Samoa Joe is the latest addition to WWE’s main roster after he made his debut on Monday Night Raw the night after the Royal Rumble a few weeks ago.
Joe is a former two-time NXT Champion and had already made a name for himself down in NXT before he was approached by Triple H to become his destroyer and to step in and take out Seth Rollins ahead of their match at WrestleMania.
Even though Joe is new to WWE’s main roster, he definitely isn’t new to the wrestling business. He is a former TNA legend and a Ring of Honor Alumni. He has been around the wrestling world for decades and brings an air of experience to WWE.
Even though he has been in the spotlight for many years, Joe is a very private person, which is why there isn’t a lot known about his personal life or for WWE fans, his time before signing with the company. Here are 15 facts about The Samoan Submission Machine that will show you what kind of man he was before WWE.
15. Married Back In 2007
Samoa Joe is a very private man when it comes to his family and his personal life outside of WWE, but a few facts are known about his private life. Joe married Jessica Seanoa back in July 2007 and the couple has remained together ever since despite his heavy touring schedule and different switches between promotions.
Joe was TNA World Champion when he met his wife and they have been through many changes since then. She rarely appears with Joe and unlike many other wrestlers in the company right now. Joe isn’t a fan of Social Media, so there aren’t many pictures online of the couple either. Luckily, a few have found their way through, and as seen above these two make quite a lovely couple.
14. Good Friends With CM Punk
Samoa Joe has been in the wrestling business now for many years and along the way, he has picked up many friends. These friends include former WWE Champion CM Punk, A.J. Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Rob Van Dam.
Even though CM Punk has been away from WWE TV now for three years, Joe recently revealed that Punk still watches the product and actually watched Joe’s Monday Night Raw debut. Punk stated that Joe was only called up because he wasn’t there anymore, but stated that it was in good humor. Punk and Samoa Joe have also met in the middle of the ring many times during their time together in Ring of Honor and even said that the door is open for them to wrestle together again in the future.
13. Trains In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, And Muay Thai
Samoa Joe has been an athletically obsessed Superstar for many years, and that is because he is passionate about much more than just wrestling. Even right now given his busy career in WWE he still finds the time to train in Jui-Jitsu, Judo, and Muay Thai.
Joe is often credited as being the sparring partner for Team Punishment member Justin McCully. He even regularly attends MMA Team Punishment fights and has been seen in the locker room with fighters including Tito Ortiz and Kendall Grove. Much like the many friendships, he has with current and ex-WWE wrestlers, Joe is friends with many current MMZ fighters and often trains with them on a regular basis. This could come in quite handy for Joe if he ever decides to follow in the footsteps of his friend CM Punk and switch a WWE ring for an Octagon.
12. Comes From A Family Of Dancers
Many of the WWE Universe consider many Samoan wrestlers to have come from the same Samoan family. The one that includes The Rock and Roman Reigns, but Samoa Joe isn’t part of the extended family of this legendary group. In fact, Samoa Joe comes from a family of dancers. Joe’s family formed a Polynesian dance troupe known all over the world as Tiare Productions.
When Samoa Joe was just five-years-old, he was part of the 1984 Summer Olympics as he performed with the family troupe as part of the opening ceremony for The Olympic Games. The event was held in Los Angeles, California. Joe stated that he found this part of his life nerve-wracking and he realized early on that this was not the career he wanted for himself.
11. Mortgage Broker
Like many WWE Superstars, Samoa Joe didn’t make the decision to switch from dancing to wrestling early in his life. He obviously had many jobs before he decided that wrestling was the one for him. Joe worked his way through life for many years as a mortgage broker, as hard as this is to imagine, Joe was actually good at it.
Mortgage Broking wasn’t the life for Samoa Joe though and after spending many nights watching UFC training sessions and involving himself in some of the training. It seems that Joe’s transition into wrestling then came slowly over the next few years as he finally realized what it was he wanted to do for a living. It was a long process, one that has taken Joe many years, but he has finally reached the pinnacle of his career, by signing for WWE.
10. Avid Gamer
There are many avid gaming fans in WWE right now, with Xavier Woods owning his own Youtube Channel where he shares all the video games he plays and often has video game championships. In fact, Seth Rollins is the reigning Champion.
It seems that Samoa Joe is another gamer to join the list and he even owns his own Channel on video Game Streaming site Twitch. He can be found at SamoaJoeGames and much like Xavier, he often shares games that he is playing on his channel. Joe hasn’t used the channel in many years, though, and it could well be to do with his current WWE character and the company not wanting to break the illusion of him being a strong heel by showing him out of this character, having fun while playing video games.
9. Trained By Willam Regal
Samoa Joe may have had many run in’s with Willian Regal while he was down in NXT and Regal was the General Manager, but it seems that when the cameras are switched off, Regal and Joe are actually quite good friends.
Regal helped to train Samoa Joe when he was first starting out as a wrestler. Regal also had a hand in training Daniel Bryan and even though Shawn Michaels is the one that WWE claim trained Bryan for years, it turns out that Bryan himself holds Regal responsible for giving him all of the skills and knowledge he needed to make it in the business, much like Samoa Joe. Joe claims that he never fully understood the business until he trained with Regal, which is why Regal is renown as being the best trainer in the world at one point.
