Is Samoa Joe related to Rikishi, The Rock or Roman Reigns?
The Anoa’i clan, which has its roots in the American Samoa, has left an indelible mark on the history of professional wrestling; it has sired numerous performers who’ve had Hall of Fame careers in the squared circle. Even today, scions of the clan such as Roman Reigns and The Usos enjoy prominent positions on the WWE roster.
In fact, the Anoa’is are so prominent that every wrestler of Samoan origin is automatically associated with the clan. However, Samoa Joe has no relation to them or their cousin The Rock. He is a first generation wrestler who has had to scratch and claw his way to the top.
Samoa Joe, AKA Nuufolau Joel Seanoa, was born into a family that operated a Polynesian dance troupe named Tiare Productions. He learned his trade at Ultimate Pro Wrestling, a territory which was associated with the WWE’s developmental system, before further refining his craft with Pro Wrestling Zero-One and Pro Wrestling Noah in Japan.
The Samoan Submission Machine then enjoyed a 15 year run with Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling (TNA) where he played a pivotal part in establishing both of those promotions. Joe’s work also led to him being named the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for 2005.
This triple threat is one of the more famous matches in TNA history:
Joe signed with NXT in 2015, and he spent almost two entire years at Full Sail. His tenure included 2 NXT title reigns and memorable rivalries with Balor and Nakamura. He was subsequently called up to Raw on January 30, 2017 and is now one of Vince McMahon’s pet projects on the main roster.
In other words, we can surmise that Joe’s journey to the zenith of professional wrestling is far more similar to that of AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan than any of his Samoan counterparts.
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