Nothing, my darlings, raises my ire like dashed expectations. When I first arrived in the sprawling Worker's Paradise that is Portland, Oregon, my very first act was to acquire one of the Twenty-First Century's greatest technological fruits: On Demand Cable. It was there, hidden deep in the bowels of the "Other Sports" menu, that I first encountered Samoa Joe.
It was a match against the redoubtable A.J. Styles at some goddamn Pay-Per-View or other, and it was magnificent. The peak moment was when Joe had Styles outside the ring, set up for a powerbomb. Too grand a competitor for such a cliched move, Joe opted instead to swing Styles around, slamming A.J.'s head at full force into the fucking crowd barrier. I felt a moment of vertigo, a chill shooting through me. "Christ," I thought, "I just watched a Samoan murder someone on national television." It felt good.
The match eventually ended with Joe victorious, and I immediately downed my vodka and cued up the next one. It was that match where Joe knees Christopher Daniels in the head about forty-five times, causing Daniels's head to split open like a grape. I started calling everyone I knew, singing the praises of this tubby monstrosity. I had a new favorite wrestler.
And then the bloat set in. I watched, dismayed, as Joe waddled through a series of lackluster matches, steadfastly refusing to sell to any of the fine competitors assembled to test him. Alright, to be fair, the only decent booking he got was a match against my beloved Sabu, but that should have been a classic. Instead, we got a contractually obligated snorefest in which Sabu was struggling manfully to avoid any serious injuries before he could start blowing his WWE checks on weed and pills.
From there, Joe took a sharp left into Tag Team Hell, backing up Sting, of all people, in a soul-deadening feud against Jeff Jarrett and Wrestling's Answer To Gary Busey, Scott Steiner. My favorite wrestler was now being squandered against washed up TNA pillbags of the lowest order. I transferred my affections to the more deserving Sanjay Dutt.
Now, however, I receive word that Samoa Joe is booked against The War Machine Rhino on next week's Impact. I will watch with bated breath. And if that fat fucking tub doesn't put on a decent match against Rhino, it's all over.
You're on notice, you underacheiving hamhock.