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Sasha Banks and Charlotte belong on this list of WWE main eventers

Many wrestling fans are excited by the idea that WWE's Hell In A Cell 2016 could be headlined by a one-on-one match featuring Sasha Banks versus Charlotte.

Two years ago there was quite a buzz over the possibility of Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins main eventing Hell in a Cell 2014, instead of John Cena versus Randy Orton. Neither Rollins nor Ambrose had ever headlined a WWE PPV in a one-on-one match prior to that night, and the same thing can be said about Sasha Banks and Charlotte heading in to Hell in a Cell 2016.

Back in October 2014 I researched the history of WWE’s one-on-one PPV main event matches and produced a list of the 64 wrestlers who competed in at least one of those 186 main event matches.

Here we are two years later, and it’s very exciting to see that Sasha and Charlotte could both be joining this list on the exact same night, just as Ambrose and Rollins did. So now is an appropriate time to update the list of WWE’s PPV main event performers.

I define the main event match as the last match on the PPV, with the exceptions of quick Money in the Bank cash-in matches. Based on this definition, the main event of No Mercy 2016 was Bray Wyatt versus Randy Orton, and the main event of Survivor Series 2015 was Dean Ambrose versus Roman Reigns.

The reason I am only counting one-on-one main event matches is because group matches allow for many mid-card wrestlers to participate in main event matches, like when Mike Knox wrestled in the main event of No Way Out 2009 in an Elimination Chamber match. But WWE usually doesn’t allow mid-card performers into one-on-one main event matches. Those spots are usually reserved for the biggest stars on the roster, as well as The Great Khali in 2007 and The Miz in 2011.

The List of WWE PPV Main Eventers

There are a total of 317 WWE PPVs in this investigation, beginning with WrestleMania 1 and ending with No Mercy 2016. 207 of these 317 PPVs were main evented with a one-on-one match, and here is the chronological listing of each wrestler’s debut match on this list.

71 different wrestlers have competed in a one-on-one main event match on WWE PPV. The number in parentheses next to each wrestler's name is the PPV's rank in chronological order out of all 317 events. For example, Daniel Bryan has a 276 next to his name because SummerSlam 2013 was the 276th PPV that WWE hosted out of the total 317 PPV events in this study.

