Diehard WWE fans might have an internal clock counting down the days until SummerSlam 2018. That's very likely when our long, international nightmare will finally be over: when Brock Lesnar no longer holds the WWE Universal Championship.
By that time, it will be more than 16 months (or 504 days in WWE-speak) since Lesnar won the title at WrestleMania 33. That will be by far the longest World-level title reign since Hulk Hogan’s four-year run with the WWE Championship between 1984-88.
So why is Brock’s reign regarded more as an albatross and embarrassment than a dominant period in WWE’s history?
Simply put, Lesnar’s reign as champion has been marked more by his absence than by his dominance. That’s due to several outside factors, but it doesn’t absolve WWE from its role in turning the former UFC champion from box office bank to punchline.
Roman Reigns has cashed in the most on this, referring to Lesnar as an absent champ who is protected by chairman Vince McMahon (while referring to himself as the uncrowned champion).
That’s not the message you want to convey when you’re trying to keep your champ dominant.