Samoa Joe

Why Samoa Joe won’t end up in AEW

Following his recent surprise release from WWE, Steven Wilson looks at what might be the best next option for Samoa Joe.

The 15th of April 2021 felt a bit like Groundhog Day in the wrestling world.

In a similar, albeit less wholesale, manner to 12 months prior, WWE released a raft of main rosters stars.

Whilst many wrestlers on the list were talented not being used a lot on TV, there were a few surprise cuts among them. The IIconics and Mickie James, for example, were three who many believe could have been assets to the women’s division.

Without doubt though the standout name to have been let go was Samoa Joe. A former NXT and US Champion, Joe arguably had the most accolades amongst the released list. Having been out with concussion-related issues for over a year – forcing him behind the announcers table – it’s easy to assume the reasons for his departure relate to WWE clearing him – or potentially not – for a return to the ring.

Now aged 42, it’s clear that the Samoan Submission Machine believes he has a few years left in the tank. And given the nature of the industry right now, the Cody Rhodes Hand to Ear GIFs were flying all over social media as many fans were already signing him up to AEW.

Given the quality of his career, both prior to and during his time in WWE, Tony Khan would be mad not to consider him. However, looking at AEW right now, they already have a massive roster as it is. The dream match potential in there for Samoa Joe would be endless, with the prospect of bouts with Kenny Omega and Rey Fenix mouthwatering.

But would he end up lost in the shuffle similar to what he did at times in the Fed?

There is also the aforementioned recent streak of injuries that tainted his WWE run. It could mean that Joe would prefer to work a lighter schedule, instead of a weekly TV production that AEW has, with up to three shows a week on their schedule.

Given his history in both, I feel as though Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling may be a better location for him. It can be argued that both companies are in need of big main event quality stars, especially the latter who are relying a lot right now on their relationship with AEW to mould their top-of-card scene.

Not only would Joe be a legitimate threat to either company’s main titles straight for the bat, but he’d be able to effectively establish their up-and-coming stars – something each of them needs to keep relevant in the years to come.

Plus, it leaves open the possibility as well for him to have a crack at New Japan Pro Wrestling. Could you imagine the prospect of Joe competing in the G1 and trading blows with Tomohiro Ishii and Minoru Suzuki? Mouthwatering!

Don’t get me wrong, I’d have no complaints if he ends up in AEW. I just think if you want to maximise the final years of the career of Samoa Joe, the other options fit the bill much better.

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