Wrestling: Samoa Joe

Joe's gonna kill you!
"So, boy, why'd you do it? They never thought he could... but deep inside he always knew he would. That's right, take over! Deal the cards, that's what he does now, yeah... and if you don't come along, its gonna be a beat down."

Samoa Joe (real name: Nuufolau Joel Seanoa) is a dancer of a Polynesian troupe and mortgage broker who turned to professional wrestling in 1999. He is the first graduate of the UIWA West Coast Dojo and further boosted his star in Californian Ultimate Pro Wrestling. He later became known for his high profile and critically acclaimed matches in Ring of Honor and then became one of the top-tier wrestlers in TNA. He is notable for subverting the Wild Samoan stereotype by being a submission expert and for being one of the few well-known wrestlers of Polynesian ancestry (he was born in the United States) not to have any ties to the Anoa'i wrestling family.

Among others, he has won Ultimate Pro Wrestling's No Holds Barred Championship, UPW's Heavyweight Championship, the Ballpark Brawl's Natural Heavyweight Championship, the Pure Wrestling Association Championship, The German Wrestling Association Heavyweight Title, Ring Of Honor's World Championship, ROH's Pure Wrestling Championship, Twin Wrestling Entertainment's Heavyweight Title, TNA's Television Championship, TNA's World Heavyweight Championship, TNA's Tag Team Championships, Pro Wrestling Noah's GHC Tag Team Championshipsnote  and TNA's X Divisions Championship.

You can learn more about him at The Other Wiki.

"You troping with the champion? You already know!"

  • Aborted Arc: His Put on a Bus moment below was a lead-in for Immortal's coming (his Blood Knight character after coming back seemed a lot like that of the eventual messenger of Immortal, Abyss, plus Joe was the first to proclaim that "They have spoken", "They" eventually being Immortal). However, people cheered whenever he assaulted somebody so the bookers killed the angle. Fridge Brilliance comes into play here, as Eric Bischoff (who would later turn out to be a big part of Immortal) was the man who brought Joe back.
  • Acrofatic: Unlike many large wrestlers, this is legitimate rather than an Informed Attribute. He's faster and more agile than you'd ever expect of a guy with his build.
  • Anti-Hero: He claimed to be doing what he had to be done during his Nation of Violence gimmick. In actuality he ranged more toward Pay Evil unto Evil or no better than the main event mafia besides for the fact fans cheer for him.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Heel or face.
  • Badass: Samoa Joe was the first wrestler to hold the TNA tag team belts by himself.
  • Badass Back: During the Main Event Mafia's negotiations and arguments with World Elite, Joe would always stand with his back to World Elite with a hood or towel over his head, only occasionally peeking to see if they were going to try something. He was always standing after all their brawls too.
  • Blood Knight
    • Such as the 2/20/2014 impact where he was given the night off to get ready for a title shot against whoever won the title that night. So he went out into the ring and announced he did not come here to watch a title match and challenged the first three guys who would except to a handicap match.
    • On the first Impact of October 2014, Samoa Joe demanded to face Austin Aries, who had a free shot at an TNA title hold at any point because to paraphrase Joe, he's "the most fightingest champion in the world."
  • Boring but Practical: Besides being touted as "a submissions expert", he is capable of flippy stuff too. Joe just prefers to punch and chop first and foremost.
  • Calling Your Attacks: He yelled out "Muscle Buster" before ending his squash of Delirious on TNA Impact.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Zero 1 refuses to recognize Joe and Keiji Sakoda's reign as the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champions. For the record, Sakoda and Joe were the first two to ever hold the belts.
  • Characterization Marches On: Samoa Joe used to have an undefined but obviously apparent code of honor, most notably in Ring Of Honor, which had a general code for all wrestlers to follow, one which Joe refused to break even if Christopher Daniels paid him to. Since he has been in TNA though he has displayed everything but a sense of honor, excepting the brief period during his Nation Of Violence gimmick which turned out to be empty words when he joined the main event mafia. Seeing him turn on his own teammate Christopher Daniels for the transgression of not allowing Joe to get the winning pin when they were on the same team and voice his apathy to the so called honor of the X-division is a real contrast from the times he made a point to not attack CM Punk's injured leg aside from a few warning shots when Punk's antics got on his nerves.
