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Wrestling / Samoa Joe

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"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, it's gonna be a beat down."

*Loud animal roar* JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE!

Samoa Joe (real name Nuufolau Joel Seanoa; born March 17, 1979) is an American troupe dancer and mortgage broker-turned-professional wrestler as of 1999. He is the first graduate of the UIWA West Coast Dojo and further boosted his star in Californian Ultimate Pro Wrestling. 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.

Seanoa established himself with his high profile and critically acclaimed matches in Ring of Honor from the promotion's beginning in 2002, holding the ROH World Championship once for a record 21 months from May 2003 to December 2004, and the ROH Pure Championship once. Upon joining TNA, debuting at Slammiversary in June 2005, he embarked upon an 18-month-long undefeated streak, in which he never lost a match by pinfall or submission, and afterwards remained one of its top-tier wrestlers, winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship once, the TNA X Division Championship five times, the TNA World Tag Team Championship twice (once by himself and the other with Magnus), and the TNA Television Championship once. He was voted the 2005 Most Outstanding Wrestler by readers of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, making him the first from both TNA and ROH to win this accolade. He left TNA in February 2015, briefly competing again in ROH and the independent circuit. He officially debuted in WWE's developmental territory NXT in May that year, winning the NXT Championship almost a year later, and was called to the main roster in late 2016. He performed on Raw until the 2018 Superstar Shakeup, where he was drafted to Smackdown instead, beginning feuds with AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio Jr.. In 2019 he won his first WWE title in the main roster, the United States Championship.

He was ultimately released from WWE in January 2022. On April 1, Joe appeared on ROH Supercard of Honor, with the immediate revelation afterwards that he'd signed to All Elite Wrestling. Since AEW's Tony Khan purchased Ring Of Honor, Joe defeated Minoru Suzuki on an episode of Dynamite to capture his first ROH World Television Championship. At AEW Full Gear 2022, Joe won the TNT Championship from Wardlow. He dropped the title to Darby Allin on January 4th, 2023, only to regain the title on February 1st, 2023. Joe would then lose the title to Wardlow at AEW Revolution 2023. Joe later set his sights on the AEW World Championship title, vacating his ROH World Television title on November 8th, 2023 to focus on it. At AEW Worlds End 2023, Joe won the AEW World Championship title from MJF. Joe would later lose the title to Swerve Strickland at AEW Dynasty 2024.

Besides the championships already mentioned, he has won Ultimate Pro Wrestling's No Holds Barred Championship, UPW's Heavyweight Championship, Ballpark Brawl's Natural Heavyweight Championship, the Pure Wrestling Association Championship, the German Wrestling Association Heavyweight Championship, Twin Wrestling Entertainment's Heavyweight Championship, and Pro Wrestling Noah's GHC Tag Team Championship (with Magnus).

Outside of his wrestling career, he provides the physical performancenote  for the character of Sweet Tooth in the 2023 series Twisted Metal. Joe has also done voicing acting work for The Transformers: Power of the Primes as Predaking, as Yurnero the Juggernaut in Dota 2 and Dota Underlords and as King Shark in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

