Samoa Joe article plug

> Striking while the iron's hot, pointing out some of the absurdities of Vince Russo's recent statements about star-making (shocking, I know), juxtaposing that with the debut of an ex-TNA guy who Russo let rot.
> Addendum question: Meltzer says Joe's maintaining his free agent status to work other indies (a la Rhyno and Kendrick), but WWE of course can take priority. Do you see an endgame where Joe is given a main roster deal sooner or later? Pretty sure that's where its headed, yup. 

October Classics – Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe – ROH 10/5/02

Here’s something different for a change. This is from ROH’s Glory by Honor 2002. The venue for this was kind of jarring for me, as I usually don’t stray from big time WWE arenas. However, it’s an awesome match, and if you don’t check out indy feds too often, watch this and you’ll soon forget about the production values and small crowd.

September Classics: Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles – TNA Unbreakable ’05

Now, I’m not much of a TNA historian. I can probably count on one hand the number of memorable matches I have seen. Until recently, I had never seen this match prior. This is as close to a ***** match that I have seen from TNA. I’m sure most of us have seen it, but if you haven’t, here you go.

August Classics: Rhino vs. Samoa Joe vs. Monty Brown – Hard Justice 2006

Sure, a lot of us joke about TNA on here all the time. I’m guilty of it myself. The fact is, TNA has given wrestling fans many great mathces. I know that searching through some of these, I have found many matches to follow up on for future use. Like this one, from the Hard Justice 2006 show. It’s a Falls Count Anywhere Match. The pre-match promo from Rhino is a bonus.

RoH Straight Shootin’ Series with CM Punk & Samoa Joe

This was filmed on 3/10/05 in Bristol, PA.

The shoot runs for two hours and forty-seven minutes

They are first asked about their one hour match in Dayton, OH from June 2004 and where the idea came from. They both laugh for a bit then tell their stories. Joe said that they were at one of his favorite bars in California and were thinking about something special they should do for the match when he joked that they should do one of those stupid hour-long matches that Punk was doing with Chris Hero. Then, he claimed that Punk immediately called Gabe Sapolsky and told him they should to that. Punk then tells his side of the story, which was that he felt the match was just thrown together. He then said that Joe was drunk and said they should do a draw, as he didnt want to kill off everyone. Punk then said he was driving when Joe said that and then told Gabe the draw was a good idea, which Punk liked because he wanted to keep the belt strong.

They were both surprised by the great crowd reactions to the match, as Dayton was a new market for the company. Punk talks about how he works better hurt because it makes you go harder in the ring. He also said that they did not blow any moves or burn through their whole moveset. Joe said that he does not care for matches in which everyone kicks out of a finisher. Punk also adds that you always save stuff for the next match, especially when you work someone for the first time.

Punk’s phone goes off as Joe talks about Homicide leading into his heel persona and he jokes about Joe needing a food allowance when the caller tells Punk that someone wants to book him. They both put over the crowd at the Dayton show for coming out and wanting to have a good time.

Now, Punk is asked about whether or not is post-match promo was scripted and he said no. Punk says that he will occasionally jot down something that is said by a fan, in a song, or from someone on the street and use that in his promo but everything he says is from his heart and adds that he has no filter from his brain to his mouth. Punk also says that his memory is shot too.

They both had their reservations about doing another one-hour draw but did it anyway. Punk said he was angry about that and he and Joe sent Steve Corino a nasty email about having to do another hour-long draw. They both said they were hurt as Punk really hurt his back and Joe’s leg was a mess, with Punk saying all of this fluid would end up in his shin and it looked like a pumpkin. Joe then talks about how his leg was a mess the day of the match and Punk wrestled twice the night before and with both guys rushed into this re-match with Gabe coming up to them in the locker room asking them if they had put the match together. They said that Mick Foley came in and asked basically told Joe he should not wrestle.

Punk said that again, the best stuff in the match was done on the fly. Joe says that he put on an STF that really stretched him out while Punk’s back was killing him as Punk was cussing him out. Joe then talks about Punk calling for a spear and he had never done one before. Punk adds that Gabe was super nervous about the match as they were really hurt and hadn’t worked out a lot of the match but they are professionals and they have to go out and perform anyway. Punk then says that working on the fly also benefits the crowd, as you can feed off of them. Punk says he is surprised whenever he wrestles in Chicago because he always gets cheered. Joe jokes that he cannot understand that because he has been an asshole to so many people.

