Nuufolau Joel Seanoa (March 17, 1979) is a Samoan American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Samoa Joe, who is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) performing on the Raw brand. In NXT he is a former two-time NXT champion. He is also known for his time with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).
Before debuting in TNA in June 2005, Seanoa competed in ROH, where he held the ROH World Championship for a record 21 months. Upon joining TNA, Seanoa embarked upon an 18-month-long undefeated streak, in which he never lost a match by pinfall or submission. That streak came to an end at the Genesis event in 2006, when he tapped out to Kurt Angle's ankle lock submission hold.
Throughout his career, Seanoa has won numerous championships, including a dozen between ROH, TNA, and Japan. He has held the ROH World Championship and the ROH Pure Championship once each, the TNA World Heavyweight Championship once, five X Division Championships, two TNA World Tag Team Championships, one TNA Television Championship, and in the Japanese promotion Pro Wrestling Noah he's a former GHC Tag Team Champion with fellow TNA wrestler Magnus.
Seanoa's family founded a Polynesian dance troupe in the United States called Tiare Productions. Seanoa made his on stage debut at the 1984 Summer Olympics opening at the age of five. He became a California State Junior Judo Champion and was an all league football player while attending Ocean View High School. Before becoming a wrestler, Seanoa worked as a mortgage broker.
Samoa Joe was the first graduate of the UIWA West Coast Dojo, training under Cincinnati Red, along with Johnny Hemp and, occasionally, John Delayo. He debuted in December 1999 in a match against "Uncle" Jess Hansen just three months after beginning training.
Ultimate Pro Wrestling (2000-2001)
Samoa Joe quickly signed with former World Wrestling Federation developmental affiliate Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW), where he feuded with his friend John Cena and made an appearance on WWF Jakked against Essa Rios. He 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. He eventually captured the UPW Heavyweight Championship. He later became the longest reigning UPW Heavyweight Champion ever.
Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE (2001–2002)
In June 2001, Samoa Joe made his way to Japan, wrestling for Shinya Hashimoto's ZERO ONE promotion, fighting in its Shingeki series of pay-per-views, as well as the annual Burning Heart tournaments. During this time, Samoa Joe also began wrestling for southern California promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, where he had an on-screen rivalry with Super Dragon.
In his debut match at the Yokohoma Red Brickhouse, Samoa Joe 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, one of his finishing maneuvers. Two days later, on October 27, Samoa Joe again faced Misawa, this time for the GHC title in a one-on-one match at the Budokan Hall. Both competitors had exchanged and overcame their respective signature moves throughout the match but it was Misawa who won the pinfall after striking the back of Joe's head with his elbow thus marking his sixth successful title defense. Samoa Joe continued to work for the promotion throughout 2002, participating in a number of their biggest shows and tournaments. After forming a team with Keiji Sakoda, they became the first-ever holders of the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship, though their reign is no longer officially recognized by the promotion. He 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. While in Japan, Samoa Joe trained extensively in Japan at the Fujiwara Gumi, under the guidance of submission wrestling master Yoshiaki Fujiwara.
Ring of Honor (2002–2007)
Back in the United States, Samoa Joe joined the ranks of the East Coast-based Ring of Honor promotion in 2002. He made his debut at "Glory by Honor" as Christopher Daniels' "hired assassin", brought in to take out Daniels' chief enemy, Low Ki. Originally booked for just the one match against Low Ki (due to the cost of flying him from California to Pennsylvania, which ROH had to pay), Samoa Joe impressed fans with his extremely stiff and hard-hitting style that resembled an 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 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 22, 2003, which soon became the ROH World Championship on May 17, 2003 after defeating The Zebra Kid at "Frontiers of Honor" in London, England. He held that title for twenty one months before losing it to Austin Aries at "Final Battle 2004" on December 26, 2004. With his ROH title reign, Samoa Joe also established himself as the face of the company and a perennial main-eventer in North America. He elevated the title from a mid-card attraction, secondary to established independent stars like Low Ki, Daniels, and A.J. Styles, to the ultimate prize in Ring of Honor. During this time, he had a trilogy of title defenses against CM Punk (the second match earning a 5 star rating from Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the first American match in seven years to do so). Soon after losing the ROH World Championship to Austin Aries, Samoa Joe became the promotion's fifth Pure Champion, defeating his on-screen protégé Jay Lethal for the belt on May 7, 2005 at "Manhattan Mayhem" in New York City. He held the title for over three months before losing it to Nigel McGuiness on August 27 at "Dragon Gate Invasion".
In October 2005, when Japanese heavyweight superstar Kenta Kobashi made a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip to the United States, he was signed to two Ring of Honor shows. ROH officials selected Samoa Joe, ROH's top wrestler, to face him in a singles match on the first night and a tag match on the second.The first show was in New York City at the New Yorker Hotel. Joe proved to be a formidable opponent for Kobashi, and, after a back and forth match, which Dave Meltzer again gave "Five Stars" and the scripted match went on to win the Wrestling Observer Newsletter award for "Match of the Year". In 2006, Samoa Joe was one of the principal wrestlers representing Ring of Honor in their war against rival Philadelphia promotion Combat Zone Wrestling. The war culminated in a five-on-five Cage of Death match at "Death before Dishonor IV". 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. Danielson repeatedly hit his injured knee with a steel chair, forcing him to quit the match. 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, however, came up short against champion Bryan Danielson in several matches, including a match that went to a 60 Minute Draw and the final one being a cage match on December 8. At the December 9 show, Samoa Joe called out the Pro Wrestling NOAH promotion, claiming "Ring of Honor is right here!" This was not his first encounter with NOAH; at the September 16, 2006 ROH show, after a speech by wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino, Samoa Joe got into an argument and pull-apart brawl with NOAH star Takeshi Morishima. Subsequently, a match was signed for February pitting Samoa Joe against Morishima which Joe won.
