An inescapable figure from the golden years of Total Nonstop Action (TNA), Samoa Joe was with them between 2005 and 2015 and conquered everything there was to win, after having emerged in several companies, namely Ring of Honor (ROH).
Born March 17, 1979, in Orange County, California, his real name is Nuufolau Joel Seanoa, and he practised judo and football and was a mortgage broker before debuting at the UIWA West Coast Dojo in December 1999.
The following year, he signed for the then WWF’s development platform, Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW), having starred in a feud with John Cena. After a stint with Japanese Pro Wrestling Zero-One, and at a time when he was one of the faces of ROH, he signed for TNA on June 14, 2005.
In addition to not having suffered any settlement or submission defeats in his first year and a half at the promoter, The Samoan Submission Machine has won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship (once), the TNA Television Championship (one), the TNA X Division Championship (five) and the TNA World Tag Team Championship (two, one alone and one with Magnus) over a decade. So it’s worth remembering Samoa Joe’s ten best TNA matches, in chronological order.
No Surrender 2005
Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin
In his TNA debut, Samoa Joe easily beat Sonjay Dutt at Slammiversary 2005. Five days later, on Impact! on the 24th of June, he hit Delirious.
On the July 8 episode, Joe appeared following a Chris Sabin win over David Young to attack and apply a submission on Sabin. That same night, The Samoan Submission Machine defeated Elix Skipper and Shark Boy in a triple threat match.
The following week, Sabin interfered in a match between Team Canada (Petey Williams and Eric Young) and the duo composed of Joe and Christopher Daniels, attacking Joe, with whom he went to fight backstage, led to a match between the two. for No Surrender.
Finals of the 2005 TNA Super X Cup: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
In the summer of 2005, TNA held the eight-man Super X Cup tournament to determine the top contender for the TNA X Division Championship. Samoa Joe qualified for the finals after eliminating Sonjay Dutt and Alex Shelley, setting up a meeting with AJ Styles, who had knocked out Matt Bentley and Petey Williams.
Unbreakable 2005: TNA X Division Championship:
Christopher Daniels (c) vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
In the final of the 2005 TNA Super X Cup tournament at Sacrifice, Joe beat Styles via submission after interference from Christopher Daniels to earn a title shot.
On the August 19 episode of TNA Impact! , it was announced that Daniels would defend the title against Joe at Unbreakable. However, that same night Daniels attacked Joe until Styles appeared and attacked Daniels, in retaliation for interfering with Sacrifice.
Daniels demanded NWA officials suspend Styles, but manager Larry Zbyszko instead added Styles to the X Division Championship match.
Turning Point 2005
TNA X Division Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe
At Unbreakable, in a match described as a dream and which even deserved the rare award of five stars by journalist Dave Meltzer, AJ Styles won the X Division Championship by beating the then-champion Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe in a three-way match. (Above)
However, Styles successfully defended the title against Christopher Daniels in a 30-minute Ironman match at Bound For Glory. Weeks later at Genesis, Styles beat Petey Williams to retain the belt. At the same event, Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels were the only Team Ministry survivors in a 4 vs. 4 Tag Team Elimination match against Austin Aries, Chris Sabin, Matt Bentley and Sonjay Dutt. However, after Joe brutally attacked Daniels, leaving him injured and out of the ring for a few weeks.
However, Styles accused Joe of violating the X Division’s unwritten code of conduct and wanted to defend the title against the Samoan Submission Machine at Turning Point, launching the challenge on the November 19 episode of Impact! Joe accepted, and two weeks later attacked Styles, stating that he doesn’t care about the X Division’s code of conduct.
Final Resolution 2006
TNA X Division Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Christopher Daniels
At Turning Point, Samoa Joe won the TNA X Division Championship by beating AJ Styles. After the match, Joe tried to attack Styles similarly as he did to Daniels on Genesis, but Daniels showed up to save Styles. This led to the scheduling of a title match between Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels for Final Resolution.
Impact! (April 13, 2006)
TNA X Division Championship: Christopher Daniels (c) vs. Samoa Joe
At Against All Odds, Samoa Joe retained the title from Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles by laying down Styles after a Muscle Buster. At the next pay-per-view, Destination X, Christopher Daniels won the TNA X Division Championship in an Ultimate X match. On the March 25 episode of Impact! , Larry Zbyszko announced that Samoa Joe would be dropped from the X Division at the Lockdown event. However, on the April 1 episode, Joe beat Alex Shelley, Sonjay Dutt and Chris Sabin to earn the right to face champion Christopher Daniels for the TNA X Division Championship nearly two weeks later on the first Impact! The show, April 13, 2006.
Genesis 2006: Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle made his TNA debut on October 19, 2006, confronting Samoa Joe, who refused to relinquish the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt he had stolen from Jeff Jarrett. Angle and Joe eventually became involved in a feud, which allowed Jarrett to regain the title. Three days later, at Bound For Glory, Angle and Joe again engaged in a brawl during the match between Jarrett and Sting for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, in which Kurt Angle served as a special enforcer. On the November 16 episode of Impact! , Angle debuted in the TNA ring with a victory over Abyss achieved via submission via an Ankle Lock but was attacked by Joe after the match.
Turning Point 2006
Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
At Genesis, Kurt Angle defeated Samoa Joe via submission via an Ankle Lock, inflicting Joe’s first TNA loss in 18 months with the company. After the match, Joe said that Angle was the best man that night, but asked for a rematch and proposed a handshake, but the request was refused by Angle, who left the ring. However, it ended up being even scheduled a new match between the two for Turning Point.
Lockdown 2008: Six Sides of Steel Cage match
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Samoa Joe
After The Unlikely Alliance ( Christian Cage, Kevin Nash, and Samoa Joe) defeated The Angle Alliance ( AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, and Tomko) at Destination X 2008, a Six Sides of Steel Cage match was scheduled for Lockdown 2008 between champion Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship during the March 13 episode of TNA Impact! In the same episode, Joe stated that he would leave TNA if he did not win the title. However, Joe was not seen on TNA’s weekly schedule for several weeks, as he was training specifically for the match.
On the April 10 episode, the contract was signed for the match between Angle and Joe, who had previously faced off at Genesis and Turning Point in 2006 and Final Resolution and Hard Justice in 2007.
Turning Point 2009: TNA World Heavyweight Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs. Daniels vs. Samoa Joe
At Bound for Glory 2009, AJ Styles beat Sting to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, putting an end to The Icon’s unbeaten run in the company’s biggest event of the year.
In the weeks that followed, Styles was attacked by an anonymous attacker backstage, which led him to believe that it was Samoa Joe or Christopher Daniels who attacked him, which led to a match between the three, with the title in play to the Turning Point.
On the November 5th episode of Impact! , Daniels confronted Styles and said that he was as good a wrestler as he was, but that he was not given the same opportunities.