I’ve watched Samoa Joe destroy a lot of people in the squared circle over the years. In fact, Joe has been a favourite of mine for a long time.
We’ve seen the Samoan Submission Machine have battles with the likes of Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels. Since signing with WWE, Joe has had some epic encounters with Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, and Roman Reigns. This is the Samoa Joe we are all used to, the one who has memorable feuds in the ring. But 2020 definitely had different plans.
Instead of seeing Joe in the ring or going for championships, we haven’t seen him wrestle since February. While that seems like a huge blow, the WWE Universe has gotten a breath of fresh air with Joe joining the RAW commentary team.
Joe has been able to make an almost seamless transition from the ring to the commentary table. A lot of what has made the transition work is because of Joe’s extensive knowledge. Having someone with Joe’s ring psychology certainly helps the viewer learn about what is going on in the ring and enjoy it that much more.
When you watch Monday Night RAW, especially in the past, while commentary can be informative there has been something missing. Joe brings you the informative wrestling side, making you feel more involved in the moment, but he also makes it incredibly fun. Anytime Drew McIntyre hits the Glasgow Kiss, you are guaranteed to hear Joe go ‘Give us a kiss!’ There is a quick wit about Joe and it shines through your television set every Monday.
Naturally, hearing Joe commentate on matches will never replace seeing him destroy people in the ring, throughout his time commentating Joe has still been able to be involved in storylines. Take Seth Rollins for example. Rollins was on a path of destruction on Monday nights, but Joe stood up to him this past August. As Rollins berated Tom Phillips for cheering for the Mysterio family, Joe stood up for his broadcast partner.
It’s the little glimpses back into the wrestler Samoa Joe that keeps the hope he’ll come back to the ring soon. While Joe continues to be an excellent commentator, inserting himself into storylines as he did with Rollins could set up some pretty interesting feuds when/if he returns to the ring.
Whether Joe is going to return to the ring anytime soon remains to be seen, with the Royal Rumble coming up a surprise appearance could be cool. All speculation aside though, this commentary gig has freed Joe up for new opportunities.
He is now doing some voice acting in video games, specifically King Shark in a new DC video game. The time away from the ring leaves Joe available to take on more projects.
Not only does it open Joe up to more opportunities, but commentary allows Joe time to rest. It’s been well known that Joe has had some pretty serious injuries in his career, most recently a string of concussions. Becoming a commentator gives Joe plenty of time to heal, but still, stay relevant in the eyes of the WWE Universe.
To me Joe is unlike anyone else on commentary, there’s the wit and informative wrestling side, but at the end of the day, it’s still the Samoan Submission Machine at the table. Commentator Joe and wrestler Joe really are no different. He may not be beating up opponents in the ring, but if Joe has an opinion about someone he’s going to make it known. Do other commentators do this? Well sure, but it just sounds refreshing coming out of Joe’s mouth. There’s something about knowing how being behind the commentary table hasn’t changed him in the least.
He’s still the same dominating force we have known for so many years, just trying his hand at something new and of course, absolutely crushing it.