On January 31, Samoa Joe announced that he would no longer be a full-time performer in ROH after March 4. All shows that led up to that date would be billed as the "Samoa Joe Farewell Tour". On March 4, he beat long time rival Homicide in his final ROH match with a Muscle Buster from the second rope.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2005-2015)
On June 14, 2005, Samoa Joe was announced as having signed a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. He 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 won the tournament by defeating A.J. Styles, but only with help from Daniels. As a result of Daniels' interference, however, TNA Director of Authority Larry Zbyszko made Daniels defend his X Division Championship in a three-way match against both Joe and Styles. This marked Joe's first title shot in the company, though Styles was booked to win the match. Joe's undefeated streak was still officially intact, as it was Daniels that had been pinned, not Joe. This match is to date the only match in TNA's history to receive a rating of five stars from Dave Meltzer.
At Genesis on November 13, he teamed with Daniels, Alex Shelley, and Roderick Strong (a team that Daniels called "The Ministry") against Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin, Matt Bentley, and Austin Aries in an eight-man elimination match. Following the victory by Daniels and Samoa Joe (Shelley and Strong were eliminated earlier in the match), Samoa Joe viciously attacked Daniels, beating Daniels around the ringside area until he had busted him open. He then threw Daniels into the ring, and delivered a Muscle Buster. 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. In response to these actions, Styles called Joe out on an episode of Impact!, saying his attack of Daniels violated an unwritten code of respect in the X Division. Prior to Turning Point, Samoa Joe attacked Styles, saying he did not respect the X Division code (a vast departure from his Ring of Honor persona, who is a stalwart defender of their written Code of Honor). Samoa Joe defeated Styles at Turning Point and won the X Division Championship. Joe could injure Styles, however, Daniels came out and stopped him. Daniels was later slated to face Samoa Joe at Final Resolution in 2006 for the X Division Championship. During the build-up to the match, Samoa Joe stated that he intended to end Daniels' career. During the match, Styles came down to the ring to cheer for Daniels. 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. Joe proceeded to win rematch of the three-way at Unbreakable, thus retaining his title. This three-way feud continued until Destination X, when he lost the title to Daniels in an Ultimate X match, a match in which there is no pinfall or submission, thus keeping his undefeated streak.
Samoa Joe was then taken out of the X Division and matched with an initially unannounced opponent. On the March 25 edition of Impact!, it was announced that he would take on Sabu at Lockdown. Despite that, he still had a scheduled X Division title match, and, on April 13's Impact! (TNA's Thursday debut), Samoa Joe regained the X Division title after delivering an Island Driver from the middle turnbuckle to Christopher Daniels. Samoa Joe then successfully defended his X Division title against 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" (implying that once the second bell rang, his duties were over), but still had issues with Steiner. Samoa Joe added Scott Steiner to his undefeated streak, at Slammiversary.
During the Impact! tapings on May 15, Samoa Joe was injured as he performed a kick, and it was reported that he tore every knee ligament except the anterior cruciate ligament. He suffered a first degree tear to the posterior cruciate ligament and a second degree tear to the medial collateral ligament. Samoa Joe would remain out of action for two weeks. After returning, Samoa Joe lost his X Division Championship in a triple threat match with Sonjay Dutt and Senshi. Senshi pinned Dutt to win the championship after Steiner laid out Samoa Joe with a steel chair. Samoa Joe would have his chance at revenge when he participated in a four-way number one contender match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship along with Sting, Christian Cage, and Scott Steiner at Victory Road on July 16. Samoa Joe lost this match when Sting pinned Steiner.
Samoa Joe beat Jeff Jarrett at No Surrender in a "Fan's Revenge Lumberjack match". After the match, he took Jarrett's NWA World Heavyweight Championship with him, telling Jim Cornette that if Jarrett or Sting (Jarrett's scheduled opponent at Bound For Glory) wanted the belt, they could take it from him. On the October 12 episode, Samoa Joe agreed to return the belt to the Jarrett-Sting winner under one condition—the winner had to agree to give him a title shot. This offer was turned down, and finally Samoa Joe was given the choice of giving back the title or be fired. Kurt Angle made his debut and got into a brawl with Samoa Joe after he again refused to give back the belt, and during the brawl, Jarrett took the belt back. At Bound for Glory on October 22, Samoa Joe defeated Raven, Brother Runt and Abyss in a Monster's Ball match. The match ended when special referee Jake Roberts performed a DDT 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, Joe lost to Angle after tapping out to Angle's ankle lock. This ended his eighteen-month undefeated streak. Throughout the rest of 2006 into 2007, Samoa Joe continued to feud with Angle picking up a victory by submission in their rematch at Turning Point, before suffering a legitimate knee injury in a tag team match that pitted Rhino and Kurt Angle against Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles.