  1. Randy Savage (2): November 1985, versus Junkyard Dog
  2. Junkyard Dog (2): November 1985, versus Randy Savage
  3. Hulk Hogan (3): April 1986, versus King Kong Bundy
  4. King Kong Bundy (3): April 1986, versus Hulk Hogan
  5. Andre the Giant (4): March 1987, versus Hulk Hogan
  6. Ted DiBiase (6): March 1988, versus Randy Savage
  7. Ultimate Warrior (15): April 1990, versus Hulk Hogan
  8. Ravishing Rick Rude (16): August 1990, versus Ultimate Warrior
  9. Sgt. Slaughter (19): March 1991, versus Hulk Hogan
  10. The Undertaker (22): December 1991, versus Hulk Hogan
  11. Sid Justice (24): April 1992, versus Hulk Hogan
  12. Bret Hart (25): August 1992, versus British Bulldog
  13. British Bulldog (25): August 1992, versus Bret Hart
  14. Shawn Michaels (26): November 1992, versus Bret Hart
  15. Yokozuna (28): April 1993, versus Bret Hart
  16. Bam Bam Bigelow (29): June 1993, versus Bret Hart
  17. Lex Luger (30): August 1993, versus Yokozuna
  18. Roddy Piper (34): June 1994, versus Jerry Lawler
  19. Jerry Lawler (34): June 1994, versus Roddy Piper
  20. Fake Undertaker (35): August 1994, versus Undertaker
  21. Lawrence Taylor (38): April 1995, versus Bam Bam Bigelow
  22. Diesel (39): May 1995, versus Sycho Sid
  23. Mabel (42): August 1995, versus Diesel
  24. Goldust (52): May 1996, versus Undertaker
  25. Vader (55): August 1996, versus Shawn Michaels
  26. Mankind (56): September 1996, versus Shawn Michaels
  27. Steve Austin (63): April 1997, versus Bret Hart
  28. Faarooq (65): June 1997, versus Undertaker
  29. Ken Shamrock (71): December 1997, versus Shawn Michaels
  30. Kane (77): June 1998, versus Steve Austin
  31. The Rock (82): November 1998, versus Mankind
  32. Mr. McMahon (85): February 1999, versus Steve Austin
  33. Triple H (93): October 1999, versus Steve Austin
  34. Chris Benoit (102): July 2000, versus The Rock
  35. Kurt Angle (105): October 2000, versus The Rock
  36. Booker T (115): August 2001, versus The Rock
  37. Chris Jericho (119): December 2001, versus Steve Austin
  38. Brock Lesnar (127): August 2002, versus The Rock
  39. Goldberg (135): April 2003, versus The Rock
  40. Big Show (136): May 2003, versus Brock Lesnar
  41. Eddie Guerrero (145): February 2004, versus Brock Lesnar
  42. John Bradshaw Layfield (148): May 2004, versus Eddie Guerrero
  43. Randy Orton (152): August 2004, versus Chris Benoit
  44. Ric Flair (155): October 2004, versus Randy Orton
  45. Batista (161): April 2005, versus Triple H
  46. John Cena (163): May 2005, versus John Bradshaw Layfield
  47. Mark Henry (174): January 2006, versus Kurt Angle
  48. Rey Mysterio (178): May 2006, versus John Bradshaw Layfield
  49. Rob Van Dam (179): June 2006, versus John Cena
  50. Edge (182): August 2006, versus John Cena
  51. Umaga (189): January 2007, versus John Cena
  52. The Great Khali (194): May 2007, versus John Cena
  53. Bobby Lashley (197): July 2007, versus John Cena
  54. Jeff Hardy (222): May 2009, versus Edge
  55. CM Punk (225): July 2009, versus Jeff Hardy
  56. Sheamus (238): July 2010, versus John Cena
  57. Wade Barrett (242): October 2010, versus Randy Orton
  58. The Miz (247): April 2011, versus John Cena
  59. R-Truth (250): June 2011, versus John Cena
  60. Alberto Del Rio (255): October 2011, versus John Cena
  61. John Laurinaitis (262): May 2012, versus John Cena
  62. Ryback (267): October 2012, versus CM Punk
  63. Dolph Ziggler (269): December 2012: versus John Cena
  64. Daniel Bryan (276): August 2013, versus John Cena
  65. Seth Rollins (291): October 2014, versus Dean Ambrose
  66. Dean Ambrose (291): October 2014, versus Seth Rollins
  67. Bray Wyatt (293): December 2014, versus Dean Ambrose
  68. Roman Reigns (295): February 2015, versus Daniel Bryan
  69. Sting (303): September 2015, versus Seth Rollins
  70. AJ Styles (310): May 2016, versus Roman Reigns
  71. Kevin Owens (316): September 2016, versus Seth Rollins

And here is the list of these 71 wrestlers, now sorted by how many of these 207 main event matches they competed in. The newest main eventers from the last two years are in bold:

  • 39 matches: John Cena
  • 38 matches: The Undertaker
  • 30 matches: Triple H
  • 21 matches: Shawn Michaels
  • 20 matches: Steve Austin, Randy Orton
  • 17 matches: The Rock, Brock Lesnar
  • 14 matches: Bret Hart
  • 11 matches: Hulk Hogan, Batista
  • 10 matches: CM Punk
  • 9 matches: Edge
  • 8 matches: Diesel, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns
  • 7 matches: Sid, Kurt Angle
  • 6 matches: Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, JBL, Bryan, Ambrose
  • 5 matches: British Bulldog, Kane
  • 4 matches: Yokozuna, Big Show, Jeff Hardy
  • 3 matches: Savage, Benoit, Booker T, Goldberg, Guerrero, Barrett, Styles
  • 2 matches: Warrior, Bigelow, Mr. McMahon, Henry, Mysterio, Khali, Miz, Ryback, Sheamus, Wyatt
  • 1 match: JYD, Bundy, Andre, DiBiase, Rude, Slaughter, Luger, Piper, Lawler, Fake Undertaker, Lawrence Taylor, Mabel, Goldust, Vader, Faarooq, Shamrock, Flair, RVD, Umaga, Lashley, Truth, Del Rio, Laurinaitis, Ziggler, Sting, Owens

The Undertaker has actually narrowed his gap with John Cena over the last two years. The Dead Man main evented two PPVs against Brock Lesnar in 2015, while Cena hasn’t competed in any of these one-on-one main PPV event matches since September 2014.

But we can always check back on the Dead Man’s quest to dethrone Cena at a future date. For now, the focus is squarely on the main event match at Hell in a Cell 2016. Charlotte and Sasha intend to become the 72nd and 73rd names on this list of WWE’s PPV main eventers.

What do you think of their chances, Cagesiders?

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