Since TNA’s premiere in 2002, few superstars in the company have incited the crowd like Samoa Joe. Sure, guys like Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle, and Jeff Hardy have proven track records of making crowds pop (or boo), but few have done it like Samoa Joe. Fans throughout the world explode in chants of “Joe’s gonna kill you” often before his match even begins. I can speak from firsthand experience of fans chanting for his matches before his scheduled bout on the card, yet through all of that, Joe has never really received the push or respect from the “powers that be” in TNA. This isn’t because he doesn’t have the talent or the crowd support, but because Joe has never been afraid to speak his mind.
Case in point, TNA: Turning Point 2007. The scheduled main event was a six-man tag match between Tomko, AJ Styles, and Kurt Angle against Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Samoa Joe. Things, however, didn’t turn out as planned. Scott Hall no-showed the event, which as you can see in the video below, infuriated the Samoan Submission Machine.
Joe delivered one of the most passionate and truthful promos not only in TNA history, but in pro wrestling history. Long before CM Punk sat atop a stage in front of a Las Vegas crowd, Joe dropped a pipebomb that held just as powerful of a punch as Punk did. The only reason it didn’t have the same effect on pro wrestling that Punk’s did was because TNA is on such a smaller scale compared to the machine that is WWE. Because of Joe’s outspoken nature on TNA’s small scale, Joe suffers the exact opposite of the pipebomb effect. He has seen his pushes come and go, more often than not his storylines fall to waste, and he has even been off TV for months at a time for no real reason other than he said something backstage that struck a nerve with management. That heated temper of his is EXACTLY why TNA needs to push Joe to the very top while AJ Styles is away, defending the real TNA title around the world. If there is to be an anti-Dixie revolution that airs on TV, Samoa Joe absolutely has to be the leader of the rebellion.
We’ve seen a teaser of this theory becoming a reality on the 11/14 edition of Impact when Joe spoke his mind to Dixie straight to her face, and we saw even more on this past Thursday’s Impact, with Dixie further irritating Joe before his match against Magnus. If I were Lagana, or any writer on TNA creative, I would simply give Joe a live mic every week and tell him to go spread his gospel to the wrestling world. Since Punk’s pipebomb back in 2011, fans have been craving more honest, shoot-style promos. Joe is one of the best on the microphone and can be the voice of the TNA audience. He can say the things that others dare not. He can speak for those of us that do not have the opportunity to hold that mic in our hands. With Styles not on TV for the foreseeable future, we need a voice of the people to combat Dixie Carter’s regime, and we need it to be a TNA original. As much as I love Sting, he can’t keep playing that role. It has to be Samoa Joe. It MUST be Samoa Joe. It’s time that TNA management understands the sort of gold mine that sits before them and listens to the fans. Let Joe be Joe, and he’ll kill his competition and the ratings.