In regards to this match, both guys felt it was good and they are their own worst critics. Punk said he loves to watch his matches on tape but only focuses on the crowd and this leads to he and Joe talking about different types of fans.

They are asked about their match receiving a ***** rating from Dave Meltzer in the “Wrestling Observer Newsletter.” Joe said it was cool but he never subscribed to the newsletter and only heard about it from other promoters, adding that Gabe was more excited than he was. Punk said that it was the first ***** match in North America in several years and thought that was cool.

They talk about their third match, which had a no time-limit stipulation, which Punk said was his idea with the belief that they wanted to let the crowd believe that the match would go longer but instead they would go nuts for twenty minutes. Punk puts over Ricky Steamboat for coming up with the spot that had Joe’s feet on the ropes as he tried to pin Punk, even though they thought it was lame at first but thought about it and realized it was genius. Punk then adds that he never thought they could never top their ***** match so he wanted to go back to the story of their first match. Punk says that he wanted to make the crowd believe that he was winning the belt but he wanted to fuck over the crowd, just like HHH. He then says when he makes his comeback from the sleeper, all of the people booing him (the match was in New Jersey and they always gave Punk shit) stopped and started to cheer for him to break free. Joe then talks about a guy in the front row who was very supportive of him before the match then afterwards, Joe said that he looked at him like he killed his dog. Punk throws in how it gets him off when he can get a reaction like that from the crowd. Joe also says how he loved that they could ellicit those repsonses from an indy crowd, which are usually “smark types.” Joe says that no matter how many newsletters you read or other things you read on the net, he wants you to lose yourself into the match and become a fan.

In regards to their “Trilogy,” Punk talks about how the second one might have been the better actual match, the third one had a lot more emotion. He says that it varies day-to-day whether the second or third match is his favorite. Punk then says that you can have the shittiest match in the world with tons of blown spots but if you have a great finish, that is all they remember.

Punk is asked if he had a finish he came up with that led to an argument with Gabe. Punk said he doesn’t remember then jokes that he wanted to win the belt, because he HHH, then goes on to say how he sucks as a trainer because he is “sloppy” (he even used the air quotes for that one). He finishes that he is a belt mark and that he passed over a raise for the belt as this all has Joe cracking up. Punk was clearly addressing his critics here. They both rag on Gabe for a bit afterwards.

Now, they give advice for those first coming into RoH. Joe says forget all of the “strong-style” bullshit and just relax and be a pro wrestler. Punk jokes that he is “Kings Road” then says he will call Gabe during the break to see what the argument over the finish was about.

They come back from break but were unable to reach Gabe. When asked how they want their trilogy to be remembered, Punk said that he just wanted to get the belt over during the feud. He wanted to make it seem like something two guys would die over. He then says that they had three matches that probably had no business being that good and talks about being compared to Flair/Steamboat, saying those guys wrestled daily, twice on Sundays, and they only wrestle 3 times a week.

In regards to working with Mick Foley, Punk said that he never figured that he would be able to work with Foley but he ended up learning a ton from him and is flattered that he is a fan of both him and Joe. Punk recalls how a frantic Gabe ran down the hall to tell Punk that Foley arrived and was going to cut a promo in the ring. His arrival was unannounced too. Joe then said that Gabe told him he had to go out for their promo too. Joe called Foley one of the greatest guys on the mic ever, because he leaves things open-ended. When he talks about their match, he said that Foley believed in the hype about Joe stiffing people in the ring and told Joe that back when he was younger, he could throw down with him. Joe said he tried to take care of him but Mick was really in bad physical shape at the time. At the end of the match, Mick said that his knees arent what they used to be and he went a lot harder than his body allowed.