  • Cool Teacher
    • If your name was Steve Douglas, Justin McCully, Dylan Klein, Justin Mc Cully, Scott Lost, or Tassilo Jung anyway, as he was your trainer.
    • He served in this role for Jay Lethal in Ring of Honor, getting him to become a more serious wrestler, to give up Special K and "Hydro".
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: He died his hair blonde in UPW and still had it that way during his early Ring Of Honor days.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable
    • Christian's undefeated streak in TNA went on to surpass Joe's own. Fittingly, Joe would be the first person in TNA to beat Christian.
    • Joe ended Chris Sabin's two year undefeated streak in the International Wrestling Cartel.
  • Demoted to Extra: Joe's been one of the biggest draws through most of TNA's existence. Once Hulk Hogan came in, it didn't take long for Joe to get pushed down the card.
  • Dumb Muscle: Played off as this in TNA during his feud with Booker T, though it was more like an Informed Attribute as Kevin Nash, the one most often to accuse Joe on his lack of understanding seemed much more like the big dumb one despite not being called out on it. Of course Joe spent pretty much all of his 2009 King Of The Mountain match fighting Kurt Angle, including suplexing Kurt on a ladder just to then turn around and hand Kurt the belt when he was a few rungs away from victory. Joe being bought out by the mafia was dumb enough but he could at least have acted reasonably enough once he was. (but Vince Russo values confusing stories over those that makes sense)
  • Eviler Than Thou: To Sheik Abdul Bashir, whom Joe took backstage, hung upside down by a chain, stuck a razor edged machete in the mouth of and then beat like a pinata with a kendo stick, telling him to go back to where he came from and tell everyone there the same was in store for them if they got in the way of his "Nation Of Violence". Despite this, fans kept cheering Joe so he was still a face.
  • Expy
    • Of Mitsuharu Misawa, which is one reason Japanese fans don't love him, they've seen him before.
    • His chokehold finisher, the towel he carries with him and the "Joe is gonna kill you!" chants are all straight out of Taz. TNA eventually brought in Taz to be Samoa Joe's manager, explained as Taz trying to live through Joe since he could not wrestle anymore.
    • However, it became Not So Similar, as Taz was vocal that the his problem with Joe, one he supposedly never experienced, was Joe's ability to feel remorse. To that end Taz was determined to "cure" Joe of this "problem".
  • Fat and Skinny: With Low Ki, AJ Styles and Okada Kazuchika (or Okato, as TNA would call him)
  • Finishing Move: The (Coquina) Clutch, The Muscle Buster. On the independent circuit he had the island driver (second rope power slam) and chimera suplex (german suplex, dragon suplex, straight jacket suplex in succession).
  • From a Certain Point of View: TNA continued to bill Joe as undefeated even after he lost the X Division championship to Christopher Daniels, claiming that since it was an Ultimate X match where the loser is neither pinned nor made to submit it did not count as a loss, even though it resulted in the loss of the belt. He dropped the X-Division Championship again in a triple threat match but was still considered undefeated because Senshi pinned Sonjay Dutt.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: He had to be stretchered out of the arena follow a tag team loss with Low Ki against the Hardy Boys and then had to vacate the X Division championship, which Low Ki eventually won in his absence.
  • Genius Bruiser: Joe's, uh, altered portrayal in TNA is heavily contrasted by Joe's older runs in UPW and Ring Of Honor, where he was said to be pretty smart by the rest of the roster and a mentor to numerous up and coming wrestlers. His champion theme even opened with "The Evil Genius!"
  • Genre Savvy
  • Gimmick Matches: Won Ballpark Brawl's Natural Heavyweight Championship in a four way pole match.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Even as a face he comes off as a surly jerk at times.
  • Hard Head: Though he used headbutts less in TNA, it certainly helped him hold in to that Ring Of Honor championship.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Especially in TNA, but given it largely uses the same bookers WCW did it is not too surprising. Joe losing his more sympathetic traits from UPW/ROH only compounding the issue.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: A notable aversion when it comes to Joe and his real life close friends, particularly his (former?) Triad backstage brothers AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian. While the three of them will have Ho Yay in spades whenever they work closely together, Joe manages to avoid that vibe with them primarily because of his "laid back until it's time to kill" persona.