On January 14, 2007 at Final Resolution, Samoa Joe faced Angle in a thirty-minute Iron Man match. With seconds remaining, Samoa Joe had Angle in the ankle lock. Although Angle tapped out, he did so just after time had expired. As a result, Angle won the match three falls to two.
On the February 14 edition of Impact!, Samoa Joe won a gauntlet match to become the number one contender to Christian Cage's NWA World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X. Samoa Joe lost to Cage after Cage reversed the Coquina Clutch into a pinning combination and used the ropes for leverage. On the May 24 edition of Impact!, Samoa Joe qualified for the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary by defeating Sting with a Samoan drop after Christopher Daniels hit Sting with a baseball bat; Samoa Joe lost the King of the Mountain match when Kurt Angle hung the belt. He then qualified to compete in the Match of Champions at Victory Road by defeating Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin for the X Division title on the July 12 episode of Impact!. At the Match of Champions, Samoa Joe scored the winning pinfall on Brother Ray after Kurt Angle hit the Angle Slam and won the TNA World Tag Team Championships from Team 3D, making him the first wrestler in TNA to hold multiple TNA championships. He later opted to hold both the titles by himself. 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 IWGP World Championship (Third Belt). Samoa Joe, however, lost all his titles thanks to interference by Karen Angle, enabling Kurt to become the second TNA Triple Crown Champion. Samoa Joe became the first man to defeat Christian Cage by pinfall or submission in TNA, forcing him tap out to the Coquina Clutch at Bound for Glory, thus ending Cage's twenty-three month undefeated streak by pinfall or submission in TNA.
Samoa Joe was then announced as the teammate of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in their match against The Angle Alliance at Turning Point. Hall, however, no-showed the event. Before the match, Samoa Joe was asked to cut a promo alleviating heat from the company and introducing Eric Young as Hall's replacement. 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. Before calling Young to come to the ring he told the TNA ringside staff, "Are you mad? Go ahead, fire me, I don't care". Samoa Joe, Nash and Young defeated the Angle Alliance when Samoa Joe pinned Tomko after a Muscle Buster. After the match, Samoa Joe and Nash briefly argued and shoved one another backstage, with Samoa Joe apologizing at a talent meeting the following day. 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.
2008-2009: Nation of Violence
In storyline, after complaining to Jim Cornette that he did not have a match at Final Resolution, Cornette decided to team Samoa Joe with Kevin Nash, who was to receive a title shot with Scott Hall when he returned. At Final Resolution, Samoa Joe, along with his tag team partner Kevin Nash lost to the team of A.J. Styles and Tomko. This occurred after Nash refused to tag himself into the match leaving Samoa Joe to fend for himself. In addition, Nash "flipped off" Samoa Joe whilst leaving the ringside area. After Nash had screwed Joe at Final Resolution, Nash told Joe he was teaching him a lesson about the wrestling business and told Samoa Joe he could help him to the top if he followed his direction. On the January 24 edition of Impact!, Samoa Joe went on a rampage, attacking several TNA employees, culminating in his attacking of J.B. after being announced as the MVP of 2007.
For months, Samoa Joe was said to be unhappy with his spot in TNA and that he was considering not renewing his contract. TNA used that Internet rumor into a storyline, where Cornette tried to sign him into a new contract, but every week the signature was interrupted. 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. During the contest, A.J. Styles interfered and Samoa Joe fought Styles to the back, but Tomko came out and attacked Cage giving Angle the win. On the February 14 edition of Impact!, Samoa Joe formed an alliance with Cage and Kevin Nash, to compete with Kurt Angle's Angle Alliance. It was also announced that Samoa Joe would be given the next TNA World Heavyweight Championship opportunity against Angle. Over the next few weeks, Samoa Joe and his new found alliance would attack the Angle Alliance leading up to their match at Destination X. Samoa Joe vowed that he would eliminate the Angle Alliance so he would receive a fair title match with Kurt Angle at Lockdown. On the March 6 edition of Impact!, Samoa Joe, Christian, and Nash faced a member of the Angle Alliance to determine who would get a five-minute advantage during their match at Destination X. Joe lost his First Blood match to Tomko, but Nash defeated Styles in a Street Fight while Cage defeated Angle in a Six Sides of Steel match. Samoa Joe's team won the match when he made Tomko tap out to the Coquina Clutch. Achieving his goal to eliminate the Angle Alliance, nothing now stood in the way of Samoa Joe getting a fair title shot at Lockdown.
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. He successfully defeated Angle in a rematch on Impact! and then retained against Scott Steiner and Kaz at Sacrifice. At Slammiversary, Samoa Joe became the first champion to ever retain his title in a King of the Mountain match. Samoa Joe was then challenged to a match by Booker T at Victory Road, which he accepted. At Victory Road the match went to a No Contest when Sting hit Samoa Joe with a baseball bat and Booker pinned him while Sharmell made the three count. 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. On October 11, 2008, Samoa Joe surpassed Kurt Angle for the longest reign of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. At Bound for Glory IV, he fought Sting in a losing effort to defend the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, ending his reign at 182 days.