Joe talks about the RoH roster now from when the company first started. He says that the roles are a lot more defined now. When the company first started, Joe said all of the shows were put together as a “Super Indy” card but that it had no flow and everyone went all out every match so it kinda became everyone trying to out do each other and that exhausts the product. He said that he likes to believe that they are not insulting people’s intelligence but notes that they have their fun, because it has its place in wrestling. Joe says the anlge are focused on the belts and how they want everyone to strive to win the RoH Championship. Punk adds that everything is better now and says that a lot of the shows from 2002 do not hold up well now and are “one-match shows.” He even says how the production was poor and that it is so much better now. Punk then talks about how back when the company first started, everyone just wanted to steal the show but today, the locker room is a lot smarter now and if someone uses a certain move as a signature spot or finisher, they will stop using that. This leads to him discussing about how Super Dragon came in and tried the dive that Homicide uses and it got no reaction, where as Homicide himself knows when to use it and that is why it gets over. He says their is a difference in being lazy and being smart in regards to your spot on the show.

Now they talk about guys like Jimmy Rave, Jay Lethal, and Roderick Strong and how much they have improved. Punk proclaims that 2005 will be Strong’s year. Joe also talks about Austin Aries and how he has made a name for himself. They both once again talk about how the locker room is smarter as Joe said before when you went to an RoH show, you went to a show like your local independent high school gym show but now, it has a big event feel.

When asked about the rumors of Mick Foley getting both guys into the WWE, they said that Foley came up to them and had an idea about being sick of the muscle heads on TV and that they know how to wrestle. Punk believes that Foley did not want to work a program with Ric Flair then Vince McMahon told Foley about working a program with himself. He then goes on about how Foley had a timeline in place for how to bring them in that revolved around Foley cutting a promo about Randy Orton and how Vince thought he was great and the future but he isnt, which would then lead to Foley introducing both of them to Vince, telling him that he didnt have msucles and made him money and so could they, without being all jacked-up. He said it was supposed to blossom from that and thought it was a cool idea but no way thought that it would happen.

That led to Punk talking about how when he watched wrestling as a kid, everyone looked different and that all of those guys like Piper, Muraco, and Roberts would not even get hired today by the WWE. Punk then even claims that if Hogan went looking for a job there today, they would have told him to work on his abs. He said he loved pro wrestling because everyone was different but now they are all the same. He uses Chris Masters as an example of how he has a gimmick of having the perfect body but that there was guys who are on before him and after him that have even better bodies, which makes Masters look like a “shithead” that needs to use more steroids in order to keep up with his gimmick. Joe adds how when the WWE made money, even in the Austin/Rock era, they had so many characters that made things special and now they all look the same. Joe also did not believe that Foley’s proposed angle would come into fruition.

The subject of whether or not they would take a developmental contract with the WWE comes up. Joe said that he makes more money now. Punk said that he is at a different place than the other guys who are signing the contracts from smaller indy feds for just $500 a week. Punk also said how he wouldnt be able to do what they do now if he signed with them (Punk signed a developmental deal three months after this interview was filmed). Joe talks about how his paychecks are a lot more now than that and says he was brought up to wrestle different than the WWE style, while saying that there is nothing wrong with that style but he enjoys working the way he wants to right now.  Joe then talks about his friends in the WWE, like John Cena, and how he hopes that his career blows up and he gets to be a movie star like The Rock. Joe also has a fear that he would end up as just another guy on the roster if he went to the WWE. Punk goes back to say as long as guys are comfortable signing $500 a week deals that barely support their “steroid habit,” he and Joe can do what they are doing in RoH. Joe talks about how the WWE is desperately trying to find the next Rock and how they could be scouting better wrestling talent to plug into roles and that a strong undercard has always kept the WWE thriving. Joe talks about how they are trying to pull in the mainstream fans into wrsetling and does not harbor any resentment towards that because its a company trying to make money. However, he says the roster they have now is nothing like it was when they were popular and making money and thinks they are stifling some of the guys on their roster by not letting them branch out and being themselves.

Both guys said it was cool working with Jushin Liger at the New Japan Dojo. Punk said the atmosphere was great and that Liger was hanging out with everyone, not acting like he was above them or anything.

The interviewer now rattle off a bunch of names and asks for their thoughts on them. Teddy Hart is brought up first as Joe laughs then Punk says he buried the hatchet with him at a show this past October (They fought outside of a diner when they worked for TNA) when Hart walked past them and asked if they were cool. Joe said that he still living in his own world.

