One of the biggest complaints about WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is that he is a part-time star and you rarely see him on television for much of the year. He will show up and work the Monday Night Raw episodes leading into the pay-per-view title defenses but then he will disappear for two or more months. There was actually four months between him winning the WWE Universal Championship and his first title defense - against Samoa Joe at WWE Great Balls of Fire.

His opponent in that match, Samoa Joe, had something to say about the complaints of Brock Lesnar being a part-time star. Joe spoke to USA Today in an interview and said that there is nothing wrong with that and it makes Brock a huge deal, much like Hulk Hogan was back in the 1980s.

"You go to the Hulk Hogan era reigns, and I definitely didn’t see him on TV every week," Samoa Joe said. "There is a mystique to him not being on TV that much. When he does make appearances, it’s usually for purposeful reasons."

Hulk Hogan in the 1980s

When Hulk Hogan was the WWE world champion in the '80s era WWE, he hardly ever wrestled on television. He took part in the main shows and special Saturday Night Main Event shows. However, the matches on television were almost always jobber matches with mid-major stars and Hogan only showed up for talk shows like Piper's Pit and for pre-shot videos.

At the time of Hulk Hogan's heyday, there wasn't 12 (or more) pay-per-views a year like there is now and Hogan had very little in the way of in-ring matches. These days, there are 12 Monday Night Raw branded pay-per-views a year and Brock Lesnar appears on at least half of them, which seems equivalent to what Hulk did back in the 80s.

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Brock Lesnar's role in the WWE

There is a difference in the WWE now and in the 80s. The Monday Night Raw episodes are no longer jobber matches and feature the top stars fighting every week. When Brock Lesnar is not battling in a pay-per-view, he might disappear for two months at a time and that takes any mention of the champion off the television.

Brock Lesnar is part of the team that the WWE needs to draw ratings to Monday Night Raw, which is a prime time television show. Hulk Hogan was one of the draws for a Saturday morning show that did not rely on big rankings. That is just a difference in the two eras of the WWE.

Samoa Joe is right when he said that Brock Lesnar showing up makes it special. However, the WWE needs to make sure their secondary talent is good enough to carry the ratings while the champion is gone.