On the October 30 edition of Impact!, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles formed a faction of younger wrestlers also featuring Jay Lethal, Consequences Creed, Petey Williams, Eric Young, ODB and The Motor City Machineguns, calling themselves "Frontline", to oppose the Main Event Mafia of Kurt Angle, Sting, Kevin Nash, Booker T and Scott Steiner. At Turning Point Kevin Nash defeated Joe by pinning him with his feet on the ropes following a steel chair shot, a low blow and after ramming Joe's head to an exposed turnbuckle. At Final Resolution The Frontline lost to The Main Event Mafia in a 4-on-4 tag match and failed to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for AJ Styles. On the December 18 edition of iMPACT! Joe and Styles defeated Sting and Kevin Nash in a Six Sides of Steel match. Following the match Joe was attacked by the members of the Main Event Mafia and suffered injuries which would sideline him for the rest of the year.
On the January 29 episode of Impact!, a short video was shown in which Joe, sporting a new buzzcut hairstyle, tribal facepaint, and much heavier frame stated he would like to introduce the Main Event Mafia to both the "real" Samoa Joe and his "nation of violence". At Destination X, Joe got himself disqualified in his return match against his old rival and Main Event Mafia member Scott Steiner. That same week on Impact!, Joe once again got disqualified this time in a match with Sheik Abdul Bashir. He took him backstage, hung him upside down, and tortured him.
The following week, he competed in a 20-man Six Sides Of Steel match where the last two men standing would be determined the captains of the Lethal Lockdown Match at Lockdown. He entered last and won the match by pinning rival Kurt Angle via the Muscle Buster. He then later stated backstage that he didn't wish to be captain, but would still be part of the team. His teammates were Jeff Jarrett, A.J. Styles and the returning Daniels. They faced off against The Main Event Mafia at Lockdown, and won the match. At this time he also revealed that he was taking orders from a "secret advisor" who he was seen talking to many times backstage although the person's identity was not revealed. He then feuded with Kevin Nash as his next victim of the Mafia and finally beat his old mentor at Sacrifice
2009: Heel Turn and Main Event Mafia
At Slammiversary, Joe betrayed A.J. Styles and turned on all the fans by helping Kurt Angle win the World Heavyweight Championship in the King of the Mountain match, and thus turned heel. On the June 25 episode of Impact!, Joe officially joined The Main Event Mafia after having spent the last five months taking them out. This was revealed by Angle, to be a master plan to fool the TNA Frontline and the attacks were all planned by Joe and the Mafia in advance. Joe then went on to explain that he joined the Mafia for the money that was invested by Jenna Morasca and for the power and also debuted a new rap themed, entrance music. Throughout the night, he carried out attacks with the Mafia on Styles and Daniels and the leader of the Mafia, Sting, who was kicked out of the Mafia as leader and once again replaced with Kurt Angle. On a Later episode Joe was defeated by Hernandez. At Victory Road, Joe faced Sting in a grudge match. Later in the match, Taz made his TNA debut and helped Joe beat Sting, thus revealing himself as a heel, and as Joe's new adviser. At Hard Justice Joe defeated Homicide to win the X Division title for the fourth time. After winning this title, Joe feuded with his long time rival Daniels and defeated him at No Surrender. On the October 8 edition of Impact! Joe lost the X Division title to Amazing Red after Bobby Lashley interfered in the match. At Bound for Glory Lashley defeated Joe in a submission match with a referee stoppage. On the following edition of Impact! Kurt Angle turned into a fan favorite, thus signaling the end of the Main Event Mafia.
On the same show it was announced that Joe and Daniels will challenge AJ Styles at Turning Point for the TNA Heavyweight Championship, an Unbreakable 2005 rematch.
Various feuds (2009–2011)
At Final Resolution Joe took part in the "Feast or Fired" match and won the briefcase containing a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. After being off TV for several weeks, Joe returned on the February 4 edition of Impact!, by attacking A.J. Styles, who had recently turned heel with Ric Flair, and announcing that he would be using his "Feast or Fired" briefcase to get a shot at Styles' World Heavyweight Championship at Against All Odds, turning face in the process. At the pay-per-view Styles retained his title against Joe in a No Disqualification match refereed by Eric Bischoff. After losing a match against new TNA acquisition Orlando Jordan on the following Impact!, Joe was abducted by masked men. On March 29 he resurfaced in a video package on an episode of Impact!. Joe made his return on the April 19 edition of Impact! appearing as a surprise member of Team Hogan (Abyss, Jeff Jarrett and Rob Terry) in an eight-man tag team match against Team Flair (Sting, Desmond Wolfe, Robert Roode and James Storm), in which he scored the deciding pinfall by pinning Roode after a Muscle Buster. Joe then left the Impact Zone and did not celebrate with his fellow team members. His abduction never was explained. According to Joe, Vince Russo planned a big storyline with a psycho gimmick. However, Russo called him to return because he need more babyfaces and Russo never find the way to explain the abduction. The following week Joe inexplicably assaulted the X Division Champion Kazarian, after his title match with Shannon Moore. In the following weeks Joe went on to randomly attack wrestlers like Douglas Williams, Brian Kendrick and Matt Morgan, the last of whom lost the TNA World Tag Team Championship thanks to the attack.