They both call Christopher Daniels “OMD,” which they say stands for “Old Man Daniels.” Punk talks about how along with Reckless Youth, Daniels was one of the first “indy superstars.” He puts him over for helping out Colt Cabana and himself when they started out. Punk then tells a story about he refers to Daniels’ daughter as “Catcus” after he held her for the first time and had no idea he was supposed to support her head and Daniels yelled at him for holding her like she was a cactus. He then takes out his wallet and shows us a picture of the child in her father’s arms. He then says that he is glad TNA is around so it can pay for Daniels’ mortage. Punk then says he bought the kid all sorts of cool clothes, like a Boris Karloff shirt, and jokes that he is called “Punkle.” Joe said that Daniels is responsible for all of the exposure he got his first year in wrestling. He says that the biggest mystery of all time is why the WWE never signed Daniels, who can do it all. He even recalls a match Daniels had with Kurt Angle, who had a concussion and could not take a bump, and called it one of the greatest matches he had ever seen. This took place when Kurt first started out in wrestling. Joe then talks about how when he first started out traveling as a wrestler and had no money, Daniels would give him advice and lend him his credit card to pay for rent-a-cars and hotels, despite the fact that Daniels himself didnt have enough money to be lending him. He calls him one of the best guys in the business.

When discussing AJ Styles, Punk said that Daniels put him into the spotlight and how Styles is now all over the place and is now the golden boy of TNA. Punk thinks that AJ looks up to Daniels as a father figure. He then jokes that you should never listen to a conversation about religion between AJ and himself. Joe talks about how AJ loves video games but says that he is better than him as he brags about beating him at “Tekken 4.” Punk adds that he doesnt play video games.

In regards to Steve Corino, Joe said he is a good guy. When he first came to New Japan, Joe said that Corino was the biggest joke in the office as at that time and now, he is pudgy and is really heavy in the ring. Punk said that Corino always gave him shit about being drug-free and saying his gimmick was a work but then realized that he was a good guy. Punk then tells a story about how he was with Corino and Raven in England. Corino and Punk decided to rag on Raven all night long to the point that he didnt want to go out with them that night. Punk tells a story of that night and how they wound up at a “Transvestite Bar.” Alex Shane, a big British wrestler who ran FWA, decided that it would be a funny rib to take them all to a tranny bar. Corino and Punk were already informed what was happening and decided to go along with the rib. Punk talked about how over in Roppongi, Japan, they would always see transsexuals who looked feminine but in England, they look like guys in beards who wore their sisters clothes. Anyway, Alex Shane comes and Punk says he is high-fiving everyone their and told them he has a good time there. Punk and Corino are at the bar, sticking out, then they decided to go pee, as Corino did not want to go alone, but the line to the men’s room was huge. Anyway, Corino was really scared as he was drunk and in a stall and had Punk talk to him as he was inside. Then, they left and saw a tranny who Punk described as “eight-feet tall” started to ask were they were from and when she mentioned Chicago, Corino said that Punk was from there and she started to talk to Punk and she talked to him and the tranny started to put her hand down low and Punk slapped the hand away and yelled “I will beat your ass” as the music stopped briefly, then played again. She told Punk to settle down and remarked that he was feisty as Punk was thinking that they were about to get their asses kicked, joking that Dick Murdoch would be rolling around in his grave. Anyway, nothing bad happened and they stayed for a lip-synching contest, when Punk said they jokingly referred to one of the contestants as “Haas-Benjamin,” who he described looked just like “Gollum.”

