When Samoa Joe debuted in NXT nearly two years ago, the one question that WWE fans kept asking was, when will he make his debut on the main roster? Most expected that he wouldn’t be kept down in what’s supposed to be a developmental territory for more than six months simply because he was ready to be on the main roster as soon as he arrived in the promotion. But, here we are, almost two years later, and he’s still down in NXT.
The main roster question was asked yet again after Joe dropped the NXT Championship to Shinsuke Nakamure, who is another guy that fans are wanting to see on WWE’s main roster. But, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Nakamura won’t be going to the main roster anytime soon because the plan is for him to feud with Bobby Roode at the beginning of next year. So, where does that leave Samoa Joe?
While speaking on the Live Audio Wrestling Podcast, Meltzer was asked about when we’ll see Samoa Joe on the main roster, and where he thinks the former NXT Champion will end up when he’s finally promoted to the big leagues.
“I think [they’re moving Joe] up to the main roster because, not they’re gonna show the cage match this week, and he loses in the cage match. So, that’s two straight losses, and Bobby Roode vs. Nakamura is the new main event program, so there’s nothing left for Joe, and there’s no reason for him to stay down. So yeah, and SmackDown needs him more than Raw.”
There’s a ton of speculation surrounding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and whether or not AJ Styles — who is currently injured — will drop the title to James Ellsworth. Now, on paper, that seems like a terrible idea, but Dan Lovranski, who co-hosts the Live Audio Wrestling Podcast, had an idea regarding Ellsworth winning the title and losing it the next week to a debuting Samoa Joe.
“How about this for Ellsworth? He wins the title for one week, Samoa Joe comes up to the main roster, beats the crap out of him, and wins the title.”
According to a recent report made by Wrestle Talk TV, WWE chairman Vince McMahon is a huge fan of AJ Styles, and he wants to move him to Raw. But, in order to do that, they have to replace him with another guy that’s on his level. Of course, they could do a trade between the two brands, or they could do Lovranski’s idea, where Joe comes in and solidifies himself as a top guy right off the bat, which would give WWE the freedom to move Styles over to Raw.
It’s unclear why WWE has kept Samoa Joe down in NXT for so long, but it does look like his run there is finally coming to an end. Sure, they could throw us a curveball and insert him into the Bobby Roode vs. Nakamura program, making a three way feud for the NXT Championship. But, that doesn’t seem likely as Joe lost his NXT title rematch to Nakamura at a recent live event.
If WWE doesn’t end up putting Joe in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture right away, they could make him a surprise entrant in the 2017 Royal Rumble, where he could come face-to-face with Brock Lesnar, who is the former NXT champ’s dream opponent.
We’ll likely get a better idea of what’s next for Samoa Joe after this coming Wednesday night’s NXT show. But, even if he doesn’t leave WWE’s developmental territory after the match, you should probably expect to see him on the main roster at some point in 2017.
[Featured Image by WWE]