The Best of Samoa Joe
Description: A few years ago in the UK, TNA was a small blip on the wrestling horizon, now with its TV deal with Bravo and extended use of YouTube, TNA has magnified into the number two promotion in the world (or certainly in the US). Since Vince McMahon bought WCW in 2001, there has been very little competition for him and the original NWA-TNA was seen as nothing, but an indy-fed with a few notable top stars. Slowly, but surely co-owner Jeff Jarrett was able to get some investors interested, bring some top talent to the pool (mostly WWE cast-offs such as Team 3D, Rhino, Christian Cage and most recently Kurt Angle) though the buzz for TNA really began with the debut of The Samoan Submission Machine: Samoa Joe.
Now, I will ashamedly say at first I never saw what the big deal was about him, but that all changed when I actually saw him (via a Ring of Honour DVD) and I was blown away by just how smooth he was in the ring for a man that size. At 280lbs he really shouldn't be doing half the stuff he does and his catch-as-catch-can wrestling style is comparable to that of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. Looking at him I almost smiled bemusedly at the thought of him hanging with other X-Division wrestlers like AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, but not only can he hang with them most of the time he can outperform them which is a phenomenal sight. This disk charts his first seven months in the company, undefeated over this time (This streak lasted
18 months until the upset by Angle at Genesis 2006) and features eleven full-length matches interspersed with interviews with Joe about various aspects of his life. These are a little too short, but do give a nice taster as to why he became a wrestler, his family and home life and his decision to join TNA.
Samoa Joe vs. Sonjay Dutt ***
Despite my intense hatred of commentators Mike Tenay and Don West they do a good job of hyping Joe and this match is a good showing, if a little too much like a squash match. Joe shows exactly what he can do and is a sign of what's to come.
Samoa Joe vs. Delirious ***
I did worry when I watched this match that this disk would be filled with TNA Impact squash matches, but still I can't fault the quality of the match.
We are not talking a three move Warrior/Goldberg squash, but a good display of atheletic ability and the ability and confidence to sell for your opponent and allow for good back and forth action from both.
Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin ****
One of Joe's best early appearances and his chemistry with Sabin is perfect.
Both look like they could win multiple times and that is the mark of a really intense and enjoyable match.
Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles ****
If any two people symbolise TNA, it's these two. This is a great encounter of the two and prove that they are both at the top of their game and destined for Main Event status for many years to come.
X Division Championship : Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels *****
This is one of the few matches in the past years that Wrestling Observer writer Dave Meltzer has awarded Five Stars. I have to agree as this match is perfect. I usually hate triple threat matches, but this is just the best example of one that I have ever witnessed. All three get the best out of each other with some great moments of wrestl;ing, high flying, submission and action. The match has everything. Perfection!
Samoa Joe vs. Jushin Liger ***
Those who don't know, Justin Liger is to the Cruiserweight Division what Hogan is to the Heavyweight division. By this point you can guess the outcome, but Liger has you wondering at points that maybe as great as Joe is, Liger is just a little bit better.
Elimination X Match : Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong vs. Chris Sabin, Matt Bentley, Austin Aries & Sonjay Dutt ****
A fantatic high paced match (like a Survivor Series match) and is a great showcase for all the X-Division talent in TNA. Austin Aries, Sabin, Daniels and Joe put on a great match and even those lesser known faces put in good performances that don't take anything away from the match. The ending seems a little excessive, but in light of the next few matches you understand why it was done and how effective it all was.
Samoa Joe vs. Amazing Red ***
This is more a match to progress his storyline with Daniels and Styles, but as with all, it becomes a blueprint for a fine Joe match. It's at this point you can almost guarantee he'll put on an entertaining match no matter who he's fighting.
X Division Championship : Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles **** A perfect match that sees both try to out perform each other. There are no low lights to this match at all adding up to a great entertaining and emotional ride for everyone.
Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal ***
A squash match. But a great one. Face facts, it's doubtful I'll be dissing a Joe match.
X Division Championship : Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels *****
Perfection. As good as they were in the triple threat this is even better because of the emotion that the storyline has unfolded into. Daniels is as good a wrestler that I have ever seen and this is arguably his greatest performance against Joe in a singles match. A perfect way to end this disk.
With over two hours of uncut action (which makes a change from the cut and paste 'Best ofs' from WWE) anything extra would be just a little bonus and though the three items are a little generic (Slideshow, Music Video and Bonus Interview) they are a good start for TNA DVDs and hopefully they will build on this over time.
Unstoppable: The Best of Samoa Joe, is possibly one of the best DVDs to own if you enjoy watching wrestling and not 'sports entertainment'. Joe is a breath of fresh air in a time of chairshots, rappers, midgets and sledgehammers he is a true wrestler showing the art of putting on a wrestling match that makes you feel proud to be a wrestling fan again. Bring on Volume Two!
Reviewed by David Simpson on May 2, 2007.
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