On the May 20 edition of Impact! Joe was ranked number ten in the first ever TNA Championship Committee rankings for a World Heavyweight Championship title shot. He began his climb up the rankings by defeating Hernandez on June 17, number four ranked A.J. Styles on July 1 and by wrestling number two ranked Jeff Hardy to a ten-minute time limit draw on the July 22 edition of Impact!. After the match with Hardy, Joe was upset with the production crew for starting a countdown to the time limit draw, when Joe specifically requested not to start one because he thought it would reveal the ending of the match early. Because of his outburst, Joe was suspended from TNA indefinitely. Joe returned from his suspension on August 23 at the tapings of the August 26 edition of Impact! to defeat Orlando Jordan. The following week on Impact!, Joe aligned himself with Jeff Jarrett and Hulk Hogan in their war with Sting and Kevin Nash. At No Surrender Joe and Jarrett defeated Sting and Nash in a tag team match, when Joe choked out Sting, after Jarrett had hit him with his baseball bat behind Joe's back. At Bound for Glory Joe and Jarrett faced Sting, Nash and their newest ally D'Angelo Dinero in a handicap match, after Hulk Hogan, who was scheduled to team with Joe and Jarrett, was forced to pull out due to a back surgery. At the end of the match Jarrett abandoned Joe and left him to be pinned by Nash. Later in the night it was revealed that Hogan was in fact in the building as he helped Jeff Hardy win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and formed a new heel alliance with Hardy, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett and Abyss.
Joe tried to attack Jarrett on the October 21 edition of Impact!, but was stopped by TNA's security officers Gunner and Murphy, before being beat down by Jarrett. Joe returned two weeks later, attacking Jarrett, Gunner and Murphy. At Turning Point Jarrett defeated Joe, after choking him out with a baton, following interference from Gunner and Murphy. The following month at Final Resolution Joe faced Jarrett in a submission match. After a pre–match assault and later an interference by Gunner and Murphy, Jarrett managed to force Joe to submit with an ankle lock. Earlier that same day it was reported that Joe's contract with TNA had expired. On December 17, 2010, TNA president Dixie Carter announced on her Twitter page that Joe had re–signed with the promotion. Joe returned on the January 6, 2011, edition of Impact!, confronting D'Angelo Dinero and claiming that he had not been using his donations to help the needy, like he was supposed to. Two weeks later Okato was revealed as the camera man, whom Joe had hired to follow Dinero and from whom he had gotten the video footage to support his claim. On February 13 at Against All Odds Joe defeated Dinero in a singles match, but was afterwards attacked and bloodied by him. On the March 10 edition of Impact!, Dinero defeated Joe in a rematch between the two, after hitting him with a chain. On April 17 at Lockdown, Joe defeated Dinero in a steel cage match to end the feud.
Joe's next feud would be with the undefeated Crimson, whom he would abandon in the ring and the hands of Abyss on two occasions, claiming that he himself had not needed anyone's help during his own undefeated streak, becoming a tweener in the process. On June 12 at Slammiversary IX, Joe was defeated by Crimson in a singles match, and afterwards shook Crimson's hand. Afterwards, Joe began showing frustration as his losing streak continued with losses against Rob Van Dam, Devon, Kazarian and Bobby Roode. After losing all nine of his matches in the Bound for Glory Series to determine the number one contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, Joe finally ended his long losing streak on the August 4 edition of Impact Wrestling by defeating D'Angelo Dinero via submission, but the decision was reversed after he refused to release his hold following the match. Joe then accused TNA management of being against him and proclaimed that from now on the blood would be on their hands. After voicing his intention of ruining the Bound for Glory Series, Joe attacked its participants Devon, D'Angelo Dinero and rankings leader Crimson, who was forced to pull out of the tournament following the attack, after suffering a storyline ankle injury. On the final week of the Bound for Glory Series, Joe went to interfere in a match between Gunner and Rob Van Dam, but was stopped by guest color commentator Matt Morgan, who was sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle. This led to a brawl later in the evening, which ended with Joe hitting Morgan in the arm with a steel chair. On September 11 at No Surrender, Joe continued his losing streak as he was defeated by Morgan in a grudge match. On the following edition of Impact Wrestling, Joe ended his losing streak by defeating Morgan in a submission match. After returning from his injury, Crimson scored two more victories over Joe, first defeating him in a singles match on the October 6 edition of Impact Wrestling, and then in a three-way match, also involving Matt Morgan, at Bound for Glory on October 16.
Teaming and feuding with Magnus (2011–2012)
On the January 5, 2012, edition of Impact Wrestling, Joe and Magnus defeated A.J. Styles and Kazarian to win the four week long Wild Card Tournament and become the number one contenders to the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Magnus said that Vince Russo put them as a tag team because "we were both always pissed off, so we could be pissed off together". Three days later at Genesis, Joe and Magnus failed to capture the TNA World Tag Team Championship from Crimson and Matt Morgan. Despite the loss, Joe and Magnus remained together as a tag team, attacking Crimson and Morgan on the next two editions of Impact Wrestling. On the February 2 episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe and Magnus defeated Crimson and Morgan in a non-title match to earn another shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship. On February 12 at Against All Odds, Joe and Magnus defeated Crimson and Morgan to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Joe and Magnus then defeated Crimson and Morgan in two rematches, the first on the February 23 episode of Impact Wrestling and the second on March 18 at Victory Road, to retain the championship. On the March 22 episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe and Magnus successfully defended their title against Mexican America (Anarquia and Hernandez). On April 15 at Lockdown, Joe and Magnus defeated The Motor City Machine Guns in a steel cage match to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship. During the first "Open Fight Night" on April 26, Joe and Magnus successfully defended the TNA World Tag Team Championship against the team of Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson, after which they were attacked by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, who had asked for a title shot earlier in the event. On May 13 at Sacrifice, Joe and Magnus lost the TNA World Tag Team Championship to Daniels and Kazarian.
