Well well? here we are once again! Welcome everyone your twelfth edition of The Shoot. Backlash has come and gone and once again, my picks were nothing to sneeze at. I went 3-3 this event which brings my overall to 12-12. I need to get a couple perfect PPV picks to redeem myself, but I?ll let you know where I went wrong later on in the column.
I also hope everyone had a great NFL Draft weekend. My New England Patriots picked up some nice talent. Tom Brady has tested stronger and faster than before his double knee injury and with him back in the driver’s seat and this draft lineup, they are going to be a major force to be reckoned with and I strongly believe that they will go all the way this season and claim their 4th Superbowl Championship. I?m calling it right now. But enough talk about real sports.. let’s talk wrestling!
So Reid Flair got pulled over, arrested, and is now faced with criminal charges after heroine was found in his car. Why am I not surprised? Drugs and Wrestling? It’s not exactly world breaking news. All I can say about this is good luck in getting him booked for ROH now, Ric. In fact, good luck getting invited BACK to ROH. I?m sure Ring of Honor doesn?t need to be associated with bad publicity at this time of growth.
What really has me interested was the announcement from Kayfabe Commentaries about then getting Sabu for their YouShoot series. When you talk about shoot interviews, you never hear the name of Sabu dropped anywhere. Sabu was a silent wrestler where he let his ring work talk for him. Now, he will be sat down and interviewed and I, personally, cannot wait to hear what the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal, death-defying maniac known as Sabu has to say. This will be one DVD I highly recommend to anyone and I haven?t even seen it.
Lance Hoyt signed with the WWE. This could be very interesting. He has size, speed, and power. I?m sure the WWE could market him as the next ?Test? based on look and character. It will be interesting to see how he is used, but just like anyone, he?ll probably debut a year from now after being ?groomed? down in FCW.
Moving along to this week’s column, I?ve decided that I wanted to Spotlight a wrestler. A lot of people who know me know that Joe Seannoa aka Samoa Joe is my favorite wrestler. A lot of people have criticized Samoa Joe since his debut in TNA because many of them have only seen the work he has done in TNA. Joe has done a lot more than just Total Nonstop Action. He was an integral part of Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, IWA: Mid-South, as well had some downright brutal matches in Japan. For a man that is 6?3? and pushing the 280-290 mark, Samoa Joe can wrestle, brawl, and high fly with the best of them.
Samoa Joe got his start in 1999 getting his first match against ?Uncle? Jess Hansen just three months after becoming the first ever graduate of it UIWA West Coast Dojo. I remember during an ROH show, CM Punk was on commentary and he even took a stab at that, citing that Joe trained in ?Japan?, but corrected himself and said ?well it’s like Japan, they have a rice cooker there?. Joe then headed to Universal Pro Wrestling in 2000 where he became the longest running UPW Champion in that company’s history. He even had a feud with a Christopher Daniels in which Joe even ran in on a match between Daniels and Rob Van Dam. This landed Joe a spot on WWF Jakked in 2001 where he lost a match to Essa Rios.
Joe then caught the eyes of American promoters when he went to work for Pro Wrestling Zero1 in Japan. While in Japan, Joe worked under both the Samoa Joe and King Joe monikers. Joe even had the opportunity to wrestle Mitsuharu Misawa in both a tag match (when Misawa tagged with Takeshi Morishima) and in a singles match for the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Joe beat Misawa in the tag match using the Island Driver, which was Misawa’s Emerald Flowsion finisher and Misawa beat Joe in the title match using a stiff elbow to the head. Joe then went on to feud with CW Anderson and Masato Tanaka and even formed a team with Keiji Sakoda and became the first ever NWA International Tag Team Champions! When Zero1 wanted him to portray a more gimmicky character, Joe left Japan.
