In honour of Samoa Joe’s return to Monday Night RAW, I thought it was appropriate to take a trip down memory lane and remember some of my favourite matches featuring the Samoan Submission Machine. Prepare for many chokes, kicks and suplexes, Joe doesn’t play well with others. So without further a-do, lets get into Five of Samoa Joe’s best matches!
5 – Samoa Joe vs Finn Bàlor – NXT Takeover Dallas
I absolutely loved this feud. The rivalry between Balor and Joe started soon after the duo’s victory of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. On the November 4th 2015 edition of NXT TV, Samoa Joe turned heel and attacked the then NXT champion after not being granted a match for the Championship. Samoa Joe fought for the title at NXT Takeover London, but was unsuccessful after being pinned following a Coup de Grace for the 3 count. Joe was given another chance at the title after defeating Sami Zayn in a 2 out of 3 falls match.
Samoa Joe was so awesome in this match, he was just slapping Finn around. He looked like a monster after getting a cut under his eye early on in the match, prompting several stoppages in the match for the medical staff to try and close the open wound. I personally think these stoppages added to the match, as whenever Joe would have some momentum going, the medics would cut him off, allowing Balor to recover.
Joe came out of this match looking incredibly strong, especially after the finish, which worked in the favour of both men. The finish gave me the impression that Bàlor barely survived this match, and only because of the stoppages and lucky pin did the Demon retain his Championship. There was nothing really flashy about this match, it was just very well-worked and was entertaining.
4 – Samoa Joe vs Kurt Angle – TNA Lockdown 2008
This is one of, if not the greatest rivalry in TNA history. The fifth match in their series, Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle put on four other amazing matches, with Angle winning three out of the four matches. The Olympic Gold Medalist had already beaten Joe so many times, he felt he didn’t have to face Samoa Joe. Angle agreed to the match on the stipulation that Joe would retire if he lost, so in the Six Sides of Steel, it’s Angle vs Joe with Joe’s career on the line.
I love this match because it impliments an MMA, shoot style technique that at this time was never really seen within the realm of Pro Wrestling, using lots of high impact double leg takedowns, bone crunching submissions and vicious ground and pound strikes. Even by today’s standards, this is a really unique and captivating match.
The match ended after Joe threw Angle head first into the cage walls and then landed a nasty looking Muscle Buster. These two men proved that they could work a completely different style to what we’re used to and in doing so have in my opinion, the best match of their incredible rivalry. Even though we’ve seen plenty of matches between these two, I wish there were more, because goddamn did they always deliver. Who knows, maybe we could see The Inevitable attack RAW’s General Manager? Hopefully? Maybe? Probably not, but it would rule!
3 – Samoa Joe vs Christopher Daniels vs AJ Styles – TNA Unbreakable 2005
Wow. What a match this was. Rated 5 Stars by Dave Meltzer, this match is one of the greatest matches I have ever seen, period. No part of this match was boring, lots of cool, high risk spots, I mean for God’s sake, Samoa Joe did a diving corkscrew dive to the outside! This match had great pacing and incredible physicality and athleticism on display from all wrestlers.
This was a really fast paced, high action, intense match. There was a really cool spot where Styles reversed a Daniels monkey flip into a hurricanrana to Samoa Joe. There was also a really funny moment in the middle of the match where Joe and Styles take turns just kicking the crap out of poor Christopher Daniels. In professional wrestling you can’t really get anything better than three of the best going all out in a triple threat match.
This insane match ended when AJ Styles reversed Daniels’ Angel’s Wings into a bridging lateral press cover to capture the TNA X Division Championship. This match perfectly showcases the incredible talent and chemistry with each other all three men possess. These three had a rematch in TNA in 2009 for the World Heavyweight Championship, which was also awesome, but despite how good it was, it’s hard to top a masterpiece like this match.
2 – Samoa Joe vs CM Punk II – ROH Joe vs Punk II
The highly awaited rematch between the Straight Edge Messiah and the Samoan Submission Machine did not disappoint. The two best independent wrestlers at this time laced up their boots and proceeded to have one of the best matches in Ring of Honor history and even in all of Professional Wrestling. This match has 100% stood the test of time.
Bloody amazing. That’s really all I have to say about this match. This hard hitting, fast paced match incorporated everything you could imagine: Spectacular high flying, perfect chain wrestling, intense striking and bone breaking submissions. One thing I liked about this match was the desperation both men showed throughout this match, trying to use everything and the kitchen sink to try and put each other down for the three count, as well as the frustration and anxious reactions the superstars would showcase after a near fall.
This Ring of Honor Championship match came to a stop when the one hour time limit was reached, resulting in a draw and the Second City Saint retaining his championship in a way that left the fans chanting and begging for “ONE MORE MINUTE!” A truly spectacular match that any fan of these two men should watch immediately.
1 – Samoa Joe vs Kenta Kobashi – ROH Joe vs Kobashi
This match defines Samoa Joe, and in my opinion is the best match of his career. When Ring of Honor announced this “Once in a lifetime” trip to the United States for Japanese wrestling sensation, Kenta Kobashi, everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting for two of the best hard hitting heavyweights in the world to collide. Almost 1000 wrestling fans crammed into the New Yorker Hotel in New York City to watch the Maximum Innovator battle the Samoan Submission Specialist.
This match was filled with awesome exchanges that sent the audience into a frenzy, featuring chops, kicks, punches, slaps, powerbombs, slams and suplexes that would leave any normal man either crippled or dead. The chemistry these two men possessed was quite frightening to be honest, they put on a clinic. It’s quite crazy to think about how much these guys really did beat the crap out of each other, and the amount of trust you have to have in each other to bump for a suplex on the top of your head and such.
This war of a match ended when Samoa Joe started throwing stiff strikes, before Kobashi landed three spinning back chops and Burning Lariat to end the match. Joe and Kobashi really did beat the absolute crab out of each other. If someone were to ask you what Strong Style is, I would show them this match, I mean goodness gracious! I can’t get over how awesome this match was, I’m getting excited just writing about it, if you haven’t watched this match before then I highly recommend you do.