The last time Brock Lesnar had an official match on RAW, Apple only had the iPod, Star Wars was lame, and both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were still alive.
It's been 16 years since the Beast Incarnate heard a WWE bell ring on a Monday night. On the July 22, 2002, episode of RAW, Lesnar took on Tommy Dreamer in a Singapore Cane Match. Lesnar won of course—without using the cane—and further established his "Next Big Thing" mantra.
Back then, Lesnar was en route to becoming the youngest World Champion in WWE history. Turning Dreamer to goo was Lesnar's final act on RAW as he was shipped to SmackDown the following night. He'd then have a brief encounter with Hulk Hogan where an infamous bear hug caused the Hulkster's internal bleeding. Allegedly.
One month later, the 25-year old Lesnar beat Rocky and etched his name in the history books.
From then on, Lesnar was exclusively a SmackDown talent. However recent years have seen him miss the vast majority of RAWs for entirely different reasons.
Lesnar was always destined to be an important part of WWE. But after winning a few big bouts in UFC, Lesnar's WWE character turned into a demigod of destruction. After all, if he's not losing real fights, how on earth can we believe he could lose "fake" ones?
Brock Lesnar's legendary brand makes him a privileged WWE Superstar 2018—he pretty much does as he pleases. While WWE has chosen to lean into his aloof murderer gimmick, the hyper Brock-friendly schedule has been irritating fans for years.
As Universal Champion, Lesnar is the default face of WWE. However, he misses just as many episodes fo RAW in 2018 as he did in 2004. Except not he's not on SmackDown. With their Lesnar bullets limited, WWE has done their best to make his appearances on Monday nights count. While that's hard to do without him actually wrestling for 16 years, WWE has gotten creative a few times with Lesnar. Instead of matches, he just has destructive episodes: Michael Cole, Heath Slater, and a Cadillac to name a few.1comments
It's possible that this 16-year streak turns into a forever thing. Given Lesnar is in his final chapters as a WWE employee, he'll likely never wrestle on RAW again. So if you didn't soak in his 2002 moment, you make want to go back and check it out on the WWE network. Here's the full card from the evening thanks to ProFightDB.com
Ladder Match Rob Van Dam (C) Def. Jeff Hardy (C)
Singapore Cane Match: Brock Lesnar Def. (Pin) Tommy Dreamer
D-Lo Brown Draw (Time) Shawn Stasiak
The Big Show Def. (Pin) Spike Dudley
The Rock Def. (Pin) Eddie Guerrero