I shake my head when anyone with a microphone hosting a wrestling podcast must assume that any free agent (like a Samoa Joe) is somehow obligated to report to WWE.
A move designed only to satiate disgruntled WWE fans at the opportunity that maybe the next free agent that walks through the doors of the Performance Center will cause enough waves to make WWE evolve out of sports entertainment and back into a pro wrestling promotion again.
Well, wrestling fans can continue to have those pipe dreams and hope for change, but I’d rather stick to reality.
Now, onto Samoa Joe, a short stint in Ring of Honor to reminisce of some better days is a good start after leaving TNA. No doubt, his indy schedule has picked up some more. I would think the next move for Joe would be to start looking to go back to Japan and entertain offers from New Japan, Pro Wrestling Noah or others. AJ Styles, the Young Bucks and The Addiction have made a pretty good run outside of TNA.
Now we know WWE is in fact talking to Joe, but lets not be selfish here. Sure, NXT will be a great playground for Joe to work with other great free agents, but what becomes of Joe once he makes the main roster?
He might as well wear a tribal tattoo with the letters T-N-A on it. Much like Christian Cage, Ron The Truth Killings and Consequences, he will be given a plateau. Although Christian might have earned back the good graces of Vince McMahon to earn an albeit short run as the World Heavyweight Champion, no one can say the same about Xavier Woods or R-Truth.
All due respect to Woods (and much more to Truth for being a very a dedicated, reliable worker always doing whatever he’s asked.), but If Joe wants to collect a honest mid-card paycheck like he did in TNA that’s fine, but I think Joe could reclaim some of that respect for his talent and reinvigorate the Samoan Submission Machine character to a whole new level. I think my hope for the latter is abundantly clear.-KOP