Looking back at Samoa Joe’s career in ROH


ROH Ringside – Issue #18

One of the many things that I was interested in seeing when I first got into Ring of Honor was the debut of Samoa Joe. I had heard and read about his twenty one month Title reign, and how he carried the company on his back during the pedophile scandal (look it up on the Internet, if you want more information on it, because I didn’t really know a lot about it, nor do I really care). Samoa Joe was brought in by Christopher Daniels to fight with Low Ki, in the Low Ki/R.O.H. – Prophecy feud. This brought up Samoa Joe’s first match with Low Ki himself.

As I have done in the past, I will try to describe this great match between the two, even though I advise readers, that this is more of an M.M.A. type match more than a wrestling type match. It makes sense seeing how Low Ki and Samoa Joe are known for their stiff styles. The show is Glory by Honor from 2002.

The first man to come out is Samoa Joe, who has blond hair. He’s followed by Low Ki. Both men stand in a corner opposite each other as the ref frisks them both down for foreign objects, and the bell rings.

Low Ki and Samoa Joe circle each other, as they test a series of kicks against each other.

Samoa Joe grabs Low Ki’s arm and holds it for a standing arm bar and drops him to the floor, which allows Low Ki to gain position on Samoa Joe.

With the position, Low Ki gets in a series of punches to Samoa Joe’s face. Samoa Grabs Low Ki after a few punches and turns him over and wins the position.

Samoa Joe gives Low Ki a serie of headbutts, and stiff forearms.

They both grapple trying to gain the upper hand for a while, when finally Low Ki wraps his legs around Samoa Joe’s head, but Samoa Joe turns him over into a single leg  boston crab, and really pulls the leg of Low Ki, almost snapping Low Ki in half.

Low Ki flips to get out of the crab and they both grapple on the floor again. Samoa Joe grabs Low Ki’s leg in a lock. Low Ki answers with some chops as Samoa Joe slaps Low Ki in the face.

Both men get up on their feet as Samoa Joe slaps Low Ki in the face, and Low Ki comes back with one of his own. Both men go back and forth with slaps to the face until Samoa Joe hits Low Ki with two forearms and them kicks him in the chest three times, with Low Ki falling into the ropes. Samoa Joe picks up Low Ki, takes him to the corner and does an irish whip into the opposite corner and runs towards Low Ki lifting his face for a face wash, but Low Ki ducks out of the way and gives Samoa Joe a series of chops to Joe’s back, a kick to the leg and finally an inziguri kick to the head as Joe staggers.

Low Ki nails Joe with a Koppu Kick dropping Joe to the floor as the fans chant Low Ki. Low Ki goes for the pin and only gets a one count. Low Ki nails Joe with a double chop to the back, but Joe “hulks up” not feeling the effects. Low Ki nails another one as Samoe Joe stands up and gets in Low Ki’s face. Low Ki hits another double chop to Joe’s shoulder, as Joe kind of bends over, with Low Ki then delivering a kick to the chest but Joe tries to shrug it off. Low Ki goes off the rope, with Joe countering Low Ki with a back kick.

Samoe Joe slaps Low Ki hard in the face, runs off the ropes himself and clotheslines Low Ki to the ground. Joe gets a one count on the pin. Samoa Joe picks Low Ki up, bends him over and starts giving Low Ki a series of kicks to the chest, and gives him a suplex for a one count. Joe puts Low Ki in an armbreaker and into a crossface submission. Joe then gets Low Ki up and chops Low Ki twice, whips Low Ki into the corner, but Low Ki reverses it with Joe going into the corner, and Low Ki goes for the forearm in the corner, but Joe ducks out and hits Ki with an inziguri. Joe hits a german suplex and gets a two count. Samoa Joe holds on to the german suplex, tries to turn it into a dragon suplex, but Low Ki escapes and goes for a head submission, but Joe slips out.

