At Sunday’s WWE Extreme Rules PPV, Samoa Joe fell short of defeating Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship. This loss put one more in the record books for Joe, but not a record I would think he would be happy with, as it was the 8th time that Joe has failed to win a WWE World Championship.
Since his debut on the WWE main roster in 2017, Samoa Joe has fallen victim to what I like to call the Bray Wyatt syndrome. He will talk a big game, he’ll sound convincing, he’ll sound threatening, but when it’s time to put up or shut up, when the title is on the line, he ultimately fails.
In this piece you’ll notice that as an ongoing trend, as I’ve included video of the promos Samoa Joe would have leading into these matches.
Extreme Rules 2019 vs. Kofi Kingston WWE Championship
We’ll start with the most recent. Shortly after losing his United States Championship to Ricochet, Joe set his eyes on Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship.
While there wasn’t much time to build to this match, one of the promos Joe would have featured him telling Kofi he would guarantee the safety of all those he holds dear, if Kofi would shake his hand. Kofi, of course, did not shake his hand, and instead offered Joe a sign language lesson.
Did Joe follow up on this? Did he invade Kofi’s home or attack a member of the New Day? Nope, instead he lost cleanly to Kofi at Extreme Rules.
Elimination Chamber 2019 WWE Championship
This one is a bit different, as I don’t think anyone realistically expected Samoa Joe to win this match. The match was largely based around Kofi’s rise to the top coming off his performance in the gaunlet match on SmackDown, and challenging Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship.
However, it is worth noting that Joe was the first one eliminated from this match being pinned by AJ Styles with a phenomenal forearm, which will also be an ongoing theme in this list.
On the bright side though, Joe would end up winning the United States Championship shortly after this. It would be his first championship win on the main roster, but Joe still has never been able to win the big one.
Crown Jewel 2018 vs. AJ Styles, WWE Championship
As I’m doing these in reverse chronological order, this was the last of four times that Samoa Joe failed to capture the WWE Championship from AJ Styles. Granted, this one wasn’t meant to happen, as the match was set to be AJ defending against Daniel Bryan, but due to conflicts with the Saudi Arabia show, Bryan opted not to go, leaving WWE to give us a 4th Joe vs. AJ match.
Super Showdown 2018 vs. AJ Styles, WWE Championship
This was the apex of Samoa Joe talking a big game, and not backing it up. In this case, Joe went as far as to invade AJ Styles home whilst AJ was in the ring expecting a contract signing.
This would be the third straight time that Joe failed to beat AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, and probably the most disappointing with the lengths Joe went to to get in AJ’s head, and make things feel personal.
Instead of taking the opportunity to capitalize on this sadistic, viscous personality of Samoa Joe, he would once again fall victim to a loss to AJ Styles.
Hell in a Cell 2018 vs. AJ Styles, WWE Championship
Be honest, how many of us forgot “Night Night, AJ” was a thing that happened? As the go home angle to their PPV match, no less.
Although this match was at Hell in a Cell, it was just a regular singles match. This match and this feud really could have used a concept like a Hell in a Cell match as the blow off match to a feud that was portrayed as being as personal as the Samoa Joe and AJ Styles rivalry was, but unfortunately it was not to be, and this would not be the last match between the two.
SummerSlam 2018 vs. AJ Styles, WWE Championship
Technically, Joe did win this match. Unfortunately it was by disqualification and would not result in him winning the WWE Championship.
Coming out of this match, there was a lot of hype around this feud. Even though this was a DQ finish, it really helped further the feud between Joe and AJ.
The finish of this match featured Samoa Joe grabbing a mic, and saying to AJ’s wife Wendy “I’ll be your new daddy.” This led to Styles losing his mind and assaulting Joe with a chair, forcing himself to be disqualified. Excellent stuff.
SummerSlam 2017 Fatal 4 Way, Universal Championship
After Joe’s one on one match with Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, he would get one more chance at the title in a fatal four way against Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar, and Roman Reigns.
If you remember in this match, there was a lot of theorizing at this time that Brock would drop the title to go back to the UFC, with a stipulation of this match being made by Paul Heyman, saying that if Brock lost, he would leave WWE.
However, that would not be the case, as Brock would retain to continue his reign of terror, and Joe would remain without a championship.
Great Balls of Fire 2017 vs. Brock Lesnar, Universal Championship
The cream of the crop of missed opportunities with Samoa Joe is right here. His first shot at Brock Lesnar and the Universal Championship. Had Joe beaten Brock for the title at the first and only ever Great Balls of Fire PPV, a star would have made.
The build up to this match was some of the best stuff that Brock Lesnar has been a part of in recent memory, and Joe really brought out the best in Brock and generated a lot of interest going into this match as you can see in promo in this video.
While it was wishful thinking being that we knew the plan from the beginning was for Brock Lesnar to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania that year, I and many others, had hope that WWE would call an audible and go with the hot hand in Samoa Joe, who had caught fire during this program.
Just imagine how different things might be for Joe had he won this match. This match really was the beginning of the disappointment for Samoa Joe, as he was able to generate so much interest in this match, but when it came time to go, Joe would take a single F5 and be pinned by Brock Lesnar.