In July, at the Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view, Samoa Joe was vying to become the WWE Universal Champion by challenging Brock Lesnar. While he was a serious threat to the champion, Lesnar was able to maintain the title and move on to the next adversary. However, this match gave Joe a boosted sense of value on the Raw roster, after being a part of dead-end feuds with Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn. Many felt that GBOF was going to be Joe’s time, but WWE decided to keep the rumored plans of Roman Reigns being the one to dethrone Lesnar at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans.
Joe, however, remained a key player in the main event picture, lobbying to Kurt Angle on Raw that he deserved another title opportunity due to Lesnar barely making it past him. This request was given in the form of Joe being a part of a triple threat match to determine the No. 1 contender, which ended with all three men earning the chance in a fatal four-way match at SummerSlam. Still, Lesnar was able to maintain the championship, and Joe was forced to move on due to being unable to win the title again.
Unfortunately for Joe, the momentum he acquired over the past few months was halted after suffering a knee injury during his match with John Cena at a WWE Live event in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on August 26. He was last seen on television the Raw before this injury, in a losing effort with The Miz against Roman Reigns and John Cena.
While the original timeline was only projected to be a month, there has been an extended delay. According to the Wrestling Observer Radio, Joe is expected to return to in-ring action “by the end of the month.” In addition, there is strong speculation about who is next opponent will be. If he is able to make it back for the TLC event, he will most likely be competing against Braun Strowman.
It was also speculated that this will be a short feud to give Strowman a match on the card. In regard to Joe’s longer feud, there were discussions that he will revive his lengthy NXT feud with Finn Balor. However, this will most likely be on hold until after Balor’s rumored match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.
[Featured Image by WWE]