Joe is the current ROH World Television Champion in his first reign as part of AEW's sister promotion and the company where Joe first rose to prominence, Ring of Honor.
129 Facts About Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe was inducted into the ROH Hall of Fame as part of its 2022 inaugural class, and he has found success working for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment.
Samoa Joe established himself in ROH from the promotion's beginning in 2002, holding the ROH World Championship for a record 21 months from March 2003 to December 2004.
Samoa Joe wrestled internationally - especially Japan - winning several titles, including the GHC Tag Team Championship with Magnus in Pro Wrestling Noah, and he was an inaugural NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion with Keiji Sakoda in Pro Wrestling Zero1.
Samoa Joe officially debuted in WWE's developmental territory NXT in May 2015, and signed a full-time contract with the company in June; he went on to become the first-ever two-time NXT Champion, and the co-winner of the inaugural Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
In 2019, Samoa Joe won his only title on the main roster, the United States Championship, on two occasions.
Samoa Joe was released from his contract in April 2021, but was re-signed just two months later to be an on-screen authority figure on NXT and shortly after would return to in-ring competition to win the NXT Championship for the third time in his career before he was released in January 2022.
Samoa Joe's family founded a Polynesian dance troupe in the United States called Tiare Productions.
Samoa Joe became a California State Junior Judo Champion and was an all league football player while attending Ocean View High School.
Samoa Joe was the first graduate of the UIWA West Coast Dojo, training under Cincinnati Red, along with Johnny Hemp and, occasionally, John Delayo.
Samoa Joe debuted in December 1999 in a match against "Uncle" Jess Hansen just three months after beginning training.
Samoa Joe quickly signed with former WWF developmental affiliate Ultimate Pro Wrestling, where he feuded with John Cena and made an appearance on WWF Jakked against Essa Rios.
Samoa Joe tagged with Mike Knox at UPW Proving Ground on December 12,2000 in the Galaxy Theatre of Santa Ana, California and defeated the debuting Al Katrazz with Basil.
Samoa Joe later became the longest reigning UPW Heavyweight Champion ever.
When Samoa Joe was in UPW, he met Bruce Prichard and Jim Ross, who told him that he would not have a future in pro wrestling.
In June 2001, Samoa Joe made his way to Japan, wrestling for Shinya Hashimoto's Pro Wrestling Zero-One promotion, fighting in its Shingeki series of pay-per-views, as well as the annual Burning Heart tournaments.
Samoa Joe continued to work for the promotion throughout 2002, participating in a number of their biggest shows and tournaments.
Samoa Joe worked as both Samoa Joe and later King Joe, but ultimately chose to leave the promotion when he was asked to take on a more gimmicky character.
Back in the United States, Samoa Joe joined the ranks of the East Coast-based Ring of Honor promotion in 2002.
Samoa Joe made his debut at "Glory by Honor" as Christopher Daniels's "hired assassin", brought in to take out Daniels's chief enemy, Low Ki.
Originally booked for just the one match against Low Ki, Samoa Joe impressed fans with his extremely stiff and hard-hitting style that resembled a mixed martial arts fighter more than a wrestler, which led to ROH booking him full-time.
Samoa Joe quickly rose through the ranks and became ROH Champion, defeating Xavier for the belt, which soon became the ROH World Championship on May 17,2003 after defeating The Zebra Kid at "Frontiers of Honor" in London, England.
Samoa Joe held that title for twenty one months before losing it to Austin Aries at "Final Battle 2004" on December 26,2004.
Samoa Joe proved to be a formidable opponent for Kobashi, in a back and forth match, which Dave Meltzer again gave a five-star rating.
In 2006, Samoa Joe was one of the principal wrestlers representing Ring of Honor in their war against rival Philadelphia promotion Combat Zone Wrestling.
Samoa Joe helped ROH dominate in the match, until, after picking up CZW wrestler Chris Hero for one of his finishers, the Muscle Buster, he was attacked by fellow ROH wrestler Bryan Danielson.
Samoa Joe was later replaced in the match by Homicide, who went on to win the match for ROH.
Samoa Joe later teamed with Homicide to fight against the Briscoes, and, like Homicide, found himself back in the ROH world title hunt.
Samoa Joe ceased to be a full-time performer in ROH on March 4,2007.