"A trope list for 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, though Eric Bischoff (who would later turn out to be a big part of Immortal) was the man who brought Joe back.
    • When Joe went to NXT, he hit the ground running with a feud with then-champion Kevin Owens. However, Owens got called up to the main roster shortly afterwards so the angle was quietly dropped. Joe moved on to a feud with Baron Corbin and eventually allied with Finn Bálor, winning the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
  • 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.
  • 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, pulling off moves that guys 40 pounds lighter than him have trouble with.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Generally speaking, Samoa Joe is a cool-headed, well-spoken, brutal and intimidating SOB with a frightening temper and a penchant for violence. This is consistent whether he's face or heel, the difference between the two being that face Joe has some sense of honor and/or respect setting him apart from heel Joe. For example, in TNA, Joe as World Heavyweight Champion was a ringleader for the locker room seeking revenge against The Bad Guys (Kurt Angle, Team 3D, Booker T and Tomko) for their collective betrayal and bloodying of AJ Styles, a far cry from the man who bloodied Styles and Christopher Daniels at will in their three-way rivalry for the X-Division title several years earlier. In WWE, Joe went from blindsiding Seth Rollins on Triple H's orders to standing up for his commentary partner against the same Rollins's bullying, and his big issue with how Karrion Kross antagonizes NXT GM William Regal as compared to how Joe himself did the same several years prior is Kross not affording Regal any semblance of respect.
    • The one open subversion of this was how 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 except that fans cheered for him. In reality this was a harbinger of a Face–Heel Turn, as it was later revealed the Mafia had offered their penance to Joe, allowing him to pick them off one by one, as well as paid him off, all in order to get him to join them and help Kurt win the title.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • In TNA, it would be safe to say he doesn't have one. Much like AJ and Daniels, Joe was in the promotion too long to have a real definitive one — though the aforementioned two have been rivals long enough to count. Joe and AJ continued their feud in the WWE in the summer of 2018.
    • Since coming to WWE NXT, his arch enemy was former friend Finn Bálor, with a seven month rivalry to boot. After Bálor's promotion to the main roster, the prime focus of Joe's wrath was Shinsuke Nakamura.
    • Seth Rollins in April and May 2017. They continued the feud in late 2019 after Joe was attacked by AOP.
    • AJ Styles in 2018 and early 2019, due to Joe bringing AJ's wife and daughter into their feud.
    • Jeff Hardy in fall 2018.
    • In 2019 he started a feud with Rey Mysterio, Ricochet and Kofi Kingston.
    • Karrion Kross after his return to NXT.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Heel or face
  • The Artifact: The Nation of Violence theme has stuck with him even after dropping the gimmick.
  • 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.
  • Badass Boast: In NXT, in response to a comment Baron Corbin made about having everything handed to him in life and that all he needed to do to get in NXT was make a phone call, Joe responded by saying that, while he had a similar situation, in terms of getting into NXT, "they called him."
  • Berserk Button: Joe gets irritated when Roman Reigns calls him a "lazy fat ass" in response to his continuous bragging of The Big Dog's failures. He quickly held back though, since he was saving the beatdown for Reigns later at Backlash 2018.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Made his WWE debut when he showed up at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable on May 20, 2015, to save an already injured Sami Zayn from a rampaging Kevin Owens, just as Owens was about to deliver a chair shot to Zayn despite the latter being in serious condition and being surrounded by several ring officials and medics. He then proceeded to have a stare-down contest with Owens, driving him out of the arena.
  • The Big Guy: Face, particularly of Steve Corino's Group and TNA's front line, till the Nation of Violence thing got started.
  • 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 accept to a handicap match.
    • On the first Impact of October 2014, Samoa Joe demanded to face Austin Aries, who had a free shot at a TNA title holder at any point, because to paraphrase Joe, he's "the most fightingest champion in the world."
  • Blunt "Yes": During a segment on the Jan. 27th 2020 episode of RAW, Joe and Kevin Owens were set to face Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy in a tag match, but the faces were leery about being jumped by Seth's hired muscle the Authors of Pain. Seth attempted to prove that the AoP weren't hiding at ringside to ambush Joe and Kevin by pulling them up on video on the Titantron to prove they were backstage in Seth's private dressing room, only for Joe to sarcastically point out that the video could easily be prerecorded.
