Samoa Joe on joining TNA, Dusty Rhodes & WWE on going head-to-head

?Reported by Adam Martin of

On Saturday, June 25, 2005 at 2:12 PM EST

Samoa Joe recently issued a statement regarding his decision to sign a deal with TNA (which is rumored to be for two years) and debut at the Slammiversary PPV last Sunday. "I anticipate my entrance into TNA and look forward to working with them in addition to ROH and New Japan's LA Office. Please note that my talks with WWE were very preliminary, but positive. My decision to work with TNA was sparked by several factors. At this time, I have several professional and personal commitments that are much more easily fulfilled within these working circumstances. I have read such wild speculation on why I have signed with TNA, but to clear the record I did so because it is of sound financial benefit to me and my family." Joe worked numerous matches at the Impact! tapings two days after Slammiversary, including a match against Delirious which is up for download at the moment on TNA's website.

During TNA's 30 minute pre-PPV countdown show before Slammiversary, Larry Zbyszko announced the "storyline" removal of Dusty Rhodes as the company's on-air Director of Authority. Since Rhodes' removal as the head booker in May, a new booking committee took shape and Rhodes made the decision to not join it after having full control in the previous months. He then later indicated he had more interest in pursuing other career moves outside of wrestling and that continuing an on-air role would not suit him any longer.

In regards to the possibility of TNA going head-to-head with WWE on a Monday night, one WWE spokesman said quote "bring it on." TNA attempted a Monday night timeslot deal with WGN, but that deal later fell through. The company is still in talks with Spike TV about a possibly Saturday night timeslot starting in October. It should be noted that Spike has expressed interest in syndicating Howard Stern's TV version of his radio show that currently airs on the E! Network when that expires in July. This has caused some to wonder if TNA could get pushed aside since that would be the timeslot Stern's show would air following The Ultimate Fighter.

News Derived From: Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter