I had many topics that I was going to potentially write about this week. Some of them were DDP, a forgotten tag team, the WWE Hall of Fame, false reports of a legends death. Then on Tuesday the big news story broke Samoa Joe was leaving TNA. There are many versions of what happen but the one from Joe and TNA is they just could not reach an agreement and parted on good terms. Quickly the wrestling world became a buzz of where the former TNA star would land. Some reports even have HHH interested in bringing Joe down to Florida for a tryout at NXT. Lucha Underground, NJPW, and ROH were all popular choices for fans. Well as a fan that has watched Samoa Joe for years to me there is only place for him to go.
It is time for Joe to go home to ROH. I am aware Joe wrestled in WWE, UPW, and Wrestling Zero 1 in Japan before his debut in ROH. However it was in ROH from 2002-2007 that Joe became an independent star and a name many wrestling fans knew. Joe won his first ROH Heavyweight Championship in 2002 holding it for twenty-one months. He eventually lost it to another future TNA star in Austin Aries. He would have epic matches with the likes of CM Punk, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), and Nigel McGuinness. Joe was at his best during his time in ROH and his early years of TNA. You can argue he was misused in TNA no one would disagree. Although at times in TNA Joe appeared to have lost his passion even struggling with his weight on various occasions.
It happens to every wrestler at some point they lose their fire. Some go home and never come back such as CM Punk. Others however go home rest or move in a new direction and regain that spark that ignites a fire in them. One wrestler you can say benefitted from a new spark was Goldust who many say is having the best matches of his career at 45 years of age. Joe has already stated he is not retiring and weighing his options.
I know WWE could be an option but looking how past alumni of ROH such as Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, and CM punk have been used he may think twice. Lucha Underground really does not for the style he wrestles so this would most likely be a last option. NJPW is a place Joe could thrive with friends like AJ Styles there at moment.
Comfort is a big thing for wrestlers and at age 35 Joe knows what he likes. NJPW and ROH have been doing shows together and sharing talent. This could reunite him with the before mentioned Styles as well as Jay Lethal, Christopher Daniels and others. I strongly believe he has nothing to prove and nothing but passion left for the sport. One of his greatest matches came in TNA on September 11, 2005. It was a three-way match for the TNA X-Division Championship. The match featured then champion Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles and Joe. The match was considered the match of the year by many, and to this day some think it’s still the greatest match in TNA history. Styles and Daniels have both been in a ROH ring in the past two months which could entice Joe more to return.
In closing, I like all of you have no idea where he will end up. Joe is very talented but I believe if he follows his heart then he will be lead right down the road to ROH.