    Seth: Are you calling me a liar?
    Joe: Yes.
As it turned out, Seth was actually telling the truth. This, of course, made AoP into sitting ducks when they were cornered by the Viking Raiders, as Joe and Owens had goaded Rollins into pointing their location out to Erik and Ivar.
  • 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.
  • The Brute: Heel, particularly DP Associates (David Prazak), Full Impact Pro's New Dawn and TNA's Main Event Mafia
  • 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.
  • The Cavalry:
  • Characterization Marches On: Samoa Joe used to have an undefined but obviously apparent Code of Honour, 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.
  • Chewing the Scenery: During his feud with AJ Styles on Smackdown Live: "OH, WEEENDYY~~!"
  • Combat Commentator: For IWA Mid-South and WWE's Monday Night Raw. Uh, you do not want to make him get up from his chair.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He definitely shows this against Brock Lesnar. Joe either attacks Lesnar from behind or when his guard is down in order to give himself the advantage. However, this isn't to say that Joe needs to be this since when it comes to a straight-up brawl, Joe shows that he can keep up with Lesnar.
  • Continuity Nod: While in NOAH he was billed as a TNA wrestler but the commentators made mention of his exploits in ROH.
  • Cool Teacher:
    • If your name was Steve Douglas, Justin McCully, Dylan Klein, 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 give up Special K and "Hydro" and become a more serious wrestler.
  • Crowd Song: "Ole" when he gives a running boot to a seated opponent, as in outside of the ring after sitting them in a chair.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Though the ending was necessitated due to a legitimate injury on his opponent's part, Joe absolutely vaporizing Rey Mysterio Jr. at WrestleMania 35 was no less impressive or utterly terrifying.
  • 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.
    • Joe defending his title against undefeated Demon Finn Bálor inside a steel cage saw Joe become the first and so far only man to ever pin Bálor in Demon mode, let alone win a match against him.
    • Joe became the first two-time NXT Champion by giving Shinsuke Nakamura his first loss in WWE.
    • Joe made history again when he gave Karrion Kross his first loss in NXT and became the three-time NXT Champion.
  • Demoted to Extra: Joe's been one of the biggest draws through most of TNA's existence and was one half of their most lucrative program ever. Once Hulk Hogan came in, it didn't take long for Joe to get pushed down the card.
  • Determinator: Was told his ribs were too injured for wrestling but went and competed in a four way dance at ROH The Final Showdown anyway, adding that if he took the losing fall he'd give up the Pure Wrestling Title. Joe didn't take the losing fall but did not win either and finally agreed to sit on the commentary table, in a bit of irony, at ROH Nowhere To Run.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: MVP and Kenny King made sense but it never was explained why Joe and Low Ki joined the "Almighty Beat Down Clan". Sure, we know the guys' closeness behind the scenes, but considering that was already used in the storyline with Joe feeling betrayed by MVP's heel turn after taking power the previous year, even a short reference to "hashing out their differences" would've been nice.
  • The Dragon: Is built as one towards Triple H.
  • 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 of a 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 make sense.)
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A much thinner, blond Joe wrestled Essa Rios in a losing effort on an episode of WWF Jakked in 2001.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The "Unlikely Alliance" with Kevin Nash and Christian Cage in TNA.
    • Defied when he refused to aid Alex Shelley when he came crawling to him for help with Generation Next, because they were a problem Shelley had caused.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In his own words, he's known for "bending the rules" to the point of being too uncomfortable to watch but he would never go so far as to kill another WWE Superstar. He was very upset and angry when people began accusing him of trying to kill Roman Reigns and demanded an apology from him — almost as upset and angry as he was when Reigns' mysterious assailant actually tried to kill Roman with a car right in front of Joe, who made sure Roman was tended to by medics and warned that said assailant better hope Roman found them before he did.
  • Eviler than Thou: To Sheik Abdul Bashir, whom Joe took backstage, hung upside down by a chain, stuck a razor edged machete in Bashir's mouth and then beat him 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 didn't love him, they had seen him before.
    • His chokehold finisher, the towel he carries with him and the "Joe is gonna kill you!" song are all straight out of Taz. He even has a similar nickname to Taz, consisting of "The Adjective Wrestling-move Machine."TazSamoa Joe 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 his problem with Joe, one he supposedly never experienced, being Joe's ability to feel remorse. To that end, Taz was determined to "cure" Joe of this "problem".
