Now that he is part of the main roster on Monday nights, what will WWE do with Samoa Joe?
The Samoan Submission Machine has been part of an angle involving Triple H and Seth Rollins. He has also been part of The Kevin Owens-Chris Jericho feud that appears to have run its course.
The former NXT champion may be caught in a situation where booking could present a problem. Where does the company put him in its main event picture? And does WWE want to keep him part of an angle that could produce another bad ass heel faction? I love the faction angle, but I’m not sure who else joins the team.
Joe is too talented to book him as a fringe performer. A champion on the independent circuit, TNA, and WWE’s developmental territory, he should be at or near the top of the pecking order. Much like Batista and Steve Austin before him, he is playing a supporting role while biding his time. Both of those “add-ons” became mega champions both as babyfaces and heels.
It remains to be seen if he has a bigger role as the company moves closer to SummerSlam.
WWE hasn’t been as successful as it should bring up talent to the main roster. Apollo Crews is caught in a numbers game on Tuesday nights. Baron Corbin is being groomed as a future champion. Still, the company is not booking him to maximize his potential. Aiden English will need to find a new tag team partner or learn what singles competition is quick. And we still aren’t sure what will be done with Braun Strowman’s character.
I’m looking at it from a positive side, those are good problems to have because the talent is so deep. The negative side to that is the company brought wrestlers up without a true plan for their success. And to be honest, we have not seen enough of Finn Balor to know if he will enjoy success like Rollins and Dean Ambrose, who were called up and have excelled.
The Superstar Shakeup has everyone wondering what will happen with their favorites – who moves to Monday nights, who jumps on the Tuesday bandwagon. If Joe stays on Raw and remains part of a program with Owens, he is doing nothing more than playing second fiddle. Samoa Joe plays second fiddle to no one.
If WWE was smart, they would jump on five potential feuds. If booking is such an issue, keep the Triple H connection fresh. Owens and Joe have chemistry, but they should also have their own presence much like the Four Horsemen. The obvious first choice is Rollins. The match with Triple H didn’t end the war. I doubt the COO of WWE will get in a ring anytime soon. Joe attacked Rollins the night after the Royal Rumble and injured his knee. There is still more to this feud.
Rollins defeated Triple H at WrestleMania 33, but the Cerebral Assassin has a henchman who should fight this battle.
Roman Reigns has a few suitors now that he has become “The Guy” after beating Undertaker last weekend. Reigns stands in the middle as a babyface and heel. A solid program with Joe could be just what both wrestlers need.
Joe and Reigns faced each other once before on Monday night. The match was solid. Joe sold well for Reigns and vice versa. Fans could get behind another run with these two.
Braun Strowman looks to be the next opponent for Brock Lesnar. In the meantime, WWE will book him against Reigns as a number one contenders match for the Universal Heavyweight Title. Strowman’s staredown with Lesnar last week was epic, but it did nothing to move the needle. Strowman’s booking is unbalanced. A feud like this – where fans support Strowman could be a page-changer in the beast’s career.
Lesnar and Joe present plenty of opportunities for greatness. It could be as epic as any feud Lesnar has faced since coming back to WWE over the years.
Booking Lesnar has never been an easy proposition because of his size and his brutal strength. Reigns, Strowman and Joe all present solid size matchups. Would the company have these two compete for the Universal Title? Fans would love it. I am sure WWE will book Lesnar against Strowman and Reigns before this became a reality, but I still love the possibilities.
Finn Balor is the obvious choice here. The former NXT champion waged war with Joe in the developmental territory and could rehash old blood. Balor’s return helps with booking and clouds the main event picture. His match with Rollins against Owens and Joe last week may have been a sign of things to come.
The Balor-Joe feud was epic in NXT. Much like Bayley and Sasha Banks, it was a highlight reel performance each time they got in the ring. Could WWE create the same kind of magic? This is a SummerSlam event waiting to happen.