  • Hired Guns
    • In Ring of Honor Christopher Daniels hired Samoa Joe to take out Low Ki, but the two quickly became friends.
    • In TNA, the Main Event Mafia got Samoa Joe to join them by bribing him with Jenna Morasca's money from winning the Survivor TV show. Joe himself would later hire Okada Kazuchika to help him in his feud against D'angelo Dinero.
  • I Am the Noun: "My name is Samoa Joe, I am pro wrestling."
  • Insane Troll Logic: His reasoning for abandoning Crimson during a tag team match was that Crimson was on an undefeated streak in TNA and Joe never needed any help during his own TNA undefeated streak.
  • It Will Never Catch On
    • What Bruce Pritchard and Jim Ross thought when they first saw Joe in UPW, saying he would not be going anywhere. They were proven wrong when Joe wound up becoming the longest running champion UPW had until Christopher Daniels(technically). Despite this, Mick Foley still could not get WWE to sign Joe.
    • Ring Of Honor originally planned to only use Joe in one match, but since he immediately caught on they called him back. Joe would go on to become the longest running champion Ring Of Honor had.
  • Jobber: Surprisingly, Joe has done four years work for the WWF, but whenever he wasn't just an extra body to stand in the background, he seemed to be losing to make someone else look better, usually off camera.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Regarding his WWL Idols Of Wrestling match with Adam Pearce against Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, Joe insisted this tactic was the only way to deal with men like them.
  • Lightning Bruiser: More emphasis on the "bruiser" but all the same he is much quicker than many wrestlers of the same height but otherwise weighing much less.
  • Loser Leaves Town: Sent Christopher Daniels out of UPW as the culmination of their feud for the UPW Heavyweight Championship
  • Machete Mayhem: During his nation of violence gimmick, he would frequently threaten people with a machete, though he never actually used it on anyone and the blade was clearly dull.
  • Misplaced Retribution: During Joe's warpath against TNA management and the outsiders, he also trashed Matt Morgan's Christmas party and attack Jeremy Borash, who named Joe the MPV of the company for 2007. However, this turned into Revenge by Proxy after he choked out D'Angelo Dinero and said from now all the blood he spilled would be on TNA's hands.
  • Nick Naming The Enemy: The Phantom Of The Impact Zone. Hype man.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
    • During an IWA Mid-South match, Joe legitimately beat the absolute shit out of Necro Butcher in retaliation for Necro Butcher beating up a rookie wrestler named Anthony Franco on a CHIKARA card. Incidentally, this is the promotion where "gonna kill you" started to take off.
    • When a part of what Christopher Daniels would dub "The Ministry" (with Roderick Strong and Alex Shelly), Joe attacked the would be stable leader Daniels until AJ Styles ran him off. When defending the X Division championship at Final Resolution 2006, Samoa Joe said he did not care about anything other than ending Christopher Daniels's career and did not even bother going for pins. Joe only won the match because AJ Styles threw in the towel on Daniels's behalf.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: For most of his career he has been one to many people. Exceptions including stretches of his nation of violence gimmick and his feud with D'angelo Dinero where he had Okato follow Dinero around with a camera.
  • Noodle Incident: What happened to Joe while he was in ninja captivity?
  • Odd Friendship
    • Samoa Joe is friends with John Cena, John's Catch Phrase, "The Champ is here?" was also once part of Joe's entrance song (and Muhammad Ali was before both of them).
    • Not so odd when one considers Joe was one of Cena's trainers in UPW, in California. Otherwise he's had a mostly negative relationship with "The Prototype".
  • Off Screen Moment Of Awesome: Initially his signing with TNA did not slow the increase in number of Joe's bookings but then his appearances made a sharp dive and TNA started having his matches cut out of the few shows he still did elsewhere, most famously, Ring of Honor Rising Above 2008 vs Tyler Black(after which Joe'd be pulled out of ROH entirely)
  • Power Stable
    • Came into Ring of Honor with The Prophecy as a mercenary hired by Daniels, then he joined The Group lead by Steve Corino.
