro becomes “The Man” again when he wins a rematch against Kofi on the July 4, 2014 WWE house show in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Aaaand these two flip it again. Kofi Kingston beats Cesaro on July 7, 2014 on Monday Night Raw from Montreal, Quebec.

Again! Antonio Cesaro defeats Kofi Kingston to become “The Man” on July 11, 2014 at a WWE house show held at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. (That’s the real location, I wasn’t throwing out something random to test your attention.)

Still on the Japanese tour, Rob Van Dam pins Cesaro on July 12, 2014 in Osaka at a house show.

Alberto Del Rio becomes the man yet again, defeating RVD on the July 14, 2014 Monday Night Raw, which is back stateside in Richmond, Virginia.

Speaking of being “The Man,” here’s a guy who WWE desperately wishes would be accepted as the man. Roman Reigns beats Del Rio on July 22, 2014 on Friday Night Smackdown from Orlando, Florida.

As you probably know, Roman Reigns, like Hulk Hogan, doesn’t lose all that much, but he does on the February 2, 2015 Monday Night Raw, when he is defeated by The Big Show in Denver, Colorado.

Roman Reigns gets his win back on February 6, 2015 at a house show in North Charleston, South Carolina, beating Big Show in a Street Fight.

On March 2, 2015, Seth Rollins becomes “The Man” for the first time by defeating Roman Reigns on Monday Night Raw from Newark, New Jersey.

Here’s a shocker . . . John Cena is back. He defeats Seth Rollins in a Street Fight at a house show in Rochester, New York on March 6, 2015.

John Cena does win an awful lot, but, when it comes time to do the right thing with the right guy, he will put him over. He did just that with Kevin Owens, allowing Owens to pin him on May 31, 2015 at the Elimination Chamber pay per view from Corpus Christi, Texas.

Of course, when he puts somebody over, he often beats them in the rematch, and that’s what John Cena did in this situation as well, getting the duke against Owens on June 14, 2015 at Money in the Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

WWE Summerslam on August 23, 2015 sees WWE Champion Seth Rollins become both “The Man” and the United States Champion when he defeats John Cena in a title-for-title match with an assist from former Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

In an unexpected victory, Ryback becomes “The Man” on September 7, 2015 on Monday Night Raw, when he pins Rollins in Baltimore, Maryland.

Seth Rollins gets his revenge and becomes “The Man” again, beating Ryback in a Lumberjack match on WWE Smackdown on September 8, 2015.

On September 20, 2015, John Cena beats Seth Rollins at Night of Champions to regain the United States Title and the moniker of “The Man.” Rollins remains WWE Champion, though, and he successfully defends it against Sting later in the evening.

Alberto Del Rio makes a surprise return to WWE on October 25, 2015, defeating Cena in an unannounced match at the Hell in a Cell pay per view, recapturing both the United States Championship and “The Man.”

Roman Reigns is “The Man” to unseat Del Rio, pinning him at the Survivor Series on November 22, 2015 in a semi-final match in a tournament to crown the new WWE Champion, which I believe had to be vacated due to an injury to Seth Rollins.

Also on November 22, 2015, Sheamus defeats Roman Reigns to become the new WWE Champion and “The Man.”

Roman Reigns gets his title and his manhood back on the December 14, 2015 edition of Monday Night Raw, pinning Sheamus in Philadelphia.

That reign by Reigns turns out to be a fairly lengthy one, as he’s “The Man” until Money in the Bank 2016 on June 19, when he is defeated by Seth Rollins, who also picks up the WWE Title in the process.

Dean Ambrose immediately defeats Seth Rollins on the same Money in the Bank show to become “The Man” for the first time and the WWE Champion as well.

Ambrose manages to remain “The Man” for about three months, but he gets upended by AJ Styles at Backlash on September 11, 2016, giving the former TNA star his first reign with the championship. Styles is also crowned WWE Champion in this bout.

Because he just can’t seem to stay out of the main event mix, John Cena becomes “The Man” again, pinning Styles in a post-Smackdown dark match on October 4, 2016 in San Diego. Styles’ WWE Championship is not on the line. However, Cena does also win the WWE Title during this reign as “The Man,” eventually getting the belt off of Styles at the 2017 Royal Rumble.

Bray Wyatt gets to make his first appearance in the lineage of “The Man,” as he pins John Cena in a in a no disqualification match at a house show in Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2017. Wyatt is the WWE Champion at this point, as he won it at Elimination Chamber 2017, though he didn’t become “The Man” at that point because the title change was not in a one-on-one match.

Wyatt remains undefeated until Wrestlemania XXXIII, where Randy Orton pins him to become the WWE Champion and “The Man” in a match where Bray uses an overhead projector to show everybody pictures of millipedes on the ring apron.

Later the same month, Bray Wyatt again becomes “The Man,” getting his win back from Orton by defeating him in a House of Horrors match at Payback on April 30, 2017, though the WWE Title is not on the line.

The next “Man” is Finn Balor, who beats Wyatt in a straight up singles match on May 6, 2017 at a WWE house show held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Roman Reigns then gets himself a victory over Balor and the title of “The Man” on the May 15, 2017 episode of Monday Night Raw, emanating from Newark, New Jersey.

Samoa Joe becomes “The Man” for the first time a month later, picking up a big victory over Reigns on the June 19, 2017 Raw in Evansville, Indiana.

Joe falls to Brock Lesnar at WWE Great Balls of Fire on July 9, 2017, which marks the first time that “The Man” has become unified with the WWE Universal Title.

. . . and, actually, that’s it. At no point between July 9, 2017 and present day has Brock Lesnar lost a singles match in the world of professional wrestling, so he is still “The Man” and probably will be for several more months at this rate.

Well, that was a somewhat interesting exercise. I have to say I was hoping that the title would break away from WWE at some point so that we could see it bounce around random indies and no-name wrestlers, but it is what it is.

Believe it or not, that’s the last question that I want to answer this week. If you’d like me to go into entirely too much detail on something you’re curious about, shoot me an e-mail.