When discussing Homicide, Joe said that he is a great person and if you ever have any problems in New York, he can take care of it for you, but said that one time when they were in Southern California for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Punk, Homicide, Nosawa, and Rocky Romero, and B-Boy all stayed with Joe and went out to a bar that Joe frequented. Everyone but Punk was getting smashed and Joe mentioned that the female bartenders were scantily clad and after they all drank 4-5 bottles of Patron, Punk was the designated driver and they only had one car, which was B-Boy’s, and it was a stick shift. Well, Punk did not know how to drive manual but B-Boy was drunk after one shot of tequila and a beer, which even Punk said he made fun of him for how low of a tolerance he had for booze. Punk stalled out four times before leaving the parking lot and they all want Del Taco. In the drive thru, Punk kept stalling out and B-Boy would laugh at him so Punk said he slapped him. They get back to Joe’s and Punk tries to sleep as Nosawa begs him for a ride to LAX and Punk said he didnt have a car to drive then they realized that Nosawa disappeared. Romero tried to leave with his keys as Punk said no that he was drunk then Romero took a swing at Punk so Punk had to take him down and finally asks for his keys then Romero threw his keys hard and Punk said it hit him in the dick. Everyone in the house is a mess but Punk so as Joe was sleeping, Punk decided to paint his toenails as a joke then Romero decided to paint his entire foot blue. Joe gets up and went to the bathroom to hurl and it got quiet then Punk said Joe would fall asleep in between is massive vomiting spells. During the night, Punk wakes up and sees Homicide standing above him undoing his belt as Punk started to scream as Homicide said he was taking a piss. Punk yelled that he was not in the bathroom so he got up and had to guide him into the bathroom. Punk wakes up and sees Romero ask him for his keys and Punk said he was hungover but okay to drive and he gives them to him. Joe said he woke up and is house was turned upside down with pieces of a chicken burrito everywhere and he followed a trail of burrito all the way outside. Joe then screams as he opens the bathroom and asks why there is water all over the floor, which has Punk cracking up as he realized it was not water but from when Homicide took a piss. Low Ki came over as Punk told him the story of Homicide pissing and Ki told him that this has happened before as one time at Monsta Mack’s house, Homicide was tanked and went into a bedroom and opened the closet, where he winded up pissing all over someone’s shoes. Punk said that he loves Homicide and they still do not know what happened to Nosawa, as he contacted them a few day later from Japan. Punk then says to watch the PWG night II tournament and see how hungover everyone is but him.

Punk says that Low Ki is crazy by going to ridiculous lengths to maintain kayfabe. The first time he hung out with him was at a bar in Pittsburgh with Sandman, Cabana, and Daniels. Punk says he is extremely intense and warms up for his matches by lifting furniture.

About Colt Cabana, Punk said that he is crazy in a different way, in that he is always joking around. Punk said that he has a million stories about him. He said the first day of camp at the Domain, he met Cabana who was wearing a Doug Collins jersey. Punk calls him a gimmick master too. Joe says that Cabana is very frugal and will go to any length to make money from his wrestling table at shows, saying he will buy masks in Mexico for $1 then sell them to you for $35. Punk said that Cabana has the dirtiest apartment ever, such as his bloody singlet hanging up like it is on display and he even has a squat rack in the middle of the apartment that his roommate got for cheap. Punk said that Cabana’s parents are the greatest and that his dad is a salesman, who sells Sean John and Fubu clothes. He tells a story of Colt trying to be funny when he called him upstairs to see something funny and it was Colt’s dad lying in bed naked. Punk then tells a nasty story of Adam Pearce playing a rib on Cabana once when they first started by wiping his ass and putting the toilet paper in Cabana’s pant pocket but Cabana just rolled with the punches. Cabana also apparently played a prank on Wade Keller by leaving him all sorts of messages at 4am about the Junkyard Dog returning.

They tell the story of how they became friends. Punk said they both started on the same RoH show and that they got into a conversation about music and Joe asked him about being straight-edge and from there, they became friends. They then joke about how they live parallel lives for a few minutes as Joe talks about how he once tossed a guy through a glass partition at a bar for touching his girl and Punk said when he was in TNA, he went to a fiddle bar with his then girlfriend, Tracy Brooks, and Scott D’Amore, Daniels, and America’s Most Wanted when some guy kept grabbing girls who walked by and he grabbed Tracy, who yelled at Punk that she could take care of herself. Punk said that pissed him off as he had sisters but promised Tracy he wouldnt touch him. They stared at Punk, who was alone as Daniels was in the bathroom, and when he came out, Punk headbutted the guy off of his stool and there was almost a brawl but they left, with the point of all this being if something stupid happens to one of them, it will then happen to the other one.