On the May 31 episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe had a run-in with X Division Champion Austin Aries, which led to Joe costing Aries his match with Crimson the following week. On June 10 at Slammiversary, Joe unsuccessfully challenged Aries for the X Division Championship. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe entered the 2012 Bound for Glory Series, taking part in the opening gauntlet match, from which he was the last man eliminated by James Storm. On July 8 at Destination X, Joe defeated old rival Kurt Angle via submission to become the new points leader in the Bound for Glory Series. When the group stage of the tournament concluded on September 6, Joe finished second behind James Storm, thus advancing to the semifinals. Three days later at No Surrender, Joe was eliminated from the tournament, after losing to Jeff Hardy in his semifinal match. On the September 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe defeated Mr. Anderson to win the vacant TNA Television Championship, making him TNA's third Grand Slam Champion. Joe made his first successful title defense the following week, defeating Rob Van Dam. On October 14 at Bound for Glory, Joe successfully defended his title against former tag team partner Magnus. Joe continued making successful defenses the following weeks, defeating Robbie E on the October 18 episode of Impact Wrestling, and Robbie T the following week. Joe then resumed his rivalry with former partner Magnus, defeating him via disqualification on the November 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, after being hit with a wrench. The rivalry culminated in a No Disqualification match on November 11 at Turning Point, where Joe was again successful in retaining the title. On the December 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe lost the Television Championship to Devon after DOC of Aces & Eights hit him with a ball-peen hammer. Three days later at Final Resolution, Joe teamed with Garett Bischoff, Kurt Angle, and Wes Brisco to defeat Devon, DOC, and two masked members of Aces & Eights in an eight-man tag team match. On the January 3, 2013, episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe and Kurt Angle defeated Devon and a masked member of Aces & Eights in a steel cage tag team match. Afterwards, the returning Sting saved Joe and Angle from a beatdown from Aces & Eights before revealing the mystery member as the debuting Mike Knox. On January 13 at Genesis, Joe was defeated by Mr. Anderson in a singles match, following interference from Mike Knox. On March 10 at Lockdown, Team TNA, consisting of Joe, Eric Young, James Storm, Magnus, and Sting defeated Aces & Eights, consisting of Devon, DOC, Garett Bischoff, Mike Knox, and Mr. Anderson in a Lethal Lockdown match. On the March 21 episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe was defeated by Jeff Hardy in a four-way number one contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship, which also included Kurt Angle and Magnus. On the April 18 episode of Impact Wrestling, Devon was scheduled to defend his Television Championship against Magnus, however, he was attacked by DOC and Knux before the match could start. Joe was then awarded the title match in his place, but Devon retained the title after interference from Aces & Eights.
Main Event Mafia; feud with Dixie Carter (2013–2014)
Joe returned on the May 23 episode of Impact Wrestling, saving former tag team partner Magnus from an attack by Aces & Eights. On June 2 at Slammiversary XI, Joe teamed with Jeff Hardy and Magnus in a winning effort against Aces & Eights (Garett Bischoff, Mr. Anderson, and Wes Brisco). On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe defeated Robbie E to qualify for the 2013 Bound for Glory Series. During the June 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Joe was helped to a submission victory over Mr. Anderson in his Bound For Glory Series match after Kurt Angle and Sting took out Anderson's fellow Aces and Eights members, and was then named as the third member of their New Main Event Mafia. On October 10, 2013, he added himself to the Ultimate X match in Bound For Glory against Manik, Austin Aries, Chris Sabin and Jeff Hardy. At Bound for Glory, Sabin won the match. In November 7, The Main Event Mafia was "temporarily disbanded" by Sting, and Samoa Joe was put in the World Title Tournament. His first round matchup on against former Main Event Mafia stable-partner Magnus will be a Fall Count Anywhere match on Turning Point PPV (which became a free-Spike TV event) on November 21. On November 14 episode of Impact, Samoa Joe aired his grievances over the botched contract negotiations between Dixie Carter and AJ Styles, and will defend his title with Styles if he wins the title. At Turning Point, Joe was defeated by Magnus in the first round of the tournament for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship. On the December 12 edition of Impact!, Joe was unsuccessful in grabbing any of the four cases in a Feast or Fired match against Austin Aries, Chris Sabin, Curry Man, Dewey Barnes, James Storm, Norv Fernum, Gunner, Chavo Guerrero, Zema Ion and Hernandez. On the January 1, 2014 edition of Impact!, Joe talked to Dixie, telling her about what AJ said in regards to having a locker room full of friends. Dixie ignoring what Joe previously said, told him to only focus on his match against her nephew, Ethan Carter III. Later on the show, Joe is jumped backstage by EC3, only to fight back on their way to the ring to start the match. 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 1 of Genesis, Joe, along with James Storm, Gunner, Eric Young, Joseph Park, and ODB, won a 12-man tag team match against The BroMans (Jessie Godderz, Robbie E, and Zema Ion), Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) and Lei'D Tapa after Daniels submitted to his Coquina Clutch. On Day 2 of Genesis, Joe defeated Rockstar Spud by submission after a Muscle Buster, followed by the Coquina Clutch, holding it until Spud passed out. 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.
