The man you see in the photo above is Samoa Joe. He is not prototypical. He is not the text book definition of superstar. He is not the WWE ideal. What he is, is one of the best wrestlers to never compete for Vince McMahon, (though rumors are that that fact will be changing soon), and one of the biggest superstars ever put out by TNA. He is the Samoan Submission Machine. He is one of the few guys who looks like they could fit in with the tops of MMA fighters. Everything he does in the ring is so smooth, so perfect, that it makes him inherently believable. He has a huge physical presence. Seeing him live is stunning, a man that size should not move that well. His physicality, the stiffness in which he works, is impressive. Take one of his finishers for example, the Muscle Buster. It looks devastating but performed by Joe, it is completely safe.
Samoa Joe started as a mortgage broker. A very scary mortgage broker. He made his debut three months after he started training and despite not having the traditional look, it’s not fair to call him fat… he is Samoan) rose quickly through the independent scene. After signing with Ring of Honor, Joe went on a tremendous win streak holding their Heavyweight Championship for 21 months. During that reign Joe had a trilogy of matches with CM Punk. These three matches, most specifically their second match, are some of the finest work you will see inside a squared circle. Check out some highlights from that second match and then hit up ROH for the DVD’s.
After ruling ROH Joe went on to TNA. There he became as big a star as that company is capable of producing. He had some truly incredible matches with AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels for the X-Division and some absolutely legendary bouts with Kurt Angle. Check out Joe’s only TNA title win here.
A legit badass, Samoa Joe deserves to be a household name. If the above matches didn’t convince you, hit up youtube and watch as much as you can. On the Hart+ scale of look/ring work/mic work/intangibles, totally stolen from David Shoemaker AKA The Masked Man, Joe would rate a 7/9/8/8, 32. That is a guy worth paying attention to.