8. Athletic Background
When Joe was younger he was part of the dance troupe with the rest of his family, but he became a California State Judo Champion and an all-league football player while attending Ocean View High School.
Joe has always been an athletic star and starting out in the family troupe at the age of five obviously give him the boost he needed to continue in sports. And then Judo and any kind of self-defense is something that Joe has been a love of for many years. He has recently talked about wanting to one day step foot in the Octagon. After all it was his love of UFC that eventually led to him becoming a wrestler, so it would be interesting to see how Joe would fare if he was in the cage with someone the same size as him and all he could do was fight.
7. Wrestled John Cena Before
Samoa Joe and John Cena are yet to cross paths on WWE TV since Joe made the switch over to WWE from TNA and even though Cena is on SmackDown right now and Joe is on Raw, this might be a match we never get to see. On the other hand, it is also one that we have already seen.
Joe got his start at Ultimate Pro Wrestling because it was the closest training school to his home. While he was there WWE sent John Cena to train and prepare for his WWE debut. Joe and Cena crossed paths and had a match 17 years ago that probably wasn’t the best match that the two men have ever been part of, but it proves that John Cena started somewhere and so did Joe.
6. Attended CM Punk’s Wedding
It was one of the biggest events of 2014, but it is one that CM Punk ensured that there were no photographs of the event shared online after because he wanted to keep everything that happened that day a secret. Punk doesn’t get a lot of privacy, being one of the biggest stars in WWE, but he decided that he wanted this day to be private.
CM Punk and AJ Lee invited only their closest friends to their wedding since Punk had left WWE and Lee was granted time away for her wedding, for Punk that included Samoa Joe. At the time Joe was still working for TNA and hadn’t become affiliated with WWE, so he was able to attend the wedding on the day that the company officially fired their longest reigning World Champion.
5. Vince McMahon Thought He Was Just A Fat Samoan
Ever wondered why WWE never approached Samoa Joe when he was the biggest star in TNA? Well, that’s because WWE Chairman Vince McMahon had some harsh thoughts about Samoa Joe when he first saw him wrestle.
Bruce Pritchard reported that Vince viewed Joe as nothing more than a “fat Samoan” who looked “out of shape” and didn’t have the body type that McMahon looked for when it come to his main roster stars. It seems that Triple H took the lead on signing Joe and that is why Joe has had success in NXT and is now aligned with the COO on WWE TV following his promotion to the main roster. It is unknown if Vince has changed his opinion, but he lives in a different world, so it’s likely that he hasn’t.
4. Told He Would Never Make It As A Wrestler
When Joe first began training back in Ultimate Pro Wrestling with the likes of John Cena and many others in WWE at that time, he met two WWE road agents, Jim Ross and Bruce Prichard who told him that he would never make it in the wrestling business. They also thought the likes of Heidenreich and Nathan Jones would be the successful ones instead.
Of course, this was 17 years ago and even though Samoa Joe lacked charisma and the physique that Vince McMahon looked for at that time. He still managed to prove them wrong. Obviously McMahon’s perception of wrestlers has changed since then and Joe making the switch to WWE has proved that and has shown how much WWE and the wrestling business as a whole has changed.
3. Judge On TNA British Bootcamp
They say you know you’ve made it in a company when you are allowed to begin teaching others or even judging their skills. Joe was given this honor back in 2014 when he was asked to judge TNA British Bootcamp season two.
Joe joined Gail Kim and Al Snow on the panel as they crowned the second winner of the show. It was Welsh high flyer Mark Andrews who won the show. He has just taken part in the WWE Uk Championships and takes on Pete Dunne on NXT this week. It seems that Andrews has followed Joe over to WWE despite winning the show and a contract with TNA. The company hasn’t done a third season of the show, so Joe has been unable to reprise his role.
2. Wrestling For Almost Two Decades
Samoa Joe may have taken a while to decide that he wanted to be a professional wrestler but since then Joe has remained loyal to the business. Joe has had successful stints in both Ring of Honor and TNA before he made it to WWE in recent years. He actually spent 10 years with TNA.
Samoa Joe is considered a TNA legend and it was a shock when he decided to make the switch over to WWE to join their NXT brand. Joe has made an impact since moving over to NXT and now he’s looking to make an even bigger statement by the side of Triple H on the Raw brand. At 37-years-old, The former NXT Champion could still have many of his better days ahead of him.
1. Father Introduced Him To Wrestling
Samoa Joe was quite close to his family when he was younger and it seems that it was being close to his father that led him to a career in wrestling. He stated in an interview back in 2005 that when he was younger his father would take him to many wrestling shows because he was a huge fan.
Joe didn’t enjoy WWE wrestling, he much preferred wrestling from Japan because of his Judo background. He said that he watched WWE’s product but it was the shoot style that Japan has that interested him much more in their product. It was watching wrestling that he realized that there were many moves that he had learned in Judo that were also used in WWE rings.
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