    • Joe had his own expy featured in Fire Star and Ice Pro Wrestling: Samoa Joey.
  • The Face: Became the face of Ring of Honor. Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer, who had been fighting for an estimated 23 hours straight, briefly stopped going after one another to see him off when it was thought he was leaving for good.
  • Fair-Weather Foe: Because Joe assisted Max and helped him successfully defend the ROH World Tag Team titles against The Gunns at AEW Full Gear 2023 as Adam Cole was injured, Joe was awarded another world championship match against MJF for the inaugural AEW Worlds End. To that end, Joe guaranteed he would "guard" Max from harm until the pay-per-view, so he could be at full health when they fought for the title, particularly because the mysterious "Devil" began antagonizing Max after Adam was out of action and Joe insists that Max be protected from the Devil's goons. Subverted after Joe attacked Max on the last Dynamite before Worlds End, stating he was collaborating with The Devil (who was revealed as Adam Cole at Worlds End.
  • Fat and Skinny: With Low Ki, AJ Styles and Okada Kazuchika (or Okato, as TNA would call him).
  • Finishing Move: His primary finishers are the Coquina Clutch and the Muscle Buster. On the independent circuit he had the Island Driver (second rope power slam) and Chimera-Plex (German suplex, dragon suplex, straitjacket suplex in succession). On WWE's main roster, he replaces the Muscle Buster with a Uranage.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: He had to be stretchered out of the arena following a tag team loss with Low Ki against the Hardy Boys and then had to vacate the X Division title belt, 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: Before the onset of his Badass Decay in TNA, Joe was known for casually walking out of the way of his opponents' attempts at high-flying, leaving them to splat on the mat. He still does it occasionally, but it's definitely less frequent. The Dynamite Kid did the spot decades earlier, complete with the nonchalant expression.
  • Gimmick Matches: Won Ballpark Brawl's Natural Heavyweight title 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 on to that Ring of Honor championship belt.
  • 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.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Turned face for the first time on the main roster after a mysterious attacker legitimately tried to murder Joe's feud counterpart, Roman Reigns, during a spot on an August 2019 episode of RAW, checking on the injured Roman and fetching the medical staff for him...and promptly cutting the following promo to prove that he's still an unstoppable, ruthless badass.
    Joe: What do I think? I think I hope someone finds who's responsible for this before I find them.
  • He's Back!:
    • Well, there is his return from six years absence to 2CW but his presence on ROH's Supercard Of Honor IX and the "Conquest" tour were especially sweet, being seven years removed from his "Rising Above" dark match. His "Dream Match" at Aftershock teaming with AJ Styles against The Addiction wasn't for the tag titles due to the "questionable stability" of the team, suggesting his time back was coming to an end though.
    • Two months (and apparently only several hours) after being released by WWE, Joe made his return to NXT as William Regal's right hand man and enforcer. The CWC went crazy, of course.
  • 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 Survivor. Joe himself would later hire Okada Kazuchika to help him in his feud against D'angelo Dinero.
    • On the December 27, 2023 episode of AEW Dynamite, he was tag-teaming with MJF to defend the ROH World Tag Team Championship on behalf of MJF's injured regular partner Adam Cole. Joe was set to challenge for MJF's AEW world title at Worlds End a few days later, with the buildup to said match featuring a masked "Devil" tormenting MJF. The Devil sent two masked men out to challenge for the title, apparently injured Joe backstage before the match, and won the tag team belts against MJF alone. Joe later came out limping and entered the ring holding a steel chair. The main video board then briefly showed the Devil and then a scratchy graphic, "Pleasure Doing Business With You". Joe then gave MJF a chair shot to the back that sent him to the canvas, revealing himself as one of the Devil's hired guns, followed by a second chair shot while MJF was down in the ring. Joe then showed that he was faking his injury, put MJF in the corner, and delivered a Muscle Buster.
  • I Am the Noun: "My name is Samoa Joe, I am pro wrestling."
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In March 2007 in England, during what was (once again) thought to be Joe's final ROH match, he got thrown out of the ring and decided to go the bar and get a beer before Homicide yelled at him to return.
  • 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. This coming from the man who joined up with Christopher Daniels in his Genesis 2005 team called The Ministry... though he'd probably be quick to point out he destroyed Daniels after the match.
