The stage is set for the 2017 WWE title match with Extreme Rules winner Samoa Joe earning the right to battle Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. The Samoan Submission Machine made the right moves as he emerged from the smoke as the only one left standing after the action-packed Fatal 5-Way held at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.
Samoa Joe emerged triumphant as he faced the daunting task of sharing the ring with fellow gladiators and WWE greats Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt. Reigns was the favorite to go on to the title match due to his impressive resume. However, the three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion was subdued by Balor with the Coup de Grace.
Joe came out of nowhere to lock the 35-year-old Balor in his Coquina Clutch. The Irish wrestler tried desperately to reach for the ropes to force a break but Joe made sure that would not happen. Balor eventually passed out forcing the referee to call for the bell and declare Joe the winner of the important 5-way match.
Samoa Joe got the opportunity to challenge for the right to fight for the WWE Universal Championship after Braun Stowman, a highly favored potential contender for the Beast Incarnate pulled out due to an elbow injury. The unfortunate event allowed Kurt Angle, Raw general manager, to set up the Fatal 5-Way matchup.
Joe was confident he would win the Extreme Rules and go on to fight Lesnar. Samoa even stressed that he has “been undefeated since this match has been announced.” Joe also said that he was “the most fatal man of all” going into the Fatal 5-Way. He proved just that during the main event of the WWE Extreme Rules 2017.
In other matches, The Miz won the Intercontinental Championship with a skull-crushing move on Dean Ambrose while the tag team battle between the duo of Sasha Banks and Rich Swann against Naom Dar and Alicia Fox was probably the least exciting match of the night.
The Raw Women’s Championship between Alexa Bliss and Bayley was a bit more entertaining at least at the onset. The Kendo Stick on a Pole Match fell short of the hype accorded it. In the end, Bliss defended her women’s title with a pinfall.
The 38-year-old Samoa Joe, Nuufolau Joel ‘Joe’ Seanoa in real life, started wrestling professionally in December 1999. Samoa signed with Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) the following year and became the longest reigning UPW Heavyweight Champion in its history. Joe spent the next year in Japan fighting alongside Keiji Sakoda on their way to being named the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champions.
Joe returned to the United States in 2002 where he became part of the Ring of Honor (ROH). In 2003, Samoa won the ROH World Championship which he successfully defended three times against wrestling great CM Punk. Joe eventually lost to Austin Aries in 2004. Samoa also had a long stint with TNA during which he became a one-time World Heavyweight Champion.
Joe teamed up with Wyatt during the first half of the match. The two worked together in beating up the three other wrestlers using steel chairs and steel peeps. Joe and the 30-year-old Wyatt also performed running sentons to subdue their opponents. However, Balor recovered and dropkicked his way out of trouble as the partnership between Joe and Wyatt ended.
Reigns eventually got the upper hand before Roman and former Shield brother Rollins wrestled against each other. Bray entered the fray and ambushed the duo, but he was later speared by Reigns. Roman continued his dominance as he grounded Rollins before going after Balor. That was when Balor got Reigns in his Coup de Grace before Joe ended the match by locking Balor to submission.
Samoa Joe’s win at the Extreme Rules 2017 means he will face Brock Lesnar at the Great Balls of Fire in July. Of course, there are already some who believe that Joe’s win is simply part of the WWE’s plan focusing on the Beast Incarnate. Forbes believes that the ultimate goal is for Lesnar and Roman Reigns to face up against each other at Wrestlemania 34 after Brock faces off with Joe.
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