You will have noticed over the past couple of weeks that WWE seems to be teasing a potential babyface turn for Samoa Joe.
First, he showed concern for Roman Reigns when he was nearly hit by a car on last week’s Raw, and this week he silenced a heel Sami Zayn with a coquina clutch before Zayn could really start his promo.
According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the reason WWE teased Joe’s babyface turn this week was an attempt to control the Toronto crowd, which would naturally be inclined to cheer for Sami Zayn, given that he’s from Canada.
The plan, according to Meltzer, was to try and get the crowd to think that Joe was turning face so that they would be less invested in Sami being a hometown boy.
While this may seem fickle, at least it’s a sign that WWE is really trying to push the characters of their wrestlers. Having Sami, who has been ragging on WWE and the crowd for weeks come out and get cheered would look bad for the company, so in terms of character work, it was the right thing to do.
It was reported by Meltzer last week that there is no plan to turn Joe face full-time, so it seems that this was just Joe being Joe and attacking everyone rather than any foreshadowing for a heel-turn.