On November 22,2008, Samoa Joe made a one night only return for Rising Above, defeating Tyler Black in a non-pay-per-view main event.
From 2003 to 2007, Samoa Joe made several appearances for Southern California promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, making his debut on November 15,2003, when he defeated CM Punk in a singles match.
Samoa Joe made his to date final PWG appearance on April 8,2007, when he defeated Low Ki in a singles match.
From 2004 to 2006, Samoa Joe made several appearances for Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South, where he most notably made it to the finals of the 2004 Ted Petty Invitational and, later that same year, won the Revolution Strong Style Tournament.
On February 14,2009, Samoa Joe made debuted for the Puerto Rican International Wrestling Association at Noche de Campeones, where he unsuccessfully challenged El Chicano for the IWA Undisputed World Unified Heavyweight Championship.
On November 3,2013, Samoa Joe made his debut at Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, defeating Willie Mack.
On November 15,2014, Samoa Joe appeared at JAPW 18th Anniversary Show, where he defeated Chris Hero.
On June 14,2005, Samoa Joe signed a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
Samoa Joe made his official debut five days later at the Slammiversary pay-per-view, defeating Sonjay Dutt in a match that saw him dubbed "The Samoan Submission Machine" by announcer Mike Tenay.
Samoa Joe was a participant in the Christopher Daniels Invitational Super X Cup, defeating Sonjay Dutt and Alex Shelley to advance to the tournament finals at Sacrifice.
Samoa Joe then threw Daniels into the ring, and delivered a Muscle Buster.
Samoa Joe then went out to grab a steel chair from ringside and brought it into the ring, after which he gave Daniels a second Muscle Buster, this time onto the chair, supposedly giving Daniels a level-3 concussion.
Samoa Joe defeated Styles at Turning Point and won the X Division Championship.
Not long after making Daniels bleed from his head, Samoa Joe stopped going for the pin, instead dropping knee after knee on Daniels' head.
Styles, concerned about Daniels' health, signaled for the match to be stopped by throwing in the towel, allowing Samoa Joe to retain the X Division title.
Samoa Joe proceeded to win the rematch of the three-way at Unbreakable, thus retaining his title.
Samoa Joe was then taken out of the X Division and was scheduled to take on Sabu at Lockdown.
At Sacrifice, Samoa Joe partnered with Sting in a tag team match against Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner.
Samoa Joe and Sting were victorious, but after the match, Samoa Joe left the ring and allowed Sting to be attacked.
Samoa Joe explained this by stating that he agreed to only watch Sting's back "from bell to bell", but still had issues with Steiner.
Samoa Joe added Scott Steiner to his undefeated streak, at Slammiversary.
Samoa Joe suffered a first degree tear to the posterior cruciate ligament and a second degree tear to the medial collateral ligament.
Samoa Joe beat Jeff Jarrett at No Surrender in a "Fan's Revenge Lumberjack match".
The match ended when special referee Jake Roberts performed a DDT to Raven, allowing Samoa Joe to deliver the Muscle Buster to Raven for the pinfall.
Later in the night, Samoa Joe was involved in a pull-apart brawl with Kurt Angle after Jim Cornette announced that he would be fired if he interfered in the main event match that involved Angle as special enforcer.
At Genesis, Samoa Joe lost to Angle after submitting to Angle's ankle lock.
On January 14,2007 at Final Resolution, Samoa Joe was defeated by Angle in a thirty-minute Iron Man match when Angle was put in the ankle lock but was saved from submitting another fall by the time expiring.
At the Match of Champions, Samoa Joe scored the winning pinfall on Brother Ray and won the TNA World Tag Team Championship from Team 3D, making him the first wrestler in TNA to hold multiple TNA championships.
At Hard Justice, Samoa Joe put up the X Division title and both Tag Team titles against Kurt Angle's TNA World title as well as the IGF's version of the IWGP World Championship.
Samoa Joe lost all his titles thanks to interference by Karen Angle.
Samoa Joe then became the teammate of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in their match against the Angle Alliance at Turning Point.
Samoa Joe went five minutes overtime and ranted against Hall, Nash and some other superstars, which legitimately upset Nash and TNA President Dixie Carter at ringside.
On-screen, though, Samoa Joe continued to direct his frustration towards TNA management, going as far as to trash a Christmas party organized by Matt Morgan.
