While Samoa Joe had an eventful second week as a member of the main roster, his choice of attire to open the show confused the WWE Universe.
The former NXT Champion opened RAW for a contract signing, putting ink to paper to signify his official start on the main roster. However, the 6-foot-2, 280-pound fighting machine isn’t known for his sense of fashion, rather his brute and intense in-ring style. So his choice to wear a suit on RAW was a source of criticism amongst fans.
— Triple H (@TripleH) February 7, 2017
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Radio (via Wrestling Inc), the idea behind Joe wearing a suit was so he would look like a “hitman in the mob.” While Joe often donned a suit during his days at TNA IMPACT Wrestling as a member of the Main Event Mafia, it has been an unfamiliar look in WWE.
Joe, who is being billed as “The Destroyer,” lived up to that moniker two weeks ago when he assaulted Seth Rollins in his debut, leading to an accidental tear of the MCL in Rollins’ surgically repaired right knee.
Joe’s planned bout against Rollins at WWE Fastlane appears off, but a recent update on Rollins indicates he should be ready for Wrestlemania 33. As for Joe, he’s off to a strong start as a WWE superstar; after taking out Rollins, he faced fellow Samoan, Roman Reigns, in a one-on-one bout in the main event this week. While the finish was altered due to the interference of Braun Strowman, Joe was the winner of his first match on RAW.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) February 7, 2017
It wasn’t long ago that Joe departed from TNA after a nine-year stint with the company. The Samoan Submission Machine wrestled for every prominent independent organization after leaving TNA, but WWE was always an option for the big man.
However, after signing a deal in mid-2015, Joe joined the NXT roster and was one of its leading acts over the last two years. During an appearance on the Smash Cast in 2015, Joe spoke about his unique journey from wrestler to WWE superstar.
“Careers and fate have a funny way of working, and I guess a lot of people, myself included at some point, didn’t think that those were words that would be said together – but here we are now and I’m very happy with it.”
Now, just two weeks in, the former Ring of Honor standout has already had on-screen interactions with Rollins and Reigns, two of WWE’s incumbent superstars. Monday’s pinfall victory over Reigns does a lot to solidify Joe’s place on the roster; just like he said on RAW, it took him 18 years to stand in a WWE ring in his current position and he’s going to take down the heroes on his destructive path.
While it won’t be up to Joe, he has a diverse list of superstars on the current roster he would love to wrestle, as he told NOLA last year. Now, he’s bracing for the challenge.
“I have so much history with so much of the roster up there. A.J. Styles, John Cena, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Brock Lesnar, a guy I don’t have any history with but I’d love to get in the ring with,” Joe said. “Randy Orton, another guy who we’ve kind of run parallel but have never crossed paths. I would definitely love to get in the ring with him and mix it up. The options and potential is limitless. To me and to a lot of fans these options are really incredible matches in the making. Rusev, there’s another guy who I’d love to go after.”
[Featured Image by WWE]