Samoa Joe: Magnus and I have natural timing
BY Phil Allely
Former TNA World Heavyweight Champion Samoa Joe is currently riding high in the company once more after a long period of nonsensical feuds and unpopular gimmicks. Aligned with UK grappler Magnus Joe has returned to hard-hitting ways and both are set to tackle current tag champ Matt Morgan and Crimson this coming week at the Against All Odds PPV.
The Joe/Magnus team seemed and odd one, but it works very well and has certainly put a spring in the ‘Samoan Submission Machine’s’ step.
“There’s definitely a natural timing between Magnus & myself as far as what we do in the ring and it’s natural in the fact that it’s not practiced. Magnus lives a few States away from me and I’m always never at home so to get time to actually work with a tag team partner and work out the kinks we haven’t had that much time. We meet for a little bit beforehand and then we discuss we’d like to accomplish but it’s a testament to his ability that he’s able to get in the ring, read off of me what we’re doing and just go from there. I think that’s the biggest key element that works between us is just there’s a weird innate & natural timing between the two of us.”
Joe was also a part of the recent record-breaking UK Tour alongside such big names as Hulk Hogan, Sting, Kurt Angle and many others, something which he clearly enjoyed.
“The level of excitement for the performers was off the charts. You had some guys who had not been in that environment yet, who were looking around the arena going “wow, this is pretty spectacular”. To walk into an arena to look out into a crowd & see the anticipation in their faces and when you hear that first initial roar of the crowd when the show started up it definitely ramped everybody and got us all ready to go.”
Joe is no stranger to the UK fans and has appeared many times in front of them for various sized companies, TNA’s success on UK TV and live has shocked the big man though.
“The popularity in general in the UK has surprised me. I think it’s a combination of our front office positioning us well with the right networks. I think a lot of it has to do with the taste of the UK fans. I think the UK fans in general, I think they appreciate great wrestling, they appreciate athleticism. I think they appreciate maybe a little less story & more action. Before I was in TNA I came over for several years with other companies & made forays in the UK. it was always just a hot bed for the art of professional wrestling. I think a lot of that has carried over into what you see today. For TNA at present I think international expansion is the key to our growth. It boggles my mind that there hasn’t been a full time major national promotion in the UK up to this point. I would love to see TNA run in the UK/Europe more, our expansion into India is going fantastically too.”
A man not to be pigeon-holed Joe is as happy in the ring against a heavyweight as he is facing off in a high flying X Division scrap. With that division once more flourishing would he consider a return to that style of match-up?
“Absolutely. Me & (current X Titlist Austin) Aries have a past and I’m sure I owe him a few. I think the X-Division has hit its stride again, it’s on the back of performers like Aries and a lot of guys who are coming back of injuries right now. I would like to go back into the X-Division. Obviously the powers that be have set a weight limit that I don’t think I’ll be breaking anytime soon, but yeah any chance to compete with great athletes in the ring I’m always up for. If there’s one thing people know about me in pro wrestling, I’m not scared of a scrap. I don’t care about who it is, if you want to get in there we’ll go. I have very, very fond memories of my time working in the X-Division & the matches I’ve had in the X-Division and would love to revisit that any opportunity that I get.”
You can see Joe (and Magnus) challenging the Tag Team Champions at Against all Odds on Wednesday February 15th at 10pm on Challenge.