They talk about stories from FIP for a few minutes. Punk said that he is a feminist of sorts and despises strip clubs but in FIP, they wrestle in the back of the strip club. Well, Punk is there outback as their was a guy who sold BBQ, which was really good, and he would talk to them. Punk said strippers hated him as he would tell them he wasnt giving them money and to leave him alone. Anyway, Punk and Homicide were brawling as part of the show and when the strippers realized that, they started to grind up next to each other as Punk was pissed that they were taking away from them and he called them “whores,” which pissed them off and the promoter told Punk he had to apologize and the girls were outside in their cars smoking pot expecting an apology.

Punk tells a story of how he pranked Gabe a few nights before the RoH Final Battle show when he did a Homicide impersonation over the phone and told him that he got the belt put on him in Puerto Rico and are giving him a push and thus had to cancel his appearance on the show. He said that he was pouring it on Gabe, who he could tell was having an anxiety attack on the other end of the phone. Then, he told Gabe, in the Homicide voice that it was a prank orchestrated by Punk, with Gabe screaming like a woman. Joe says that Gabe throws all sorts of fits backstage during the shows.

Joe tells a story of how he and Punk were going to crash Sharon Osborne’s charity auction but a friend called and said no one was there so they decided to call around and see where to go and finally got a call from his cousin, who worked at Club Ibiza, who told them to come down quickly. Joe said he was dressed up and Punk was dressed like he usually does. They pull up and there are girls lined up around the block and they walk up to Joe’s cousin and they get in and see buffets with lobster and steak and all hot chicks, prompting Punk to say that he thought all clubs were like this because he had not been to one before and they realize that it was the Spearmint Rhino Christmas Party, which is a large chain of strip clubs. There are all sugar daddy’s walking around with a chick on each arm but the girls were all looking at them. They are having a great time with the chicks. Punk tells the story of how Chuck Liddell was there and how he was trying to get his attention so Liddell thought it was Joe and would go after him as a result. It didnt work then as Joe gets out of the bathroom, these strippers pull him on the chair as two of the clubs had a “Strip Off” as Joe got dances from ten strippers by each club. After that ends, Joe walks into the VIP club with Punk singing “Rappers Delight” with a conga line of strippers behind him on stage. After that, they had the award portion of the show and that was when they left.

They close by saying part II is coming and that they have plenty more stories.

Final Thoughts: An excellent shoot interview. The first hour or so discusses their trilogy in-depth so if you have not seen those matches yet, it might not interest you at all. I will say that each guy shows a tremendous amount of insight into those matches and if you have seen them, their discussions and stories are incredible and a must-see.

The rest of the shoot is filled with hilarious stories from both guys. Punk is a great story teller, as most of you would probably expect. Some of them might not be of interest to you though if you did not follow RoH during the beginning but I assure you that they are all worth listening too.

I definitely recommend this shoot, which can be purchased along with the trilogy for $19.99 on the company website, a very good deal by the way. Even at almost three hours long, the interview breezes along.

Here is the link to purchase the interview

Samoa Joe vs Necro Butcher

Scott, have you ever seen/rated this match?

Basically ten minutes of Joe wiping the floor with Butcher, inventing such moves as the Forehead Powerslam and the Fuck You You're Going Over, and other stuff that would make Brock Lesnar cringe. Also a guest commentator who went on to a have decent little career in WWE.

This could honestly range from five stars to negative five stars depending on the reviewer, so would be interesting to get your take.

Never seen the match, no.  Aside from powerslamming the dude on his FOREHEAD, there wasn't much to it for my liking.  Necro Butcher is the guy with one of the biggest disconnects between most awesome wrestling name and worst look I've ever seen.  You hear the guy's name and you're picturing something like Bane or 1992 Vader and you get this dude out of Duck Dynasty instead.  It's really weird.

Random Match of the Day: Monty Brown v. Samoa Joe v. Rhyno

Scott, this is Brian Bayless from the blog. Here is the awesome 3-way at Hardcore Justice 2006 between Samoa Joe vs. Rhyno vs. Monty Brown. I love this match and miss Monty Brown, he was really good in his role at TNA. The Marcus Cor Von stuff in ECW wasnt much but if not for family issues, he could have had a chance to break out in the WWE. Anyway, here is the match and I just love Joe’s brief promo at the end.