Five things to know ahead of Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe at Great Balls of Fire

Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar will square off in a highly-anticipated match at Great Balls of Fire. Provided by WWE (@WWE)

Great Balls of Fire, taking place on Sunday in Dallas at the American Airlines Center, figures to be among the best WWE events of the year. One of the marquee matches fans have been clamoring for is none other than Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe. Here are the five facts you need to know heading into it.

1. Sunday will be the first-ever match between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe. Only four WWE superstars have defeated Lesnar in their first one-on-one meeting -- and none since Goldberg did so at WrestleMania XX in 2004.

2. Samoa Joe has vowed to lock Lesnar in his Coquina Clutch and pick up the submission victory. Lesnar has lost by submission only twice in his WWE career -- both of which happened at SummerSlam:

  • At SummerSlam in 2003, Lesnar challenged Kurt Angle for the WWE championship. After battling for more than 21 minutes, Angle countered Lesnar's F-5 attempt into his ankle lock, forcing Lesnar to tap out.

  • In the main event of SummerSlam in 2015, Lesnar took on The Undertaker in a rematch of their WrestleMania XXX encounter. At the end of the match, Lesnar forced the Undertaker to tap out to his Kimura lock and the bell rang. However, the referee did not see the tap out and began arguing with the timekeeper. The Undertaker then delivered a low blow to Lesnar and locked him into a triangle choke. Lesnar eventually passed out, giving The Undertaker the controversial submission victory.

3. Several current and former WWE superstars have also won world titles in either Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA) or Ring of Honor, two of the biggest wrestling promotions in the United States outside of WWE. For Samoa Joe, there's some history on the line, as he could become the first superstar in professional wrestling history to win a world title in all three promotions.

  • Joe won the Ring of Honor world championship in 2003 and held the belt for 645 days, the longest reign in the history of the title. The opponent who ended his historic reign? Austin Aries, who is also now in the WWE.

  • Joe then defeated Kurt Angle for the TNA world championship in 2008 in a steel cage title vs. career match. He held the belt for 182 days, the fourth-longest reign in the history of the title, before losing the championship to Sting.

4. Great Balls of Fire will be Lesnar's first title defense since winning the Universal championship at WrestleMania 33. The 98 days between title matches is the longest in the short history of the Universal championship. That's also the longest drought between title defenses for any world champion since Lesnar went 126 days between WWE Championship defenses in 2014-15.

5. This match will likely close the show, which could be bad news for Lesnar. He has lost four of his past five pay-per-view main event matches.