    • Coupled with Hypocrite as the NXT Champion. He beat Baron Corbin in a feud, won a tag team memorial tournament with then-champion Finn Bálor, then betrayed him when he didn't get a title shot soon enough for his liking, lost to Finn in two title matches and had to get a third at a house show in order to finally beat him for it. According to Joe, this is decimating the entire roster and jumping through hoops to get the championship, yet every challenge he receives as champion, from Finn's contractual rematch to Shinsuke Nakamura being undefeated for several months (including a string of awesome victories against Sami Zayn, Austin Aries, and Bálor himself), earns his scornful protests declaring them an undeserving, unworthy contender. William Regal doesn't stand for any of it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Regarding his WWL Idols of Wrestling match tagging with Adam Pearce against Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, Joe insisted this tactic was the only way to deal with men like them.
  • Leitmotif: His final ROH theme was "Tap Out" by Adam Gubman.
  • 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 Title belt.
  • 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.
  • Metaphorically True: TNA continued to bill Joe as undefeated even after he lost the X Division title 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 belt again in a triple threat match, but was still considered undefeated because Senshi pinned Sonjay Dutt.
  • Misplaced Retribution: During Joe's warpath against TNA management and the outsiders, he also trashed Matt Morgan's Christmas party and attacked Jeremy Borash, who named Joe the MVP 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.
  • Nicknaming 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 Shelley), Joe attacked the would be stable leader Daniels until AJ Styles ran him off. When defending the X Division title 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.
  • No-Sell:
    • At ROH's third anniversary show, Mick Foley slipped Mr. Socko to Ebessan only to find out Joe was immune.
    • He does a psychological variant of this in some of his matches. His opponent will typically try to hit him with an aerial manuever but Joe just casually strolls by the move as it misses him like he doesn't give a crap and completely blows off the fact that his opponent threw their best move at him with everything they had (referred to by fans as the "nope" spot).
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Often pulls this off when an opponent attempts an aerial move off the turnbuckle, by casually moving to the side and leaving said opponent to crash into the mat.
  • Noodle Incident: What happened to Joe while he was in ninja captivity?
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Double subverted in the Pure Wrestling Association, as he ended up having to address Crystal Banks after she kept distracting referees, allowing Eddie Osbourne to get a chain.
  • Odd Friendship: Samoa Joe is friends with John Cena. John's Catchphrase "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" if you only pay attention to what happens on shows.
  • Offscreen 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 was pulled out of ROH entirely).
  • Ominous Fog: Before his entrance in NOAH, to an even more ominous remix of his TNA theme.
  • Pet the Dog: As much of an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy Joe is, even he is worried sick of Reigns' well-being after an attempted car crash by a mysterious assailant on the RAW before SummerSlam 2019. Granted, this is mainly due to his The Only One Allowed to Defeat You mindset, but still...
  • 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 Bobby Lashley in the MVP/Lashley/Kenny King trio, becoming the four man "Beat Down 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.
      • Sequel Gap: Finally in 2020, during a Raw broadcast, Joe referenced that in combating Ninjas, he'd "infiltrate the power structure, take them down from the inside and then never speak of it again to avoid legal prosecution."
    • 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.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Of all people, Joe does this to Roman Reigns in the RAW after WrestleMania 34, calling him a "failure" and a "liar" for not only failing to claim the Universal Title from Brock Lesnar, but also let everyone down AND make The Beast look good before ending it by saying that should Lesnar beat Reigns again at the Greatest Royal Rumble, he'll be waiting at Backlash 2018 to finish off The Big Dog. Considering that Reigns is yet to experience the "failure" John Cena spoke of prior to No Mercy 2017 and has finally experienced it after his loss to Lesnar in their WrestleMania 34 rematch, Joe's words do make sense.
  • Red Baron:
    • "The Samoan Submission Machine".
    • In WWE (after his main roster debut), he is simply known as The Destroyer. Yikes.
  • Red Shirts: The fire dancers of his intro tended to be treated as such in TNA, especially if they tried to protect Joe from interference or other such run ins.
  • 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 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 their 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. The latter due to the CZW conflict.
