Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Samoa Joe Comes Home

Joe's coming back to ROH and the indies with a vengeance
Photo Credit: Lee South/
Samoa Joe has been unemployed from TNA for a little over a week, and he's already making his first huge splashes. The biggest news is that he's coming home to Ring of Honor, as announced in this video:

The four dates announced so far are Baltimore on March 7, which is a television taping, the Chicagoland swing in two weeks (Milwaukee on March 13 and Chicago on March 14) and the big WrestleMania weekend show in Redwood City, CA on March 27. Not only are his appearances coming soon, but they're at some pretty high-profile events, including on the syndicated show which has featured some critically acclaimed matches in the new year. Alberto el Patron has been tearing it up on TV, and this past week has featured a Bullet Club vs. ACH, Matt Sydal, and Cedric Alexander trios match that many trusted voices have said rocked the proverbial house. Joe will get chances to get comfortable with his old digs.

Joe hasn't been announced to show up at the 13th Anniversary Show pay-per-view this weekend, but never say never on that front. Maybe he'll come back to set up a few things, but even if he doesn't show up, the show looks awesome on paper. The main event will be a four-way survival match for Jay Briscoe's World Championship as he defends against Michael Elgin, Tommaso Ciampa, and Hanson. Personally, I'd rather that match be a straight-up one-on-one between Briscoe and Hanson, but you can't always get what you want. However, three big draws are on this show for me at least. First, ACH will take on AJ Styles in what could be a goddamn barnburner. Second, reDRagon will defend the ROH Tag Team Championships against the Young Bucks. While I can take or leave Kyle O'Reilly in singles action, his tag team stuff is pretty good, especially with Bobby Fish. And the Bucks are the Bucks. Finally, el Patron will get a crack at Jay Lethal's Television Championship. I ran tepid on Lethal before, but he seems to have turned it around as a heel, and the former Alberto del Rio is a sure thing in the ring. Really excited for that one.

However, back to Joe, his most interesting match may be happening on the first weekend in April. Squared Circle Wrestling has a penchant for giving its fans in upstate New York dream matches that other promotions won't or can't book, and their Living on the Edge X show on April 4 will feature one such contest, as Joe takes on the death-defying, perhaps insane cult of personality AR Fox. It's not the first match I would have thought to book, but given that Joe tends to handle high-flyers really well, this match could end up blowing the doors off the indie wrestling world.

Joe's run in TNA has been spotty, but from the bits I've seen, it hasn't been that bad. However, if he's back in a scene where he is motivated and ready to kick ass like he did years ago, then maybe he could see himself having a renaissance the likes that Styles has had. He'll have plenty of chances out of the gate, and I'm personally stoked to see all of them.