Over a month on from WWE’s April 15th releases there is still a bitter taste in the collective mouths of wrestling fans. But, the positive spin is there are just eight weeks left till those released can wrestle again, and WWE’s loss can be everyone else’s gain. With perhaps no bigger name on the released list than Samoa Joe.
The 20+ year veteran had been trapped behind the commentary desk in recent years, but now he’s free again there is a world of potential matches out there for him. Here are some of the potential clashes I would love to see for Samoa Joe in the near future.
- Nick Aldis – Joe and Aldis under his TNA/Impact moniker “Magnus” had countless bouts and were even one-time tag team champions. An infuriated Joe chasing after a more mature Aldis for his NWA World Heavyweight Championship would be great to see.
- Andrade – After both being in WWE for around half a decade, they only met on one occasion in a singles match at an NXT house show. I’m not sure where it would happen, but I’d love it if it did.
- Minoru Suzuki – Two excellent promos, two real tough guys and two exceptional wrestlers waging an all-out war.
- Joe Hendry – Joe v Joe, Serious Samoa Joe v sarcastic and witty Joe Hendry. Hendry is solid if not spectacular in the ring, but with the right build, this could be brilliant.
- Kenny Omega – So, obviously this would be brilliant. But, Omega has a lot more interesting feuds looming such as Orange Cassidy and “Hangman” Adam Page.
5) Christopher Daniels:
For just shy of thirty years, Christopher Daniels has been a wrestler and, a man who has just about done it all. He’s had a tenure others could only dream of and you know what, he’s done it all exceptionally well. Daniels has been a constant professional, both as a tag team and singles star. After the emotional split of S.C.U on the most recent episode of Dynamite, the reality seemed to kick in for Daniels that the sands of time are beginning to reach an end.
By his own omission, he’s “thinking of putting this old body down“. The question now is what is left for Christopher Daniels? As far as I’m concerned if his career is nearing its close, there would be no better way to go out than in a feud with Samoa Joe. Joe/Daniels was a staple of TNA in the mid-2000s, with Samoa Joe v Christopher Daniels v AJ Styles being the only match in the history of the company to receive a 5* rating from Dave Meltzer. It was the match that turned all three into stars within the company, and a feud that deserves to have one more match as their careers come full circle. Whilst the chances of Styles joining them in a potential feud are just south of zero, it would be incredibly fitting to see Samoa Joe v Christopher Daniels one more time.
Then, they were the staples of the X-Division, now however this would be a more grounded affair. Two wrestlers more senior in their age putting it all on show, proving they still have something to give.
4) Chris Bey:
And speaking of the X-Division, right now there isn’t a more exciting up-and-coming talent in the division than Chris Bey. Bey embodies exactly what the division was built on, fresh exciting, talent putting on spectacular performances.
But, as good as Bey is, he’s still on the younger side of his career. At just 25 years old, and with just four years of experience, he still has a lot to learn. And, as far as teachers go there are not many who understand the ways of the X-Division more than Samoa Joe.
Joe is a five-time X-Division champion and has held the belt for the third most days of anybody in the history of the title. Bey, on the other hand, is a one time champ and still in his infancy within the division.
This feud would ideally work with Joe as the face teaching all he can, and Bey as the cocky young heel who thinks he knows it all already.
3) Jay Briscoe:
Jay Briscoe has made his return to singles competition in recent months as the unhinged monster protecting the Code of Honour ROH was initially built on, against EC3. One man who used to also stand to protect that code was Samoa Joe.
Joe throughout his career has been known for his hard-hitting style, both on the mic and in the ring, something that could also be said for Briscoe. Two of the most engaging promo’s in the business today, Samoa Joe v Jay Briscoe could be a huge feud to bring ROH back into the eyes of a bigger audience.
The story writes itself here, not only do they have previous matches within the company including world title bouts in 2003, 2004 and 2015. But, it’s Samoa Joe, the man who traded in ROH and Impact for the glitz of NXT and WWE. Vs the man who never left ROH, who fought on the very first card the company ever put on in Jay Briscoe.
2) Tomohiro Ishii:
Despite the wealth of talent throughout the NJPW roster, Tomohiro Ishii is my pick for a potential dream match for Samoa Joe. Even with Joe’s incredible wrestling career on the independents, he never once stepped foot inside an NJPW ring, and only had one regular stint in Japan back in 2002/2003 for ZERO-ONE. Since then, he has wrestled in the continent just a little over a handful of times.
Ishii would be the perfect foe for Joe, a grit your teeth and take the impact tough-guy kind of opponent. The match would likely resemble Ishii’s two matches against Keith Lee in RevPro, with huge blows dished out on both sides. With Joe never stepping foot into a NJPW ring, this would be the perfect way to implement his act into the company for the first time.
Of all the potential matches on this list, this has the least in the way of a pre-made story. However, as far as actual match quality goes, this has all the hallmarks of a 5* classic.
Now I know they both spent countless years in WWE, and this sort of has that WWE guy feel to it. But, over in WWE, Joe and Rusev/Miro only met once in one-on-one action, on an episode of Smackdown with The Miz as special guest referee. After Samoa Joe has spent all that time cooped up behind the commentary desk, and Miro has re-found his pure killer persona, this could be something special.