Styles and Tomko after Nash refused to tag himself into the match leaving Samoa Joe to fend for himself.
At Against All Odds, Samoa Joe served as the special enforcer for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship match where Kurt Angle defended his title against challenger Christian Cage.
Styles interfered and Samoa Joe fought Styles to the back, but Tomko came out and attacked Cage giving Angle the win.
Samoa Joe was given the next TNA World Heavyweight Championship opportunity against Angle.
At Lockdown, Samoa Joe defeated Angle to win his first TNA World Championship and become TNA's third Triple Crown Champion.
The stipulation of the match was if Samoa Joe had lost, he would have had to retire from professional wrestling.
Samoa Joe was then challenged to a match by Booker T at Victory Road, which he accepted.
At Hard Justice, Samoa Joe defeated Booker after a guitar shot, thus reclaiming physical possession of the title belt, which Booker had kept after Victory Road.
At Turning Point Nash defeated Samoa Joe by pinning him with his feet on the ropes following a steel chair shot, a low blow and after ramming Samoa Joe's head to an exposed turnbuckle.
At Destination X, Samoa Joe got himself disqualified in his return match against his old rival and Main Event Mafia member Scott Steiner.
Samoa Joe entered last and won the match by pinning rival Kurt Angle via the Muscle Buster.
Samoa Joe then feuded with Kevin Nash as his next victim of the Mafia and finally beat his old mentor at Sacrifice.
At Slammiversary, Samoa Joe helped Kurt Angle win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the King of the Mountain match, and thus turned heel.
At Victory Road, Samoa Joe faced Sting in a grudge match.
Late in the match, Taz made his TNA debut and helped Samoa Joe beat Sting, thus revealing himself as his new adviser.
At Hard Justice Samoa Joe defeated Homicide to win the X Division title for the fourth time.
At Final Resolution Samoa Joe took part in the "Feast or Fired" match and won the briefcase containing a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
At Turning Point Jarrett defeated Samoa Joe, after choking him out with a baton, following interference from Gunner and Murphy.
Samoa Joe then accused TNA management of being against him and proclaimed that from now on the blood would be on their hands.
Three days later at No Surrender, Samoa Joe was eliminated from the tournament, after losing to Jeff Hardy in his semifinal match.
Samoa Joe made his first successful title defense the following week, defeating Rob Van Dam.
At Turning Point, Samoa Joe was defeated by Magnus in the first round of the tournament for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Dixie ignoring what Samoa Joe previously said, told him to only focus on his match against her nephew, Ethan Carter III.
Later on the show, Samoa Joe is jumped backstage by EC3, only to fight back on their way to the ring to start the match.
Samoa Joe went on to win the match by disqualification after taking a hit from a wrench by EC3 after an interference by Rockstar Spud.
On Day 2 of Genesis, Samoa Joe defeated Rockstar Spud by submission after a Muscle Buster, followed by the Coquina Clutch, holding it until Spud passed out.
Samoa Joe later helped in leveling the playing field in Sting's match against Magnus for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, following interferences by EC3, Bad Influence, The BroMans and Bobby Roode, with Sting's contract voided if he lost.
At Hardcore Justice, Samoa Joe successfully defended the X Division Championship against Low Ki after pinning him with a muscle buster.
On February 17,2015, Samoa Joe parted ways with TNA, ending his run of nearly a decade with the company.
Samoa Joe returned to the promotion in July 2011, when he represented La Sociedad in two six man tag team matches.
On October 25,2007, Samoa Joe made his debut for Pro Wrestling Noah at the Yokohoma Red Brickhouse, where he teamed with Yoshihiro Takayama to take on the team of Mitsuharu Misawa and Takeshi Morishima.
Samoa Joe captured the win for his team after pinning Misawa with an Island Driver.
Two days later, Samoa Joe again faced Misawa, this time for the GHC Heavyweight Championship in a one-on-one match at the Budokan Hall.
On July 22,2012, Samoa Joe returned to Pro Wrestling Noah, when he and Magnus defeated Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama to win the GHC Tag Team Championship.
Samoa Joe returned to ROH for a number of appearances through March 2015.
