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Samoa Joe and the WWE Are Not a Match

Samoa Joe is only days out of TNA Wrestling and there is already a major campaign to bring him to the WWE. Some of the WWE’s biggest personalities are pushing for the former TNA champion, yet the reality is that the window of opportunity for all parties has closed.

The Samoan Submission Machine finished up a ten-year stint in TNA this week with a simple goodbye on Twitter. Joe stunned fans and media alike when he posted his farewell tweet which sent the Internet into hysterics over the possibilities of Joe coming to the WWE. A subsequent report was encouraging after it was reported that Triple H is interested in the big man.

Wrestlezone.com reported that Triple H has interest in bringing Joe in while the CEO Vince McMahon has zero interest in bringing in the big man. Further reports seem to indicate that Joe already has strong feelers out there, yet none are reported to be WWE. While the thought of seeing Joe in the WWE is certainly intriguing, I don’t think it benefits either one at this point.

I used to be a big Samoa Joe fan, like most of you. He was a hard worker and routinely stole the show in TNA with matches against Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Low Ki. That said, I have no idea where that Samoa Joe has been in recent years. Sure we’ve seen glimpses, but the Samoa Joe I have seen on television over the last year is slower, heavier and uninspired. A far from cry from the crazed maniac that tore it up for many years prior in TNA, and prior to that on the indys and ROH.

Put yourself in Vince McMahon’s shoes. You have a locker room full of young, athletic, processed, talent. The company is going through something of a rebuilding period, pushing new stars as it recognizes that John Cena and Randy Orton need help. The company has also invested millions into a talent development program, identifying specific types of wrestlers the company is looking to mold into a future superstar. So again I ask you, where does Samoa Joe fit in?

I take nothing away from Joe in the ring…when motivated. He’s awesome! But how do you explain the last few years. Sure, you can say that Joe was unmotivated in TNA. Most of us would relate to that. However, is that what you want to bring into the WWE locker room? As we have all seen, most WWE talents will go through a challenging period where they are not necessarily used to their potential. Some unfortunately never get out of that dark hole. How they respond is generally what makes or break them in the WWE. We’ve all seen Joe shut down under these circumstances. With more competition and a different system. there is a much better chance he’d be miscast in the WWE. Is he going to fight his way out of it like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk did or is he going to fold up and turn it off like Mistico did?

I would dare say that Joe is better off not going to the WWE. He won’t have the opportunity to shine like he would if he went to New Japan, NOAH, Ring of Honor, or Lucha Underground. He will be sent immediately to NXT, cast alongside talent that aren’t nearly as polished as he is. The system will try and break the habits most of us would enjoy seeing him bring to the WWE. He’ll come out either a different wrestler or a failed experiment. Sure Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were able to maintain their foundations, but the same biases that the company would have against Joe weren’t there. Those guys had a much better chance to succeed.

With all due respect to Steve Austin and Paul Heyman, they aren’t seeing the big picture. They are seeing Joe’s talent which is very special, yet they aren’t taking into account the fit between Joe and the WWE. It just isn’t there and for that, I hope both parties keep their distance and proceed with business as usual.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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