Dark Match Dungeon: Mighty Young Samoa Joe

Eh, not all the titles can be winners.

Welcome back to the Dark Match Dungeon, everybody! In case you forgot or fell off, this is the feature where we consult the wizened old oracle known as The Internet and dig up forgotten matches of today’s wrestling stars before they were famous. Sorry for the hiatus as of late. I’m still hunting for a good women’s dark match to show you all, but the timing for this edition here is too good to pass up. You know how Samoa Joe left TNA Impact and there are now rumors that he could be headed to NXT in the near future? Well, I figured that makes this the perfect time for a Samoan Submission Edition of the Dungeon! Because if those rumors turn out to be true, it actually won’t be Joe’s first time in a WWE ring. Feast your eyes on 21-year-old Samoa Joe vs. Essa Rios.

What To Look For:

  • Michael Hayes and Jonathan Coachman rambling about 2001 WWF storylines. There are some muted audio segments (which you can find on the uncut, lower-quality version of this match) that refer to Chris Benoit.
  • Samoa Joe with… blond-ish hair? This is very confusing.
  • The awesome vault over the ring post and the moonsault finish from Rios. Definitely an underrated high-flyer, if you ask me.
  • Jonathan Coachman saying “Samoan Joe.” Missed it by that much.
  • The flubbed powerbomb counter. Remember, Joe’s just 21 here.

As the title of the video says, this is from an episode of the unfortunately-named WWF Jakked, which aired on March 3, 2001. You remember Jakked, right? It was the syndicated show that replaced Shotgun Saturday Night. As for Joe, he would join up with Ring of Honor in their inaugural year, 2002. Three years later, he made the move to TNA, where he went on a Goldbergian undefeated streak that lasted 18 months. He also hung out with some Japanese guy there, but we’re not entirely sure what happened to him.