On March 27 at Supercard of Honor IX, Samoa Joe returned to ROH in-ring action for the first time since 2008 to face Jay Briscoe, who defeated Samoa Joe to retain the ROH World Championship.
On May 20,2015, at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, Samoa Joe made his debut during the main event as a face, stopping Kevin Owens from attacking an injured Sami Zayn with a chair and having a stare-down with Owens.
At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, Samoa Joe defeated Baron Corbin by technical submission.
Samoa Joe was then paired with NXT Champion Finn Balor to enter the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament, which they won after defeating The Lucha Dragons in the first round, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady in the quarter-finals, The Mechanics in the semifinals and Baron Corbin and Rhyno in the finals at NXT TakeOver: Respect.
Samoa Joe claimed that he was not his heavy, and hurt people only because he has done so for all of his career.
Samoa Joe then went on to attack Sami Zayn, who took offense to Joe's remarks concerning him.
Samoa Joe then faced Rollins at Payback, in a losing effort, giving Samoa Joe his first singles loss on the main roster.
Samoa Joe retaliated by costing Rollins an Intercontinental Championship opportunity on Raw the following night against Finn Balor and The Miz, which saw Bray Wyatt interfere.
Samoa Joe returned to the Raw after WrestleMania 34, challenging Roman Reigns to a match at Backlash.
At SummerSlam, Samoa Joe defeated WWE Champion AJ Styles by disqualification but lost to Styles at Hell in a Cell in controversial fashion.
At Crown Jewel, Samoa Joe again lost to Styles in a title match.
Samoa Joe was a part of Team SmackDown against Team Raw at Survivor Series in a 5-on-5 tag team elimination match but was eliminated by Drew McIntyre.
Samoa Joe entered the 2019 Royal Rumble match but was eliminated by Mustafa Ali.
Samoa Joe failed to capture the WWE Championship inside the Elimination Chamber at the namesake event after being pinned by Styles.
Samoa Joe subsequently defeated Truth, Mysterio, and Andrade to capture the United States Championship, marking his first championship on the main roster.
Samoa Joe successfully defended the title against Truth, Mysterio and Andrade at Fastlane, and against Mysterio at WrestleMania 35.
At the Money in the Bank, Samoa Joe lost the title to Mysterio.
At the Stomping Grounds, Samoa Joe lost the title to Ricochet, ending his second reign at 19 days.
Samoa Joe defeated Cesaro in the first round, facing Ricochet in the quarter-finals, but the match ended in a double pinfall, with both men advancing to the semi-finals.
Samoa Joe lost to Baron Corbin in the semi-finals in a triple threat match, involving Ricochet.
On February 20,2020, it was revealed that Samoa Joe had suffered yet another injury, hurting his head during a commercial shoot and was not medically cleared to compete.
Four days later, Samoa Joe was suspended for thirty days for violating WWE's wellness policy.
Samoa Joe would remain on the Raw commentary team until April 12,2021, when he was replaced by Corey Graves.
Samoa Joe was released by the company on April 15,2021.
On September 12,2021, Samoa Joe relinquished the title before any title defense due to what WWE reported to be an unspecified injury; Samoa Joe stated in 2022 that the vacancy happened due to him testing positive for COVID-19 and Vince McMahon wanting to change the overall direction of NXT.
Samoa Joe returned to Ring of Honor, now owned by All Elite Wrestling co-founder and president Tony Khan, on April 1,2022 at Supercard of Honor XV, coming to the aid of Jonathan Gresham and Lee Moriarty after they were attacked by Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt.
Samoa Joe defeated Johnny Elite in the quarter-final and Kyle O'Reilly in the semi-final of the Owen Hart Cup.
In July 2019, Samoa Joe defeated Jimmy Uso in a game of World Heroes to win the UpUpDownDown Championship.
In June 2022, Samoa Joe was announced to be doing the physical performance of the character Sweet Tooth for Peacock's Twisted Metal adaptation.
Samoa Joe is close friends with fellow wrestlers CM Punk, Homicide, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, and Rob Van Dam.
Samoa Joe has appeared on Van Dam's Internet-based reality show RVD TV numerous times.
Samoa Joe was often noted as a sparring partner for Team Punishment member Justin McCully, and was often in attendance in the locker room for Team Punishment fighters such as Tito Ortiz and Kendall Grove, with whom he maintains friendships.