The Main event of this Sunday’s Lockdown is billboarded as the making, or the breaking of the career of the “Samoan Submission Machine,” Samoan Joe in TNA wrestling. The result of the six sides of steel match against Kurt Angle for the NWA (TNA) World Championship. Will either signal the beginning or the end of Samoan Joe’s TNA career . Two weeks ago on Impact, Samoan Joe announced that if he didn't win the World Championship at Lockdown, then he would leave TNA for good. This revelation won’t come as a massive surprise to the TNA faithful, with Joe stalling on a new five year contract for weeks, a contract that he is still yet to sign. This in turn has fuelled long time rumours that Joe could become the first wrestler to make the jump from TNA to the WWE. Joe's arrival in WWE would be heralded as a signifiacant coup for WWE CEO Vince Mcmahon, considering the amount of superstars that have made the jump the opposite way for better contracts. Mr Mcmahon would be keen to even up the scale and secure a dominant and at twenty-nine a still young superstar for either his Smackdown or Raw brands.
Joe has always expressed his fondness for the TNA faithful and in turn, he has become a crowd favourite. The crowd has followed his deput at Samiversary 2005 to head liner in the space of three years.
Joe would obvisiously prefer to stay in TNA, due to him having a cult status in the imapct zone that he wouldn't guanteed at another brand, but after holding every title in TNA except the world championship (The one championship that has continually escaped his grasp) he will probably feel that, with the momentum of his win over Team Angle last month at Destination X, that this Sunday is probably the best chance he will ever have to become NWA World Champion, and finally getting one over on the “Olympic Champion,” Kurt Angle.
The last time Joe had a shot at the title against Angle was at Hard Justice, when Joe was tricked and betrayed by Angles’ wife Karen, when she hit him over the head with a steel chair. His loss in that match wasn't down to Joes’ in ring ability, but Joe's ability to play the game.
The Samoan Submission Machine's main weakness is that he is too honourable. All the top wrestlers today know how to get under their opponents skin, how to exploit their weaknesses, play mind games or hurt their opponents emotionally. Joe is an in ring expert, but outside the ring, Joe has struggled with not having any obvious allies or anyone to watch his back. Although recently that seems to have changed with Joe enlisting the help of Angle’s former adviser Kevin Nash.
Nash has a reputation in TNA for being able to get the best out of some of the roster’s Superstars. Under his guidance Kurt Angle won the world championship, Jay Lethal won the X Division Championship and he also helped to form the Motorcycle Machineguns. Joe managed two more masterstrokes by first convincing Nash to come out of retirement to wrestle with him at Destination X and also convincing long time rival Christian Cage to join the team to take on the newly formed Angle Alliance. The win has in turn cleared the way for a fair title shot between the Samoan Submission Machine and the Olympic Champion at Lockdown.
But even after weeks of training with some of the world's best fighters will Joe's physical, and surprising agile style be enough to overcome the in ring nous and technical genius of Kurt Angle.
We only have two days to find out, and if this indeed the last time we see Samoan Joe wrestle in a TNA arena! You can bet he won't go down without a hell of a fight.
Good luck Joe and wherever your future may take you.