Championship pursuits (2014)
On the January 30 edition of Impact!, Joe teamed up with Kurt Angle to win a tag team match by submission against Magnus and Ethan Carter III. On the February 6 edition of Impact!, Joe faced off with Bobby Roode to decide the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, in which Joe won after applying the Coquina Clutch and making Roode tap. On the February 13 edition of Impact!, Joe, along with The Wolves, defeated The BroMans and Zema Ion. On the February 20 edition of Impact!, Joe cut a promo saying he gets to face the winner of Magnus-Gunner at Lockdown and issued an open challenge to any resident of Dixieland, in which The BroMans and Zema Ion responded back. Eventually, Joe would win the 3-on-1 handicap match against the trio. On the February 27 edition of Impact!, Joe defeated Bad Bones in a singles match, after being asked to prove himself by Magnus if he wanted to cheap shot him as he did earlier in the night. On March 9, 2014 at Lockdown, Joe lost to Magnus in a Steel Cage match for the TNA World Championship after an attack from Abyss, in which could've only ended via knockout, tap-out or submission under "Joe's Rules". On the March 13 edition of Impact!, MVP booked Joe to face Abyss later in the night, in which Joe won by disqualification after Eric Young ran out to hit a missile dropkick on Abyss after going for Janice. Joe competed in a fatal four-way match for the TNA World Championship with Eric Young, Abyss, and then-champion Magnus on April 3 which he lost. Joe has taken time off from TNA. Samoa Joe made his return on May 29, and helped Eric Young and Bully Ray fend off MVP, Bobby Lashley and Kenny King all by himself. On June 27 (Aired August 2, 2014) Joe defeated Low Ki and Sanada to win the TNA X Division title for the first time in nearly 4 years. At Hardcore Justice, Joe successfully defended the X Division Championship against Low Ki after pinning him with a muscle buster. However, he was stripped from the title due an injury. At Bound for Glory, TNA gave him the title back for one night to defend it against Low Ki and Kaz Hayashi.
Beat Down Clan (2015)
On the January 7, 2015 edition of Impact Wrestling, Joe helped Lashley regain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship with the help of MVP, Kenny King, Low Ki and Roode's friend Eric Young, turning Joe and the last two into heels in the process. On the following night's tapings of the January 16, 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, MVP presented the group as his "family" and officially christened them the Beat Down Clan, following which MVP attempted to present Lashley as the centerpiece of the Clan as well as a "founding member" (officially establishing the MVP-Lashley-King trio as the foundation of the BDC as a faction). However, Lashley refused to become a part of this new group and decided to leave, but was attacked by the other members with MVP saying that the title belongs to the BDC. On February 6, 2015 at Lockdown, Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Austin Aries, Gunner and Lashley) defeated The BDC (MVP, Samoa Joe, Low Ki and Kenny King) in a Lethal Lockdown match.
On February 17, 2015, Joe announced on Twitter that he "decided to part ways with @IMPACTWRESTLING" ending his ten-year run with TNA.
Return to ROH (2015)
It was announced on February 24, 2015 that Samoa Joe would return to ROH for a number of appearances through March 2015. On March 1, Samoa Joe made his ROH return confronting ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe and challenging him to a title match. On March 27 at Supercard of Honor IX, Jay Briscoe defeated Samoa Joe to retain the ROH World title. On March 29, Samoa Joe returned to ROH in-ring action for the first time since 2008 to face Kyle O'Reilly, whom he defeated.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2015–present)
On May 20, 2015, at Unstoppable, Joe would make his unannounced debut during the main event after stopping Kevin Owens from attacking an injured Sami Zayn with a steel chair, before sharing a stare-down with Owens. While initially Joe was allowed to also continue working outside WWE, On June 1, it was reported that WWE had decided to sign him to a full-time deal due to his impressive merchandise sales. Joe mad his in-ring debut on the June 10 episode of NXT, defeating Scott Dawson. After weeks of tension between Joe and Kevin Owens, the two fought on the June 17 episode of NXT. After the match went to a no-contest, the two would continue to brawl until they had to be separated.
On January 30, 2017, Joe returns on Raw after Triple H explaining his reasons of interfering on last year's main event on Raw by ambushing Seth Rollins. Triple H allows Joe to beat down Rollins while walking away from the ring but also reinjures Rollin's knee after he brutally beats him down and knocking him out when he locks him with the Coquina Clutch.
In the next night, he finally signs a contract for Raw and he was nicknamed by Stephanie McMahon as The Samoan Submission Machine and as Triple H's Destroyer. Throughout the episodes on Raw, he has some feud with Seth Rollins which is soon followed by Roman Reigns and later Brock Lesnar whom he had an intense brawl with him on June 12, 2017 and ambushes Lesnar from behind and knocking him down by demonstrating his Coquina Clutch on June 26, 2017.