    • CM Punk's New Dawn in Full Impact Pro then DP Associates.
    • TNA's Ministry (again led by Daniels, though this was a far more brief team-up which Joe violently ended), then Front Line, then The Main Event Mafia (twice).
    • Following Joe's return from injury at the hands of the Hardy Boys in TNA, he and Low Ki replaced Lashley in the MVP Bobby Lashley Kenny King trio, becoming the four man "Beatdown Clan".
  • Power Trio: Team TNA with Ron Killings and Konnan in AAA.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Though he doesn't do the stereotypical "Samoan Savage" gimmick.
  • Put in a Van
    • He was kidnapped by ninjas on a live TNA program and stuffed into the back of a van. He wasn't heard from for several weeks, and for most of that time no mention of the incident was made. He finally appeared in a short video clip and proclaimed "They have spoken." He returned on the following Impact! as a surprise entrant into an eight-man tag match, and in subsequent weeks went on to randomly attack and destroy both faces and heels in the ring. The details of who took him, why, and what they did to him haven't been revealed.
    • As this was immediately before Abyss began proclaiming that "They have spoken", it's suspected that Joe's kidnapping was to have something to do with Immortal. The reasons why he was loaded in a van and ultimately not involved haven't been revealed either.
  • Real Song Theme Tune:Another Body Murdered by Faith No More and Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J and The Champ is Here Jadakiss during Ring Of Honor. Joe used "The Champ Is Here'' before its public release, but nothing in its lyrics suggests it applies to Joe specifically.
  • Red Baron: "The Samoan Submission Machine".
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against the Main Event Mafia, at all costs, for breaking his arm. Wait, apparently not all costs.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Well, actually a towel but still.
  • Shout-Out
    • Contrary to the popular belief, Joe did not invent the Muscle Buster—the move is a clear homage to Kinnikuman, where it's seen as the trademark move of the titular character. Even the name is kept the same (only translated differently), as "kinniku" is the Japanese word for "muscle".
    • Joe's theme almost always starts with the opening notes of the Godzilla theme (or an arranged version of so in TNA).
  • Signature Move: Running back elbow in the turnbuckle then leg lariat or CSC Enziguri. Also the face wash (not to be confused with Delirious's move of the same name). Also an elevated STO Out of the corner which is referred to by Tazz as a "uranage". In Ring Of Honor he was known for an elbow suicide dive and a chop to the back transitioned to a victim to kick. Also, jabs. Lots and lots of jabs.
  • Spam Attack: As one of the larger men in TNA's X Division, Joe's response to smaller guys who thought they could just run around him was to grab them, hold them in the corner and punch them a whole lot.
  • Strange Bedfellows: The "Unlikely Alliance" with Kevin Nash and Christian Cage in TNA.
  • Tag Team: With Mike Knox and Magnus, who both ended up being choked out by Joe later. Had a happier ending with Keiji Sakoda. Low Ki requested Joe to be his partner in TNA, boasting that it would guarantee victory.
  • The Ace: Of Ring Of Honor for twenty one months after winning the number one contender trophy at ROH Expect The Unexpected, beating Xavier at Night Of Champions and defending the belt in the German Wrestling Association against Ares.
  • The Artifact: The Nation of Violence theme has stuck with him even after dropping the gimmick.
  • The Big Guy: Face, particularly of Steve Corino's Group and TNA's front line, till the nation of violence thing got started.
  • The Brute: Heel, particularly DP Associates (David Prazak), Full Impact Pro's New Dawn and TNA's Main Event Mafia
  • The Cavalry
  • The Juggernaut: He has described his own booking as "the unstoppable juggernaut" and in relation to his badass decay in TNA says he always realized he would not be booked that way forever but will go back to it if the company feels it is needed.
  • The Rival
    • Homicide and Joe were enemies in Ring of Honor, but mostly by virtue of Joe's membership in The Prophecy, of which he was the token good teammate of anyway. Then again as part of The Group vs the Rottweilers but The Group was only about money. Ever so slowly, they became friends through there various ROH encounters. They encountered one another in various other places while this was happening too, such as JAPW and IWA Mid-South.
    • Joe and Super Dragon were a tag team in EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR but became adversaries in Pro Wrestling Guerilla and Ring of Honor.