While in Japan, Joe showcased his power style as he utilized an enormous amount of suplexes. Joe threw everything from belly to belly suplexes, T-Bones, Exploders, to his secondary finisher, the Chimeraplex (German Suplex rolled into a Dragon Suplex rolled into a Straightjacket Suplex). He combined this moveset with his agility, hitting moves such as corkscrew planchas, tope suicida elbows, tope con hilos, huracanranas, and CCS Enziguris. He also developed a heavy striking set of chops, knees, and kicks. Joe’s matches in Japan were downright brutal and this is what attracted the eyes of Gabe Sapolsky and Robert Feinstein.
In 2002, Joe moved to Ring of Honor and came in as a member of ?Fallen Angel? Christopher Daniel’s group known as The Prophecy. Joe played a mercenary for hire within the group and when things didn?t go his way, Joe left and went on to challenge Xavier for the ROH Championship. Joe defeated Xavier becoming the company’s third champion. Joe then went on to have a legendary 21 month reign as ROH Champion. During his reign, he defended the belt internationally and the PW Torch officially recognized the ROH Title as a World Title. At ROH’s 2002 Do or Die event, Samoa Joe wrestled Homicide in which we saw one of the most brutal endings to a pro wrestling match. Joe hit an avalanche muscle buster on Homicide that saw Homicide hit the canvas with the back of his neck. Many feared Homicide was seriously injured after this move. After this, the announcers always referred back to that match and stated that Joe almost ?killed? Homicide. Because of this, the famous ?Joe’s Gonna Kill You? chant started.
In addition to Homicide feuded with CM Punk in what resulted in the famous Joe/Punk Trilogy. At World Title Clasic, Joe vs Punk II, and All-Star Extravaganza II, Joe and Punk wrestled each other for the ROH World Title. The first two matches were 60 minute time limit draws and third match saw CM Punk tap after Joe hit him with 2/3 of a Chimeraplex and locked in the rear naked choke around the 35 minute mark. The second match between the two was the first match to receive five stars from Dave Meltzer and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, here in the United States, since 1997.
After losing the ROH World Title, a new title was introduced in Ring of Honor known as the Pure Wrestling Championship. The Pure Title was contested under unique rules stated that wrestlers had a 20 count on the outside (Previous the Adam Pearce, ROH had no count outs) and each wrestler was given three rope breaks to break a pinfall or submission. If all three rope breaks were used up, the ropes were deemed fair play and could not be used by the wrestler who had no breaks left. Closed fists were not allowed in these matches as a closed fist drew a warning, second usage caused a rope break, and third usage was a disqualification. If a wrestler was out of rope breaks then a second usage would be an automatic DQ. This was important because the Pure Title will change hands on a DQ or Count Out. Samoa Joe defeated Jay Lethal (now known as Black Machismo in TNA) to become the 5th ROH Pure Champion. After the pure title, Joe had another legendary rivalry with American Dragon Bryan Danielson which saw Joe take Danielson to another 60 minute draw at Fight of the Century. In Liverpool, England, at Fifth Year Festival: Finale, Joe wrestled, who he called his greatest rival, Homicide in what would be his final full time match for the company. Joe then returned to ROH at the 2008 Rising Above Pay-Per-View where he defeated Tyler Black. Due to contractual obligations, though, that match didn?t air on PPV, but was featured as a Bonus Match on the Rising Above DVD as well as the Escalation DVD to help boost the sales of what was one of ROH’s worst shows.
In 2005, Samoa Joe made his way to Total-Nonstop Action Wrestling where he debuted as part of TNA’s X-Division where they made the stress on the fact that the X-Division isn?t about weight limits, it’s about no limits. This was certainly the case as Samoa Joe feuded with AJ Styles and Chistopher Daniels? two opponents that we wrestled many times in ROH and PWG. While their singles matches were great, the triple threat match between the three of them was heralded as one of the greatest matches in TNA history.
Samoa Joe would then press forward and get teased on entering the main event picture. Many suspected that Joe was ready to put the company on his back until something happened: TNA signed Kurt Angle. The IWC wanted to see the match and were almost foaming at the mouth for it to take place. TNA gave in and we got a trilogy between Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. While Samoa Joe did come up short in that trilogy and his quest to become TNA World Champion, Joe later did so and captured his first and (so far) only TNA World Championship. Samoa Joe was also a TNA World Tag Team Champion and a three time TNA X Division Champion, making Samoa Joe TNA’s second Triple Crown winner (the first being AJ Styles who has moved to be TNA’s ONLY Grand Slam Winner by capturing the TNA Legends Championship from Booker T).