In July 3, 2017 on Raw, he had an intense conversation with Lesnar during the interview with Michael Cole which he becomes infuriated when Lesnar happily mocks him as he attempted to make a brawl out of him only to be halted by Raw's General Manager Kurt Angle and the security to avoid contact with Lesnar. In the next Raw episode on July 24, 2017, Angle announces a Fatal 4 Way Match at SummerSlam between Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar. When Reigns ignited a brawl with Strowman, Joe joins the brawl and it becomes intense when fellow WWE superstars are trying to settle them down.
At Summerslam, Joe would lose to Brock Lesnar in the Fatal 4 Way match. He would then sustain a knee injury at a house show a month after, sidelining him for 2 months. He would return in October and defeated Apollo Crews. Joe would then be part of the 5-Man Team to represent Raw at Survivor Series against Smackdown Live which Team Raw won. He would later on challenge for the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Roman Reigns and, on December 25, he would win but by disqualification, Roman retaining his championship. He'd get a rematch on January 1 in a losing effort. He'd then suffer a foot injury a week after during a match against Titus O'Neil.
He was brought to Smackdown Live in April 2018 during the 2018 WWE Superstar Shake-up, defeating Sin Cara in his debut. At the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble, he would participate in a Fatal 4 Way against Finn Bálor, The Miz, & Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship, which he lost. He later began to win matches against both Tye Dillinger & R-Truth on Smackdown Live.
Joe would attack WWE Champion AJ Styles during a contract-signing, signing the contract himself to become his opponent at SummerSlam for the WWE Championship. Joe then began to insult Styles by saying how he has no time for his family and that he'd rather keep his championship and prolong his title reign to the point where he even sacrifices family for it.
Seanoa got married on July 27, 2007.
Seanoa is close friends with fellow wrestlers CM Punk (Phil Brooks), Homicide (Nelson Erazo), Christopher Daniels (Daniel Covell), A.J. Styles (Allen Jones), Rob Van Dam (Robert Szatkowski) and John Cena (John Felix Anthony Cena). Seanoa has also appeared on Szatkowski's internet based reality show "RVD TV" numerous times.
Seanoa avidly trains in both Judo and Jiu Jitsu at LA Boxing in Costa Mesa, California. He is often noted as a sparring partner for Team Punishment member Justin McCully and is often in attendance in the locker room for Team Punishment fighters such as Tito Ortiz and Kendall Grove, with whom he maintains friendships.
Seanoa was born and raised in Southern California. He resided mainly in Huntington Beach, and split time during his childhood in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. He also has a newborn child.
- Finishing Moves
- Coquina Clutch (WWE & TNA) / The Choke (Independent circuit) (Rear naked choke)
- Muscle Buster, sometimes from the second rope, used rarely
- Ura-nage – WWE
- C.C.S. Enzuigiri (Jumping twisting enzuigiri while facing away from the opponent) – Independent circuit; Used as a regular move in TNA and in WWE
- Chimera–Plex (German suplex followed into a dragon suplex and finished with an X–Plex) – Independent circuit; Used as a regular move in WWE
- Island Driver (Sitout side powerslam, sometimes from the middle rope, or a side reverse piledriver)
- Signature Moves
- Chop to the back followed by a football kick to the chest and finished with a jumping knee drop
- Inverted atomic drop followed by a running single leg dropkick and finished with a running senton
- Multiple backhand chops
- Multiple stiff kicks
- Multiple suplex variations
- Belly to belly
- Olé Kick (Running arched big boot to the face of an opponent seated on a chair next to a guardrail)
- Powerbomb followed either into a prawn hold, a thigh–held single leg Boston crab, Cossface hold, or an'STF
- Samoan Drop
- Snap scoop Powerslam followed into a cover attempt or sometimes into a Crucifix armbar
- Sidewalk slam
- Sit Down! (Uranage)
- STJoe (Standing one–armed side slam, as a counter to a running attack most often in the corner)
- Snap Suplex
- "The Champ" (ROH)
- "The Samoan Submission Machine/Specialist" (TNA/ROH/WWE)
- "The Right Hand of Destruction" (WWE)
- "The Destroyer" (WWE)
- Tag teams and stables
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Natural Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- PWI ranked him # 4 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2006
- PWI Feud of the Year (2007) vs. Kurt Angle
- PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (2006)
- PWA Pure Wrestling Championship (1 time)
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- TNA World Tag Team Championship (2 times) 1 solo and 1 with Magnus
- TNA X Division Championship (5 times)
- TNA Television Championship (1 time)
- King of the Mountain 2008
- Super X Cup winner 2005
- TNA Turkey Bowl 2007
- TNA X Division Championship Tournament (2014)
- TNA Triple Crown Champion (1 time)
- TWE Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- UIWA Tag Team Champion - (2 times)
- 5 Star Match 2004 vs. CM Punk on October 16
- 5 Star Match 2005 vs. A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels at Unbreakable 2005 on September 11
- 5 Star Match 2005 vs. Kenta Kobashi at Joe vs. Kobashi on October 1
- WON Best Brawler (2005, 2006)
- WON Match of the Year 2005 vs. Kenta Kobashi at Joe vs. Kobashi on October 1
- WON Most Outstanding Wrestler 2005