    • AJ Styles since at least ROH Beating The Odds in 2003, where they teamed up against the Briscoes after being outlasted by Jay in a contender's match for Xavier's Championship. He's also one of the few wrestlers to ever beat AJ Styles in the International Wrestling Cartel.
    • Kurt Angle came into TNA and put an end to Joe's undefeated streak in the "Dream Match Of The Decade" and break Joe's record for number of TNA belts held at once. Kurt couldn't stop Joe during his "Nation of Violence" phase though. They've also collided outside of TNA, such as in APW(Associação Portuguesa de Wrestling).
    • Fought Low Ki in All Pro Wrestling, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Ultimate Pro Wrestling, Zero 1 and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. In Ring Of Honor(the encounters which in turn lead to many of the others), Low Ki was more a Rival Turned Evil.
    • Frankie Kazarian in All Pro and Ultimate Pro, which naturally carried over to TNA.
  • Third Movie Goes To Asia: Samoa Joe, the third Ring Of Honor Champion, turn the belt into the Ring Of Honor World Championship when he took the belt to the UK, to defend it against Zebra Kid at FWA Frontiers of Hono(u)r.
  • Token Good Teammate: In the Main Event Mafia, more or less. Paul Heyman cited this as a bad thing, saying that the Main Event Mafia were supposed to be the bad guys yet Joe had done nothing to make people want to see his face beaten in and his shoulders pinned to the mat since joining. He was really more villainous before he joined, pretty much threatening to legitimately kill them after adopting a tribal savage gimmick in revenge for breaking his arm; the act of joining itself and thus the being the worst thing he did since his supposed heel turn. If the "TNA originals vs. establishment invaders" theme of the Frontline-Mafia feud (or the intended insult to intelligence that was the Mafia's would-be killer just up and becoming their latest member) hadn't come across as well as it did, this likely would've seen the Mafia approach turning face here.
  • Too Many Belts: Only three belts (two tag team, one x division), but Samoa Joe holds distinction of being the first person in TNA to hold more than one TNA belt at once. He went on to lose all his belts at once to Kurt Angle, who became TNA's second Triple Crown champion after AJ Styles.
  • Tournament Arc
    • Participated in Pro Wrestling ZERO1's burning heat tournaments and has won...
    • The 2004 IWA Mid-South Revolution Strong Style Tournament, going over B-Boy
    • TNA 2005 Super X Cup, beating AJ Styles at Sacrifice
    • AAA's Torneo de Atomicos 2006 with AJ Styles and Low Ki as his partners
    • The Extreme Wrestling Federation's Xtreme 8 2006, defeating Jimmy Jacobs
    • TNA's 2007 "Turkey Bowl" beating AJ Styles and Chris Sabin(half of the Motor City Machine Guns) in a three way
    • TNA' Maximum Impact Tournament over Christopher Daniels and Wild Card Tag Team Tournament in 2011 with Brutus Magnus as his partner
    • TNA Tourney for the vacant X-Division Title in 2014, choking out Seiya Sanada before Low Ki could break it up.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: Subverted. Early Ring Of Honor stable Special K were made up of a bunch of JAPW alums who blew their money on drug addictions and sought to expand their ranks by drugging members of the ROH roster until they became addicts too. Low Ki, The Spanish Announce Team and The Carnage Crew all beat them up for this, but they would not stop. Joe did more damage to the group by simply talking to one of its members and insisting he could be better. Imagine that?
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Him and CM Punk, apparently he's a lover of various women on CM Punk's furniture.
  • Wild Samoan: Played its straightest as "King Joe" with Samoan Savage in Zero One. Also closely in his TNA "Nation of Violence" gimmick. But mostly averted, as he is quite well spoken in and out of the ring.
  • Worked Shoot: Joe got on Dixie Carter's nerves by going over his allotted microphone time to rant about The Outsiders. (Joe apologized for any hurt feelings off camera, then continued to feud with the Outsiders on camera.)
  • Wrestling Monster: CM Punk boasted that Joe was an unstoppable monster while he was in the New Dawn.

"Now he's done it! I'll make you see a world. That's right a world you can't paint back! That's right, that's a that's a fact!"