Samoa Joe’s reputation as the baddest man on the planet has been bolstered far beyond anything that pro wrestling fans could ever imagine. Thanks to his recent Raw destruction of Seth Rollins and his first main roster win against Roman Reigns, the WWE faithful have indeed been put on notice.
This is not the man that spent a lifetime on the independent circuit with no way into the big dance. This is the man that earned his way in, and now is being given free rein to just be himself both in the ring, and on the mic. Samoa Joe is The Destroyer, and he’s definitely living up to his name.
Many fans have been waiting on this moment for years, and with good reason. Joe has built his career on his intensity, and that intensity has made him one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. He’s a believable tough guy, with mass appeal across a wide spectrum.
Pro wrestling fans love him because he’s the real deal. He’s a credible athlete with serious shoot skills in the ring. Joe looks like he can legitimately take on anyone in the WWE locker room and take them down, because he can.
MMA fans respect him because he looks as though he can realistically crossover and succeed inside the Octagon. Joe hits harder, kicks harder, and just works harder than everyone else around him. He’s Brock Lesnar kind of tough, and he’s currently the most intimidating man in WWE.
This is what he was born to do, and the fact that he’s doing it in Vince McMahon’s company is both surreal and satisfying at the same time. Joe has been all over the world, he’s won major championships, and he’s honed his craft in one war after another. He’s done everything it takes to get to the top, and now he’s finally there.
Of course sitting at Triple H’s right hand is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because Hunter is the boss, which means he’s giving Joe the green light to do whatever he wants to whoever he wants to do it to. It’s also important because Joe has the most spotlight of anyone on Raw. While Tuesdays belong to John Cena and AJ Styles, Mondays belong to Roman Reigns and now Samoa Joe.
Joe fills a spot for top talent that Raw desperately needs. Finn Balor’s continued absence has affected the program, while Rollins’ latest injury has put him on the shelf as well. Of course, Rollins’ injury came at the hands of Joe himself, which is very unfortunate for everyone involved. The last thing WWE needs is one of its top stars out of action, which is exactly what’s happened.
Any thoughts of a WrestleMania match with Triple H are likely gone now that Rollins is out again. However it’s done nothing but elevate Joe, who’s benefited from Rollins’ absence. Though it was obviously not intentional, Rollins’ injury is credited to Joe, so the Samoan star is coming in with more buzz around him than anyone in recent memory.
But the biggest drawback to being The Game’s right hand man is that historically, it’s not ended well. Randy Orton couldn’t take anymore of Triple H’s manipulation, so he tried to leave The Authority on his own terms. But that departure didn’t go unanswered, as Hunter made it his mission to put The Viper though hell in the months to follow.
Rollins replaced Orton, and was then replaced by Kevin Owens. While KO is now enjoying a renewed edge thanks to his betrayal of best friend Chris Jericho, Triple H may one day decide that Owens too has outlived his usefulness. Samoa Joe may claim he’s different, and that he is indeed his own man, but the heel/babyface dynamic is still in play.
At some point, Samoa Joe will decide that he’s no one’s puppet. He will grow tired of the constant control asserted by Triple H and when that happens, the two will part ways. But until that happens, there’s no denying that Hunter and Joe do seem to be a good fit.
However without Rollins in the fold, Joe may be in a holding pattern. His booking is the key, because if WWE moves too fast, fans could quickly tire of Joe’s shtick. Of course if Samoa Joe is paced too slowly, then fans could get bored with it all and he will ultimately be ineffective. Joe needs the right opponents with the right amount of build, in storylines that will spotlight him as the megastar that he truly is.
So instead of Rollins, Joe is left with the current roster. He’s already beaten Reigns. He destroyed Sami Zayn. Owens is the Universal champion, but he and Joe shouldn’t be feuding any time soon. Goldberg is busy with Brock Lesnar, but fans would surely love to see Joe work either guy, as both are dream opponents for him. But maybe the best challenge for Samoa Joe is his former NXT rival, Finn Balor.
Balor should be back in time for WrestleMania 33 and if he is, then he should face Samoa Joe. It’s a logical match, as they have history together. It’s also a match that works because both men are on the road to being top guys in the company. There is no better place to solidify that position than at the Showcase of the Immortals.
But then there’s Kurt Angle. Angle versus Joe was a feud that made major waves in TNA, and if Angle is willing to go for one more run in WWE, it could begin with Samoa Joe. Joe has options, he has heat, and he has a major opportunity to get over in a very big way.
Joe’s ready. The fans are ready. Hopefully, WWE is ready as well.