Samoa Joe has long been one of the top wrestlers in the world. The fact that he’s 36 means that it’s now or never for Joe and the WWE. A guy like Joe deserves a run with the E even if it’s not at his peak. With rumors of Joe signing with WWE, here’s a few ways that the WWE could debut Joe that would bring him in and immediately put him as a prime time player (no not Titus or Darren but an actual PTP’er) or put him in position to be a prime time player.
Start him as an ally of the Uso’s
This would be more of a slow burn as putting him in the tag-division in his debut would set him up as a mid-carder to start.
Jay Uso’s shoulder injury will put him out around six months and that’s a bad thing for the WWE tag-team division. One way to bring Joe in would to bring him in as an ally to the Uso’s.
Have Jimmy feud with the Ascension. Jimmy takes on Viktor on an episode of Raw or Smackdown and wins via roll-up but receives a post-match beatdown. On the next show, Jimmy takes on Konnor and gets beaten from post to post but again somehow pulls out a win. Once again he gets beaten down after the match. Have Jay team up with a couple of different guys with the end result being the Ascension winning both the match and also getting a post-match stomping in of Jay and his partner (or his partner can high tail it out of there). Have backstage vignettes showing Jay’s concern growing and his talk of calling their “friend” to help out. Jimmy is continually against it because he remembers that this guy was a bad seed.
Eventually, Jay can’t take anymore and finally makes the call to this “mystery friend”. Build up a PPV match for Jimmy and ? against the Ascension (I know this is pushing it with WWE’s booking of the Ascension but I’d like to try and help them out here with this angle). At the PPV, Joe comes out as Jimmy’s partner and they win a hard fought match with Joe looking really good and Jimmy taking all of the punishment on their side of the match.
Joe and Jimmy go on to be a tag-team and win the titles (with potential matches against the Lucha Dragons and Cesaro/Kidd). When Jay comes back, you can create an issue and that’s where Joe splits from the Uso’s and they have a blow-off match and then he can go on his way after about six months in WWE building up his character as part of a team with Jimmy where Jimmy plays the Ricky Morton-esque babyface in peril and Joe comes in and kicks ass which gives him time to really get his move set over.
Debut at Summerslam vs John Cena
John Cena runs through the WWE roster like a hot knife through butter (where have we heard this before?) and we end up with the build to SummerSlam and he’s already taken everybody out (or you can do this at Night of Champions after Cena has a blow-off to a feud at SummerSlam but for the sake of this example we will use SummerSlam). Cena announces that he has an open challenge for SummerSlam (or other PPV).
Joe comes out at SummerSlam without any prior introduction to the WWE audience and beats Cena (I know…I know). This immediately puts Joe near the top of the WWE mountain with a win over Cena and Joe also gets the rub of breaking Cena’s run of four months as undefeated US Champion.
This would most likely put Joe over as a face which could cue an immediate feud with Rusev who is desperate to get the US Title back but couldn’t beat Cena. At this point, it could also freshen up the Cena vs Rusev feud by adding in Joe to make it a three-way feud over the belt for a few months.
Debut on Raw vs Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan has had a lot of health issues over the last year and he was recently pulled off the European tour due to a concussion. I love Bryan as much as anybody, but having a belt is probably not the best thing for him or the company right now.
Have Cena come out on Raw and open the show with his open challenge. (Adrian) Neville comes out to accept the open challenge (or if that has already been done you can bring in Sami Zayn or Hideo Itami or Finn Balor here for a shot) and they have a balls-to-the-wall awesome match with Cena retaining. Post-match you have Bryan and Cena get face to face and in a “friendly” manner Cena takes a slight jab at Bryan and basically says the US title is better than the Intercontinental Title.
This gets Bryan going and at the top of the second hour, Bryan comes out and cuts a promo and at the end says he’s sick of John Cena talking smack and he’s going to take a page out of Cena’s book and issue an open challenge. Out comes Joe. Joe basically crushes Bryan with Bryan getting in just one comeback run. This would put Joe on the map immediately as a big time heel. From here he can continue to feud with Bryan or can get paired off with Ziggler or Ambrose.
Bring him in as a trainer in the new season of Tough Enough
The “new” Tough Enough premieres in June and with Steve Austin busy elsewhere this is a great opportunity for WWE to bring in a new talent and pair him with an established talent on the show (i.e. Booker T). This would give the WWE Universe ample time to get to see Joe’s personality.
Bring Joe and his trainees out on a Raw show (after a few weeks of Tough Enough) and have one of the heels (I’m thinking Miz) come out and run down Joe asking why he got the job and saying that he has never done anything to deserve it. Have Joe man up to the challenge and just thrash Miz. From here Joe can be a weekly character on Raw and he’s established his character and WWE can go wherever they want with him.
Bring him in as the gate keeper to Seth Rollins title
The WWE has already teased a lot of tension between members of the Authority with Kane and the Big Show and Seth Rollins. Have the Authority basically break off into two cliques (think NWO and NWO Wolfpack) which leaves Seth Rollins with just his J&J Security team. At some point during a title defense, have Rollins in peril and J&J taken out and this is where Joe debuts. He comes in and blindsides whoever is in the ring (Roman Reigns or Randy Orton) and just destroys him. Rollins wins the match and this immediately puts Joe as a force to be reckoned with and anybody who wants to challenge Rollins..has to go through Joe. When Brock comes back, instead of getting a title match against Seth at SummerSlam they can create an issue with Brock and Joe and Brock has to get through Joe before he gets to Rollins at either Survivor Series or the Royal Rumble.
So that’s five ways for WWE to bring Joe in. Here’s a few more just in case those didn’t capture your imagination….
– Have him be the guy that knocks of Kevin Owens in NXT and then he becomes the leader of a stable of NXT wrestlers that work in both NXT and on the main roster each week at RAW. Have him as the leader of a four person group that includes Sami Zayn, Finn Balor and Hideo Itami. I’ve always thought Joe was great on the mic and Balor and Itami could use a guy like that to help them out.
– Make him a Paul Heyman guy. With Lesnar out, Heyman needs something to do so why not Joe?
– Have him debut on Chris Jericho’s podcast after a Raw by destroying Jericho and his guest. Have Jericho’s guest be Daniel Bryan or Dolph Ziggler and play it off as Joe having to fight his way into WWE. This gives him immediate beef with Dolph or Bryan as well as Jericho, who is always willing to put over new guys.
How would you debut Joe?