Samoa Joe’s behavior has been a little confusing lately. When Roman’s car was hit by another car on Raw last week, Joe went from wanting to beat up Roman himself to getting him help and making sure he was okay. Then last night on Raw, after the Street Profits tricked Sami Zayn into insulting him while he was right behind Zayn, Joe challenged Sami to a match, which he quickly won with the Coquina Clutch. By this point, given what a hateable character Sami’s playing these days, it really seemed like Joe had fully turned face. Then he took a mic and cut a pure heel promo, even running down the crowd and telling them they’re not forgiven for thinking the worst of him. So apparently Samoa Joe’s the new Big Show, but what was the point?
As Dave Meltzer points out on Wrestling Observer Radio, the likely point was just to keep beloved Canadian Sami Zayn, who’s supposed to be a detestable heel right now, from getting cheers:
They were in Toronto. They knew that Sami Zayn was going to get this incredible pop. That was the last thing that they wanted. With this gimmick, they did not want Sami Zayn getting this incredible pop. And one of the things is they had Samoa Joe call him Kevin Owens’ water boy and all that. They knew that people would go crazy for a Samoa Joe turn and that would enable…basically they’re not going to boo Samoa Joe when they first turn him because everybody wants him to turn but they don’t want him to turn yet. So it was to keep Sami Zayn from being cheered and Samoa Joe just had to do that and turn right back because even though they know people are ready to cheer him like crazy and may turn him at some point, this is not the week they wanted to do that.
It true that Samoa Joe could make a great babyface, and he’s certainly a great heel too, but it’s frustrating that WWE sees him as someone they can flip back and forth to serve other wrestlers’ needs, instead of letting him be the focus himself.