(Samoa Joe’s Theme Song) Did you know, Samoa Joe’s family runs a
Polynesian dance troupe called Tiare Productions, which Joe was apart of when he was a child. As a matter of fact he made his stage debut at the opening ceremony for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, when he was just 5 years old. His Polynesian dance background has come into play in his wrestling career too, as during special matches in TNA, he would enter with a group of dancers, sometimes members of his own family. Joe actually didn’t decide to pursue wrestling as a career until the age of 20. While taking Jiu Jitsu classes, the owner of the gym asked Joe if he wanted to try a pro wrestling class that was happening there. Joe decide to give it a try and after a short while, he got hooked and decided to pursue it further. Shortly thereafter, he went to Ultimate Pro Wrestling, UPW, which was the WWE’s developmental promotion at the time, to continue training. While there, he met and befriended John Cena and the two of them had a feud on UPW’s TV show. Joe eventually got a tryout in front of the WWE higher-ups at a time by competing in a match against Essa Rios on Jakked, one of WWE’s former TV shows which was the equivalent of WWE Superstars and Main Event today. However, Joe was not signed to a WWE contract. This may have been in part that Bruce Prichard, a WWE producer at the time, did not think Joe had a future in wrestling. Jim Ross, a play-by-play commentator, likewise agreed. The name Samoa Joe wasn’t actually supposed to be Joe’s permanent name. Samoa Joe’s real name is Nuufolau Joel Seanoa and at the gym he trained at there were a few other people named Joe so, to distinguish between them, he got the name Samoa Joe because of his Samoan heritage. When he first started performing he decided to use the gym name and then use something else later on. However, promoters and bookers start calling asking for Samoa Joe so to avoid losing work Joe just decided to keep the name. Samoa Joe joined TNA in 2005 and spent nearly a decade with the company. Unfortunately, it wasn’t without its problems. In July of 2010, on Impact, a match he had with Jeff Hardy ended with a time limit draw. Joe was unhappy with the decision and end up yelling at the production crew after the match. This led to a suspension which only lasted for a month, as he returned in August of that same year. There was also an alleged report that in
2008, TNA was lobbying for Samoa Joe’s one night return at Ring of Honor’s Rising Above pay-per-view not to be shown on screen. This would explain why the pay-per-view
broadcast didn’t include Joe’s match but the other explanation could be to increase ticket sales. The match was shown however, in the DVD release. When Samoa Joe was signed to the WWE in 2015 he was planned to just stay in NXT and not move up to the main roster. The reasons for this was one, that WWE wasn’t confident in former TNA wrestlers as past talents they brought in didn’t go as well as they had hoped. Another is that they felt like Joe could help develop NXT as a brand. The biggest though was that there was a push in the company to focus on making wrestlers from the ground up, as apposed to using talents like Samoa Joe, who was 36 at the time of his hiring, who had already developed their own style and image. It was largely thanks to Triple H that Samoa Joe did get brought in, as he was one of the authorities that saw possibilities with Joe. Outside of wrestling, Joe’s appeared in the UK game show Distraction, alongside fellow wrestlers Kazarian and Curry Man, where they performed wrestling moves on the contestants, while they tried to answer 6th grade questions. Joe is also a fan of comic books and video games. He even started his own Twitch channel in 2014 called Samoa Joe games and actually helped brainstorm ideas for 2008’s TNA The Video Game as well as provide motion capture for it. Did You Know Wrestling is inspired by Did You Know Gaming, so go ahead and check them out. You can also subscribe to Tap Out Corner for more videos like this and let us know in the comments who you want to see covered in the future. This has been Zach and I’ll see you next time.