This brings us to the current Samoa Joe. This has to be one of Samoa Joe’s low points. The simulation of ?killing? Scott Steiner (HEH!?) was a bit too much and this ?gimmick? is really ruining Joe’s image. If TNA wants Samoa Joe to be a major force, let Samoa Joe be Samoa Joe. Joe can talk on the mic. He has cut some of the best promos in ROH History. Samoa Joe can mat wrestle for 60 minutes and not miss a step. He has the skills to tell a story in the ring and despite his appearance, he can be a total package. Why waste all of this talent on a ridiculous gimmick? My only hope is that TNA gets some sense knocked into them so we can get the real Samoa Joe back and he does come back, put the world title on Samoa Joe and keep it on him all year and maybe into next year, too.
How to do it? Easy? bring back the Steamboat vs Foley feud from ROH and insert Joe into Steamboat’s role. Pro-Wrestling vs Hardcore Wrestling. It’s entertaining, it will work, and it will help Samoa Joe in more ways that TNA can imagine right now. Just my two lira.
So that’s my look at Samoa Joe. I actually like writing about and detailing different wrestlers so if you enjoyed this history and would like me to do another, let me know via feedback. Maybe I can open some eyes and give some wrestling fans some insight on wrestlers they never knew about. (by the way, this one was written with zero research done on my part. This is pretty much all my knowledge about Samoa Joe so if I got something wrong, please feel free to correct me).
Well well? so I taunted the idea that I went 3-3 with Backlash predictions.. now I shall reveal to the world just where I went wrong.
ECW Championship Match
Jack Swagger [c] vs Christian
Note: This one shocked me. I picked Christian out of hope because I could have sworn that Swagger would retain. Hope prevailed!
Chris Jericho vs Ricky Steamboat
Winner: Chris Jericho
Pick: Ricky Steamboat
Note: I was the only one from WrestleView that picked Steamboat. I personally thought that Steamboat would have gotten one for the legends in this one, but I was wrong!
Kane vs CM Punk
Pick: CM Punk
Note: Wow? just? wow. I wouldn?t think they would have the Big Red Machine go over Mr. Money in the Bank three weeks coming off of a Wrestlemania win. Who booked this one!?
I Quit Match
Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Pick: Matt Hardy
Note: This shocked me, too. I would have thought that they would have used this opportunity to really solidify Matt Hardy as a heel and push him to the upper ranks. Now where does Matt Hardy go from here?
6-Man Tag for the WWE Championship
Legacy vs Triple H[c], Batista, and Shane McMahon
Note: This is perfect. This is what should have happened at Wrestlemania (the finish). RKO, kick out and then punt to the head to become the new WWE Champion. They pulled the trigger three weeks too late, but it if refreshing to see Randy Orton on top once again.
Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena [c] vs Edge
Note: This was one of the viable options coming off of the WWE Draft. Smackdown! has a champion again, but sadly, it’s Edge. I say sadly because this is Edge’s NINTH world title reign and his previous eight reigns NEVER made it past the three month mark. Can WWE pull the trigger and break the curse on this ninth reign or will CM Punk cash in and let the curse continue?
Not much in the way of reader feedback this week., but this week I give you all a chance to redeem yourselves. Send me your thoughts on the Wrestler Spotlight, if you want me to continue them, ideas for future spotlights, send me questions, anything on wrestling and of course, feel free to send me anything non-wrestling related, too. Whatever it is you want to talk about from the curse of Matt Hardy’s Penis to the reason why 100 years after people are dead, the Reliant Stadium will be the world’s biggest Chia Pet, send em all to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was also thinking about adding a new section to the column to spice things up. Maybe…
Because I can.