Why WWE superstar Samoa Joe could get over as a babyface (opinion)
He's been booked as a heel throughout most of his tenure, but WWE has now decided to turn Raw superstar Samoa Joe into a babyface.
Samoa Joe, who's one of the most beloved performers among internet fans despite being a heel, will now present himself as a 'hero'. Though despite WWE being criticized for their portrayal of babyface characters, some are under the impression that a 'good guy' character works well for Samoa Joe.
Due to his smash-mouth personality, many fans had taken a liking to Samoa Joe before his recent babyface run. But now that he's presented in situations where he's supposed to be cheered, his aggressive personality will potentially garner him an even bigger fanbase.
Over the years, many have argued that babyface characters, in general, are the bigger draw in terms of how professional wrestling generates business. Going back to the late 1980s with the rise of Hulk Hogan, his heroic character brought professional wrestling into mainstream appeal on a worldwide basis.
With Samoa Joe's age being somewhat of an issue, it doesn't seem likely that WWE will push him to be the next top babyface of the company. However, that's not to say that he won't be able to achieve some success if the company continues to push him as a relevant figure. Samoa Joe has at least shown that he has the aggression to be taken seriously by fans, rather than showing no courage, in contrast to what's considered desirable as a babyface.
After all, fans haven't forgotten about Samoa Joe's run in TNA, where he was a babyface for a good portion of that tenure. In fact, during that period, he wasn't considered a dislikeable figure for the company. Fans also take into consideration that Samoa Joe may get over as a babyface if he is featured prominently. If Samoa Joe were, for example, to float around in the mid-card position in WWE, it would hardly work wonders in getting his character over.
With that said, having him feud with credible heels such as Seth Rollins, for instance, will work wonders in his bid to win over fans. Likewise, feuding with lower mid-card performers such as Buddy Murphy might not do him many favours.
For instance, if Samoa Joe were to beat a main-event heel like Rollins in a high-profile feud, then it would take the credibility of his character to the next level. Beating AJ Styles would be a desirable idea as well, considering the history between the two.
Samoa Joe's character is well-known for his many losses on WWE programming. Though professional wrestling is predetermined and scripted, wins and losses do matter as a whole when it comes to the credibility of a wrestler's character. Winning matches against credible, worthy opponents will garner Samoa Joe's interest as a main-event star.
Some may argue that Samoa Joe can get over as a babyface even within the WWE environment, considering he's got the talent that makes for a desirable professional wrestler. That said, it will be a big challenge, and his success as a current babyface has yet to be seen.