    • 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 Title belt. 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 broke 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 led 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.
  • 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.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: A WWE Samoa Joe promo usually has at least 5 words in it you'd need to look up in the dictionary, but the real kicker is his delivery: fiery, menacing, and badass.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: Samoa Joe, the third Ring of Honor Champion, turned the belt into the Ring of Honor World Title when he took the belt to the UK, to defend it against Zebra Kid at FWA Frontiers of Hono(u)r.
  • 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 muscle buster has much less cripple potential than the original Kinniku, though. At least, unless your neck is the camel's back.
    • Joe's theme almost always starts with the opening notes of the Godzilla theme on the indies, or an arranged version of same in TNA, or a similar yet distinct trumpet melody in WWE.
  • 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" (though he uses the standard uranage as a finisher in WWE's main roster). In UPW he did what was described as a "reverse Samoan cross face". In Ring of Honor he was known for an elbow suicide dive and a chop to the back transitioned to a victim 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.
  • 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. Then those two became part of the Beat Down Clan.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: After MJF promised him a rematch for the World Championship title for AEW Worlds End, Joe took it upon himself to act as Max's bodyguard from any other attackers to not only ensure that he's the only one to get a shot at Max, but also so that Max is at his best performance for said match. Ultimately subverted however, as he revealed on the December 27, 2023 episode of Collision to be working with The Devil, and that all of it was a ploy to get Max to lower his guard so that he'd lose his ROH World Tag Team titles, and be weakened for their match at Worlds End.
  • 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 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 the 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's Maximum Impact Tournament over Christopher Daniels and Wild Card Tag Team Tournament in 2011 with Brutus Magnus as his partner.
    • TNA's Tourney for the vacant X-Division Title in 2014, choking out Seiya Sanada before Low Ki could break it up.
  • Ur-Example: Samoa Joe was the first wrestler to hold the TNA tag team belts by himself.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • His "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Roman Reigns, pointing out that despite Roman's insistences otherwise, Brock Lesnar beat him every time they got in the ring together and no amount of excuses could cover that fact up.
    • After Roman mysteriously had a pile of scaffolding collapse on him backstage and rumours went round that it wasn't an accident, a lot of fingers pointed towards Joe. Joe was furious at this and raged at the commentary team over it, pointing out there was no evidence to incriminate him other than their mutual animosity, which didn't necessarily translate to Joe wanting to kill him. He got the audience to cheer for him over this even when he declared that 80% of the WWE Universe were idiots.
  • Villain Respect: Despite tormenting William Regal during his time in NXT, Joe afforded him a modicrum of respect, unlike the likes of Karrion Kross, so upon his return to the promotion he offered his services to Regal to be his enforcer.
  • 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 Punk's furniture.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Double subverted. When Austin Aries got the Feast or Fired title shot briefcase, Samoa Joe suggested the Beat Down Clan use their pull to send trained assassins after him. When Aries implied Joe had gotten soft, though, he agreed to face Aries in a match instead... only for the Beat Down Clan to run out and steal the case.
  • 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.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Averted. Samoa Joe is one of the few WWE newcomers who was not forced to take a WWE-given name once joining the organization. The last superstars to evade this rule were CM Punk, who got to keep his name thanks to Paul Heyman; David Otunga, who probably got to use his real name either because at the time he was engaged to Jennifer Hudson and thus got a ton of mainstream publicity under his real name, or, since Otunga is also a lawyer in real life, because he was able to find a loophole; and Sting, who is too big of a star to undergo a name change.note  Doesn't seem WWE 'bought the rights' either.

"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!"


Video Example(s):


Joe Walks Out of Gargano's Way

Samoa Joe casually sidesteps Johnny Gargano as the latter attempts a flying attack against him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / NonchalantDodge

Media sources: