I have always been a fan of Samoa Joe; followed his career precisely throughout his time in TNA/Impact Wrestling & Ring Of Honor. Joe has always been a standout talent in-ring wise, but not until I saw him in NXT, was when I knew that WWE had something that has been absent from this company for quite sometime; a genuine heel. This most recent episode of Monday Night RAW saw one of the best promos of 2017 cut by the #1 contender for the WWE Universal Championship.
Although it was great to see Samoa Joe getting his opportunity to show how great he is on the mic, this was not the first time that he has genuinely made viewers believe that he was going to destroy his opponent. Remember his feud in NXT with Shinsuke Nakamura, when he heckled NXT GM William Regal to bring back Shinsuke so that Joe could finish what he started & recapture what be believed was his NXT Championship.
Joe put “The King Of Strong Style” on the shelf for weeks. Throughout the weeks that Nakamura was out, I had never seen a superstar; so intense, hell-bent and addicted to beating the living hell out of someone and craving them to come back and receive the beating that he/she had not finished delivering. This is my thing, name the last time you watched any wrestling program and the wrestler were watching genuinely made you believe through a promo, that they were going to seriously hurt their opponent.
Now, when you look at the current match-up, we have Brock Lesnar who WWE still portrays as a beast which I do not understand. WWE constantly tries to go on about story-lines as if we forget that Lesnar got squashed by a 50-year old part-timer in Goldberg who was only brought back to sell WWE 2K17. Lesnar is still dominant; in the sight of “casual” fans, but, to us, those of you who are reading this, we no longer consider Lesnar in that limelight on the scale that WWE does although he is dominant in terms of what he has done.
Fast forwarding to were we are at now, we have Samoa Joe challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at the Great Balls Of Fire PPV. Now, I know many of you will agree with me in saying that this is a WrestleMania caliber match even without a championship on the line. Just based off who is in this match, the physicality, both men with a legit fighting background & knowing that this is a guy who Brock Lesnar will not be dominating for 18+ minutes. My issue with this whole situation is; I do not want a guy like Samoa Joe to just be a stepping stone for Brock Lesnar on his way to Braun Strowman at SummerSlam & Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34. Just to speak on that, I find it very idiotic that your WrestleMania main event is based around Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar again and the public already knows about it. But, back to the topic; WWE has seriously backed themselves into a wall with this one. They are hell-bent on building Brock Lesnar up as a dominant beast again so who will be his pawn? Samoa Joe? Braun Strowman? Two guys who you’ve spent months portraying as two of the most destructive men on your roster.
At Great Balls Of Fire, if we see Samoa Joe lose to Brock Lesnar, it has to be an all out war. This cannot be a match where Lesnar is dominating; the story has to be told that Lesnar has escaped out of Dallas by the skin of his teeth. But, do not think that Joe losing this match was the only option that backed WWE into a corner. If Samoa Joe wins, that’s great & I am all for it, it’ll be a great moment for someone who has been putting his foot on the neck of the wrestling business for quite some time, but, what happens after he wins? Is “The Destroyer” who just defeated one of WWE’s “most dangerous” superstars gonna hold the Universal Championship for seven weeks and then drop it at SummerSlam. Where does Braun Strowman play into all of this? Where does Roman Reigns come into play because we all know he’s the inevitable factor in this situation.
For quite some time, I’ve been saying that WWE would just put the Universal Title on Roman Reigns now to avoid what we know is coming and save a talent such as Joe, or Balor from being a footnote in the path of “The Big Dog”, just give him the championship. Now, this is where we are; July 9th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX; we have Samoa Joe challenging Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship. What is going to happen? We will find out in four weeks but what I am very much sure of is that WWE has a tough decision to make and from understanding the last minute decisions that are made in the company, they won’t be thinking of the pros/cons of Samoa Joe losing and/or winning the Universal Title until it actually happens and is too late.