Samoa Joe signed with AEW after a second stint in Triple H’s version of NXT. The Samoan Submission Machine made an unannounced return to Ring of Honor at the promotion’s Supercard of Honor XV pay-per-view event on April 1, 2022.
He subsequently made his in-ring debut for Tony Khan’s AEW debut. Since then, Joe has taken on some of the top names in the promotion; putting many of them to sleep in the process. He’s fought battles with stars such as Darby Allin and CM Punk for major titles in AEW.
Here are Samoa Joe’s five best feuds in AEW.
Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal go back a long way. The two have known each other since their ROH days. Fans were excited to see the former rivals reignite their feud in AEW. Lethal was Joe’s first major feud soon after the latter made his debut for ROH and AEW.
That being said, the feud didn’t exactly live up to the hype – hence the fifth spot on the list. The two fought over the ROH World Television Championship. The Samoan Submission Machine retained his title against the master of Lethal Injection at Death Before Dishonor 2022.
Powerhouse Hobbs wasn’t Samoa Joe’s original opponent but he found himself at the crossroads between Joe and Wardlow. All three men had the same goal: the TNT Championship. Wardlow was the defending champion heading into AEW Full Gear 2022.
Mr. Mayhem had everything to lose in the triple-threat match at the November 19, 2022 pay-per-view event. After several minutes of nail-biting action, Joe defeated Wardlow and Hobbs to win the TNT title, becoming a double champion in the process.
Wardlow and Samoa Joe had common enemies in Josh Woods and Tony Nese. Joe and Wardlow even combined their names to form “WarJoe.” This tag team of two juggernauts had tremendous potential. The only problem was that they couldn’t stand each other for long.
The implosion of WarJoe led to a great feud between the TNT Champion and the King of Television. Joe made it personal by cutting Wardlow’s signature ponytail. The feud stretched to multiple PPV events and capped off with a win for Wardlow at AEW Revolution 2023.
The rivalry between CM Punk and Samoa Joe in the early days of ROH gave the indie promotion major exposure in the States. The two friends had unbelievable chemistry inside the ring and never failed to create a five-star classic.
The popularity of this two-decade-old feud can be gauged from the fan reaction for the six-man tag match between CMFTR and Joe and Bullet Club Gold. The crowd erupted the moment Joe and Punk got into each other’s face.
The classic feud saw a fitting conclusion when CM Punk retained his “Real” AEW World Championship in another banger against Joe at AEW All In in front of nearly 84,000 fans at Wembley.
No man has been able to capture the spirit of the TNT Championship like Darby Allin. The daredevil had an excellent reign as the TNT Champion. Darby Allin also had an excellent feud against Samoa Joe over the championship.
The two men nearly tried to kill each other for the championship. They were willing to risk everything for the gold and they did. Their No Holds Barred match at the February 1, 2023 episode of Dynamite is considered one of the best matches in AEW’s young history.