Apr 18, 2008

Is Samoa Joe Really Champion?

I watched the Angle versus Joe match from Lockdown and I was under whelmed with the result. I really wanted to see this match not because of the MMA gimmick but because Samoa Joe was going to become champion. To me this was important because there has not been a TNA bred champion in over two years. However, after he won I just did not care and I wondered why.

After some deep thought I realized it was because Samoa Joe is no longer Samoa Joe. His overall character has changed in the last couple of months from when I started watching TNA. He was always the bad ass that broke through the glass ceiling. He did what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he wanted.

The appeal of Joe was that he transcended the mode of what was suppose to be a popular wrestler. He was never in shape but his in ring ability was impeccable. Also, I always had the feeling that he was not playing a character but that was who he was. He reminded me of John Cena except he could wrestle.

Once he began his quest for the title his character change. It seems that TNA management wanted him to be something else. He began to complain about his contract and not getting a shot at the title. For me, the Joe that I found interesting would never bitch about money or a title shot he would just go and take it.

After finally getting the title shot his character change more. He became whinier and changed from wearing a t-shirt and cargo shorts to a suit. There is nothing wrong with wearing a suit, but as long as it is in context of the character.

For example, Joe's character is very similar to Stone Cold Steve Austin, a bad ass that did what he wanted. When Austin dawned a suit he sold out, but that was what WWE wanted to convey. The same as for the Rock he was known for the $500 silk shirts but when he wore the suit he was part of the corporation.

TNA probably felt Joe's image was not championship material and did not want that representing their company, instead of rolling with Joe's popularity of being himself. What if during John Cena's run for the title he started wearing a suit, he would have been hated more because it did not match his character.

I am not against anyone wearing a suit or changing what their character is about. It just that TNA already had their suit wearing champion, Kurt Angle. Joe was suppose to represent hard work, ambition, and breaking through the glass ceiling but instead it looks as if he sold out. Hopefully, as time goes by he reverts back to the original Joe.

Another observation I had was what happen to the Samoan fire dancers? I understand they were trying to make the match seem real, but we all know it is professional wrestling. Joe always in his big matches had his dancers be apart of his entrance no matter how important the match may be. They were missing. What if the druids did not show up for Wrestlemania?

TNA needs to realize that variety is what makes wrestling entertaining. If they wanted a corporate champion they should have kept the title around Angle. After watching Impact I realized this is the Joe that TNA wants. The man that plays Samoa Joe may have the title, but Samoa Joe doesn't and I will be cheering for Steiner at the next show.

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