Posted by Alex Barie
The Samoan Submission Machine Samoa Joe is considered to be a homegrown TNA Wrestling talent. While the company started in 2002, Joe did not make his debut until 2005. Since his debut, he had some of the best matches in the company history, even being involved in what is considered the “Best Match in TNA history.” He was involved in some of the best storylines and rivalries in the company as he competed against Jeff Jarrett, Sting, AJ Styles, and Kurt Angle. Samoa Joe won the TNA World Heavyweight Title in 2008. He lost it in the same year. That was the last time we seen him with that title.
Since he lost the title in 2008, he took on a new character. This character can be described as mismanaged, off the wall, confusion, and lackluster. The description is not characterizing Samoa Joe in the ring, on the mic, or the person in general. It is characterizing the character through how he has been booked. Since 2009, Samoa Joe has been involved in so many rivalries. These rivalries weren’t memorable. They weren’t any longterm or main event storylines. They were just feuds. He certainly faced the great stars like AJ Stlyes, Rob Van Dam, and Kurt Angle, but he also faced off against new stars like The Pope and Crimson. He did win some titles along the way, the Television Title and the TNA Tag Team Titles as he teamed up with Magnus.
Samoa Joe is someone who you don’t need to build. He isn’t new in the business. He has been wrestling for over a decade. He is a veteran in the ring. He has proved himself in TNA and in Ring of Honor. We seen Samoa Joe fight long and hard to become TNA World Champion. We absolutely know he is main event material. Sadly, he hasn’t held the title in 4 years. Imagine if WWE didn’t give John Cena a title reign in 4 years? While the IWC would be rejoicing, WWE wouldn’t be able to take it. Joe is no Cena, but you get the point.
There will be people, particular the IWC, who will blame Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. The thing is, while Joe hasn’t held the World Title since they came into the company, he also didn’t hold the title at all in 2009. Sure, he had title shots, but what is a title shot if you don’t win the title? Just thing, Ryback can gloat that he had multiple title matches since last year, but not only was it illogical booking for him to go for the title, it hurt his character after suffering each loss.
While I love TNA and what they have done, I do call out their mistakes. TNA certainly dropped the ball on Samoa Joe. While we really can’t blame one individual person, we can blame the company. We can blame creative/booking team. Samoa Joe was huge in 2008. As soon as he lost the title, he lost his career.
I went to Impact Wrestling a month ago and I was excited to see the stars. I was anticipating on seeing Samoa Joe there. Sadly, he didn’t appear at all. He wasn’t shown at any capacity. TNA moved on to Tupelo, Kansas and he wasn’t on the live or taped show. He hasn’t appeared on the show in a month. That is why I am bringing this up. The fans who watch TNA know who Samoa Joe is. He made a name for himself there. We very well know when he doesn’t appear on camera.
TNA has been wrapped up with Aces & 8s and AJ Styles. They are the main focus on the shows. That’s fair. Joe was seen battling Aces more than a month ago. He battled them for a couple of months. Really, he didn’t make an impact. He attacked the group and then got attacked. What else can you do with him?
Honestly, he reminds me of James Storm. James Storm hasn’t been booked great recently. He goes from Aces to AJ Styles and is now part of the tag team division. He got injured so he will be out of action for a couple months. Should Joe step in? Will TNA have him team with Magnus again? Should Joe be in the main event? While Sting is in the main event now, I think it will be AJ going after the title at Bound for Glory. Who is there to say that they can’t have three people going after the title? Don’t forget we have the Bound for Glory Series coming. It’s almost a guarantee that Samoa Joe has a spot in it. Will that lead him to the main event and the title?
I certainly do not think Samoa Joe is obsolete at all. He is great in the ring and on the mic. He has been one of my favorites in the company since I began watching it. I still remember his rivalry when Kurt Angle came into the company. While AJ Styles has been badly booked for quite sometime, so has Samoa Joe. I just can’t tell who got the worse end of the stick. Hopefully, after AJ is in the main event title hunt, the company will start fixing Joe to put him to that level also.
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