Low Ki kicks Joe in the head, hits two chops to the chest and an inziguri to the head, with Joe falling to the ground. Low Ki goes for the pin and gets a two. Low Ki picks Samoa Joe up and double chops Joe on the shoulders twice, and nails a couple of punches to the head. Low Ki runs off the ropes and hits a running knee to the head of Samoa Joe. Low Ki grabs Samoa Joe from behind and hits a tiger suplex for a two count. Low Ki picks Joe up and nails some chops into his chest. Low Ki attempts an irish whip which Joe reverses, but Low Ki stops, turns around and drop kicks Joe’s knees, taking Joe to the mat. Joe gets up to his feet as Low Ki lands a punch to the stomach and then a kick to the chest. Low Ki lands a chop but Joe retaliates with three slaps to the face, until Ki returns a slap, with Joe slapping yet again and Ki gives Joe an inziguri kick which brings the Samoan down. The fans get on their feet to applaud the effort, while Low Ki gets a one count. Low Ki picks Samoa Joe up and chops him on the chest two times, and then gives him a forearm which leads Joe into the corner. Low Ki tries an irish whip, but Joe reverses it and nails a big boot to the face of Joe.

Low Ki is sitting on the mat against the corner as Joe gives Low Ki a series of face washes.  Joe goes off the rope and gives a mega face wash to Ki’s face. Joe picks Low Ki up by the shorts and lands a power bomb pin combination, which Low Ki kicks out of at two, with Joe then going for the S.T.F..  Low Ki flips Joe around to escape and gets Joe in a cross arm breaker however Joe is right beside the ropes and puts his foot on them.

Both wrestlers get up as Low Ki uppercuts Samoa Joe’s right armpit, and then kicks it. Samoa Joe retaliates with a slap to the face. Low Ki hits a forearm to Joe’s face. Low Ki gives another uppercut to Joe’s armpit followed by one to the face. Low Ki chops Samoa Joe and applies another standing cross arm breaker, which slowly drains Samoa Joe until Samoa Joe finally gets to break it up. However, Low Ki attacks with two chops to the chest, and performs a back suplex, with Joe landing on his head. Low Ki gets a two, then immediately puts on a dragon clutch. Joe powers his way out of the dragon clutch and lands a death valley driver, as both lay on the floor.

Joe eventually gets up first, and picks up Low Ki. Joe lands an island driver on Low Ki. Joe gets a one count, with Low Ki putting his foot on the ropes. Joe places Low Ki in the corner and lands a chop and series of headbutts on him; however the headbutts have no effect on Low Ki as Low Ki throws Joe into the corner and lands some chops of his own to Joe’s back, eventually nailing an inziguri kick to the back of the head of Joe. Low Ki flips Joe into a sitting position and delivers a hard kick to Joe’s back. Joe’s face shows signs of fighting the kick off. Low Ki looks to the crowd as Joe gets up unaffected by the kick and they get face to face.

Samoa Joe slaps Low Ki hard in the face, hip tosses Low Ki into a sitting position and gives Low Ki a kick of his own. Low Ki gets up as if not feeling the affects. Both wrestlers are standing in the middle of the ring and start taking off their wrist tape and lowering their knee pads.

Both wrestlers exchange forearms, which eventually turn into slaps. Samoa Joe goes off the rope and kicks Low Ki in the face, making Low Ki go off the ropes giving Joe a kick to the face. Joe falls back into the ropes and comes off them to give a clothesline to Low Ki. Low Ki gets right back up, runs off the ropes and nails Joe with another boot to the face. Joe goes off the rope and nails Low Ki with another clothesline as Low Ki stays down. The fans get to their feet applauding both wrestlers.

Samoa Joe picks Low Ki up and nails three cyclone shots, but Low Ki retaliates with a chop to the chest and a series of kawadu kicks to the face of Joe. Joe staggers to the ropes and Low Ki grabs him nailing some knees to the chest, adding some forearms to the head. After the second forearm, Joe starts to scream at Low Ki, as Low Ki hits a third forearm, thus dropping Joe to the floor. Low Ki goes for the pin and wins it.

Great match to start Samoa Joe’s career in Ring of Honor, and to continue Low Ki’s legacy.

— Jose Perez