Samoa Joe is the current number one contender for the WWE Universal Championship that is held by Brock Lesnar. Yet, nobody seems to take him as a serious contender to the title. Yeah, Roman Reigns appears to be the guy that WWE wants to be their champion, but Samoa Joe has been presented rather well in WWE to make him a reasonable threat to Brock Lesnar.
I’m not really sure if many people are aware of what Samoa Joe managed to accomplish outside of the WWE. At the end of his Impact Wrestling career he was stuck in the mid card but for a few years in Impact Wrestling, Samoa Joe was a force not to be messed with. Heck, Samoa Joe dominated competition in Ring of Honor before he made it to Impact Wrestling. Samoa Joe is more than capable of beating Brock Lesnar.
Joe started his rise in wrestling when he worked for Ring of Honor starting in 2002. He made his debut on October 5th, 2002 losing to Low Ki at Glory By Honor. It would be one of the few times Joe would lose in ROH. Joe would quickly win the ROH Heavyweight Championship from Xavier on March 22nd, 2003 and held it until December 2004 where he lost to Austin Aries. Joe is still the longest reigning ROH World Champion as he held it for 645 days.
Despite losing to Aries, Joe remained a major player in ROH even though he’d never win the ROH World Championship again. By the spring of 2005, Joe found himself in TNA (Impact Wrestling) and was heavily pushed as an unstoppable force in the X-Division. While there, Joe would win the TNA X-Division Champion five times and had an eighteen month undefeated streak that came to an end thanks to Kurt Angle at TNA Genesis 2006.
Joe’s feud with Kurt Angle arguably brought TNA their best business and did in fact provide their best buy-rate on pay per view. They would trade victories and eventually Joe won the TNA World Championship for the first and only time by defeating Angle at Lockdown 2008. Joe was presented as the top guy in TNA and defeated the likes of Booker T, Christian Cage and AJ Styles during his title reign.
After losing the TNA World Championship to Sting at Bound For Glory 2008, Joe found himself getting shuffled down the card and didn’t have a major role on television for the remainder of his TNA run. His lack of motivation became clear when he got more and more out of shape and his in-ring ability wasn’t the same as it once was.
Then, he didn’t renew his TNA contract. Instead, opting to return to ROH for a few shows. He challenged Jay Briscoe for the ROH World Championship at ROH Supercard of Honor IX, but was unsuccessful. He did defeat Kyle O’Reilly before finishing his ROH career with a victory teaming with AJ Styles against Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian.
For the longest time it was said that Samoa Joe wouldn’t sign with WWE because of his body. He’s a stiff worker. Times change and WWE had a brand called NXT that was a perfect fit for Samoa Joe. Sure enough, on May 20th, Samoa Joe made his debut and teased a feud with Kevin Owens after preventing Owens from further attacking Sami Zayn. In less than a year, Samoa Joe won the NXT Heavyweight Championship by pinning Finn Balor on April 21st, 2016.
Joe would become the first ever 2-time NXT Heavyweight Champion when he regained the championship from Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II. He’d lose the championship two weeks later to end the second reign. He’d soon find himself on the WWE RAW roster on January 30th.
After a brief feud with Seth Rollins leading into WrestleMania, Joe quickly catapulted himself into the number one contender spot at Extreme Rules when he defeated Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns. Joe showed his aggression when he recently choked out Paul Heyman on RAW.
Brock Lesnar has a real challenger on his hands. Samoa Joe is a big guy and can take a lot of punishment. He’s accomplished quite a bit in his career and hasn’t shown fear. I don’t often agree with Jim Cornette, but he deemed this a dream match. At first, I wasn’t sold on the idea. However, with the direction that Joe has gone in has gotten my interest. I don’t think Samoa Joe is going to win, but I’m hoping for a competitive, stiff match.
But, who knows. You don’t know Joe. He could very well walk out the WWE Universal Champion on July 9th.
What are your thoughts on Samoa Joe challenging Brock Lesnar? Are you interested or do you not care?
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Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.