With the sudden release of Samoa Joe from the WWE, the internet went into a tailspin of who he could end up facing once his 90-day no-compete clause has come to an end. [since we haven’t seen Joe in a ring for some time]
There will be many lists on the subject but we want to focus on who he could face if he chose to make the jump to New Japan Pro-Wrestling. I am secretly hoping he will make an appearance in this year’s G1 tournament because don’t we all love Samoa Joe?
Tomohiro Ishii may seem like an obvious choice of opponent for Samoa Joe coming into New Japan Pro-Wrestling but it would be an incredible sight to see. Ishii has long been one of the best big match wrestlers in NJPW and it’s not hard to see why? With his small stature but solid build, they don’t call him the Stone Pitbull for nothing, he would make a fantastic opponent for Samoa Joe. The two are similar in a lot of ways but also very different and this could prove to be an interesting matchup, with Ishii possibly finding someone as tough as he is.
Shingo Takagi is also another obvious choice and has been thrown around a few times already. The two have shared the same space for years, both considered two of the best in the world and have competed at the same events for Ring of Honor [ROH] but seem to have never faced each other. The two have forever missed one another and the chance to compete but could New Japan give the two men the opportunity for a MOTY contender before 2021 is over? Only time will tell.
Jeff Cobb is a rising star in professional wrestling and has just signed a long-term deal with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, coming in as a monster heel and joining the United Empire, his matches have been incredible since his last G1 appearance and with the possibility of a Samoa Joe match on the horizon, I think this might be the most mouth-watering bout of all. These two men have never had the opportunity to cross paths and if New Japan can facilitate the epic battle we all expect from the two, then I think there will be a lot of happy fans all around the world.
Minoru Suzuki makes every single one of my lists when people leave WWE, not just because he is one of my favourites to ever lace up a pair of boots or the fact I would allow him to choke me out, he’s murder grandpa we love him [don’t judge], but because Minoru Suzuki is a true technician in the ring, a fantastic storyteller and on top of all of that can hit and twist any man in a way that would be truly painful. Samoa Joe is also a technician in the ring, hard-hitting and able to manipulate limbs in a way we don’t get to see often, these two would tear the house down.
These two have faced off in the past but never in one on one competition, but with KENTA fully established as one of the best and most entertaining heels in NJPW as part of the villainous BULLET CLUB, it might be time for Joe to follow him to Japan and finally get the match we have all craved for years. They have previously faced off multiple times in Ring of Honor, their three-way match that includes Bryan Danielson being a standout of their time with the company. Samoa Joe also at one time held the GHC Tag Team Championships with Magnus only to lose them to Maybach Taniguchi and KENTA. The two have a lot of history and this would feed into their matches, resentment for Joe’s success while at WWE and maybe even some from Joe himself has been on the sidelines for so long while KENTA has been in Japan living his best life.
The possibilities are endless…