TNA: The Rise and Fall of "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe

Charlie GSenior Writer IMay 18, 2011

Samoa Joe exploded onto the scene in TNA when he debuted in 2005.

Samoa Joe’s first match was at Slammiversary where he defeated Sonjay Dutt. Soon after Slammiversary, Joe became a participant in Christopher Daniels’ Super X Cup tournament. Joe would advance to the finals after having beaten Dutt and Alex Shelley. Joe defeated AJ Styles in the tournament finals but with an interference by Daniels.

The interference would trigger a three-way match for the X Division title at Unbreakable. Any TNA fan should know what happened at Unbreakable. Styles, Daniels and Samoa Joe would raise the bar and set the standard in TNA by putting on a phenomenal 5-star match.

Despite not winning the match, Samoa Joe would remain undefeated for the fact that Daniels was pinned, not Joe.

After Unbreakable, Joe would prove to be a human wrecking ball. He destroyed every and anybody who dared to step in his path. His undefeated streak remained intact and he even put Daniels on the sidelines with a level-3 concussion via Muscle Buster.

Styles wanted to avenge his fallen friend and challenged Joe to a title bout at Turning Point. Joe emerged victorious and captured his first of many championships in TNA. Joe’s mean streak would continue as he attempted to end Daniels’ career in a championship match at Final Resolution. Styles, who was in Daniels' corner, threw in a towel to avoid injuries.

The three way feud between Samoa Joe, Styles and Daniels would last until Destination X, when Daniels would win the belt in an Ultimate X match.

Samoa Joe would regain his belt on the April 13 edition of iMPACT!

Samoa Joe would later successfully defend the belt at Lockdown against Sabu.

Samoa Joe’s streak would only grow by defeating guys like Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, Abyss, Raven, Brother Runt and many more.

Kurt Angle would debut in TNA and enter a heated feud with “The Samoan Submission Machine.” Samoa Joe would suffer his first singles loss at the hands of Kurt Angle at Genesis. Samoa Joe’s undefeated streak would end at 18 long months.

Throughout the rest of 2006 and 2007, Samoa Joe would continue feuding with Kurt Angle. Both men trading momentum and wins over each other.

Samoa Joe was granted his first NWA World Heavyweight Championship match for the Destination X pay-per-view event in 2007. Samoa Joe come up short against champion, Christian Cage.

On the July 12 edition of iMPACT! Joe would defeat Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin. At Victory Road Samoa Joe and Angle would defeat Team 3D for the TNA Tag Team Championships. Samoa Joe would opt to hold the titles by himself. Joe, now holding the X Division title and TNA Tag Team titles, challenged Angle at Hard Justice. The winner would hold all the gold in TNA.

After dropping every title he had, Samoa Joe’s career hit a road pump.

Joe would kick-off a feud with Kevin Nash and TNA Management. This feud would last a long time.

Joe would finally be added to a world title match at Against All Odds in 2008. He served as a special enforcer for a match between Angle and Christian Cage.

Samoa Joe would enter a feud with Angle again but this time, over the World title.

Angle and Joe had a match at Lockdown 2008, where Samoa Joe finally won his first World Championship.

Samoa Joe would prove that his reign would come as no fluke as he defeated Scott Steiner and Kazarian at Sacrifice and successfully defended his title in a King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary.

Joe would enter a short feud with Booker T. Booker and Joe had two matches over the title. The first, Booker won but his wife, Sharmell, was the one that counted the pin fall, making the victory unofficial. In other words, Joe never lost his title. Samoa Joe would physically get the belt back after he defeated Booker T at Hard Justice.

Joe’s reign ended at 182 days when he lost to “The Icon” Sting at Bound For Glory.

After losing the title Joe joined in on the war between the Frontline and Main Event Mafia. The two teams squared off at Lockdown and Joe would suffer some injuries and be out of action for the remainder of the year.

The Nation of Violence gimmick would be born with Joe’s TNA return in 2009. The gimmick reinvented Joe as a bad-ass with a bad attitude. Joe didn’t care about wins or loses. Upon his return he’d be disqualified multiple times.

Samoa Joe would continue his feud with the Main Event Mafia under the Nation of Violence gimmick. Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Daniels defeated the Main Event Mafia in a Lethal Lockdown match. Joe would turn heel by joining the Mafia at Slammiversary by allowing Kurt Angle to win the King of the Mountain match.

Taz made his TNA debut as Samoa Joe’s advisor and helped Joe defeat Sting. Joe would win his fourth X Division title against Homicide but shortly lose it to Amazing Red after Bobby Lashley interfered. Joe lost to Lashley at Bound For Glory.

Samoa Joe would unsuccessfully challenge Styles for the TNA World title twice. Since then Joe has been bouncing around the mid-card in TNA. He didn’t have a lot of feuds and was hardly seen on iMPACT!

His last feud was with The Pope and it looks like Joe isn’t going anywhere near the title hunt.

Samoa Joe is a great in-ring asset and athletic for a big man. He is a homegrown TNA talent and only held the world title once. Granted it was a good 182 day reign it is nothing compared to some people.

For example: Kurt Angle debuted around 2006 and held the world title four times.

Samoa Joe has been bouncing around and being misused in TNA. He has been in dead end feuds that have gotten him nowhere. Hell, even Scott Steiner is ahead of Samoa Joe in the title hunt.

Everyone wants to see another reign by AJ Styles. What about Samoa Joe? He hasn’t held a singles title in over two years.

TNA: Put Samoa Joe in the title hunt!