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The Whole Damn Joe! Joe! Joe!



After last night’s Monday Night Raw it’s pretty clear that Samoa Joe’s stock is rising at an alarming rate and now is the time to buy, buy, buy. Whether it’s crowd reactions or the brutality he brings both physically and verbally (I’m talking to you, Roman), the guy is connecting in a big way.  At WWE Great Balls of Fire, Joe gave Brock Lesnar arguably his most physical contest in recent memory.  It was even reported that Lesnar was extremely pleased with Joe’s performance and that his ability to “keep up” with The Beast was a breath of fresh air.  For some of us, this isn’t a surprise, as Joe has been widely considered one of the industry’s best even before his arrival in NXT.  I myself can admit that I was speculative of the Samoa Joe hype train, but now, I feel foolish, because if there’s any train I’m looking to catch, it’s the Joe Line.

At Great Balls of Fire it would be Joe, not Lesnar setting the tone and before you could utter the line “you shake my nerves and you rattle my brain” Lesnar was on the ropes so to speak, getting attacked from behind, taking a Uranage through a table and enduring multiple coquina clutches.  In a match where logic and booking pointed squarely in the direction of Lesnar, it was doubt and not certainty that started to make its way into the minds of wrestling marks everywhere.  Could this be it? Could Joe shock the world and become Champion during one of the worst named PPVs of all time?  While in fact that didn’t happen, and The Beast did halt the Samoan Submission Machine’s path to victory with an F5, you could argue, as did Joe last night, that he “had [Brock’s] number.”

Also, let’s not just limit Joe’s momentum to his impressive showing of physicality.  As I mentioned in my opening, Joe’s ability to spit fire on the mic has also raised eyebrows.  We all knew he could talk, but I don’t think we all knew how believable he could be.  Is wrestling scripted, yea, but I also don’t think that Joe’s seemingly bent up aggression is a footnote on a writer’s script. (i.e. insert passion here).  Joe’s emotion is RAW, pun intended.  It’s as real as it gets.  He even made those around him better.  I mean, did you see the emotion he evoked out of Lesnar?  In fact, I challenge anyone reading this to please tell me the last time Brock Lesnar looked this eager and this excited to be talking on the mic. Now typically here I’d say I’ll wait for a response, but the fact is, I won’t get one and thus, I’d never finish this blog. So let’s carry on and take what I just said as law.

Lastly, you can tell that reaching this level in his career is extremely personal to him – more so than others in the business. He spent an entire career in other wrestling promotions, all under the guise of “Samoa Joe is a great worker, one of the best in the business never to be in the WWE.”  Well, now that man has arrived.  He may have been here for sometime already, but at the Great Balls of Fire, he made it official.  He’s not a rental, he’s an owner. The WWE is now the home of Samoa Joe.

Joe. Joe. Joe. Joe.



  1. Anonymous

    Jul 12, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Talk about a breath of fresh air – This article is one of those. Well written!

  2. Nick Buono

    Jul 12, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed.

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Match Of The Month: The Top 10 WWE Matches (February, 2021)



Last month I kicked off a new feature, where I run down the 10 best WWE matches of the month from across all shows and PPV events. January saw some very good matches take place (which you can check HERE), but the month of February actually saw that stepped up a notch.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at what my top 10 matches for February were in the world of WWE.

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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #7)



Break It Down

It’s Sunday, you know what that means. As ever, it is time to Break It Down, as we take a detailed look back on the last week of wrestling, taking a look at what has worked, and what has fallen short, in what’s been another action-packed set of shows.

As ever, there have been some highlights and lowlights, but there have been some brilliant matches throughout the week which have kept fans entertained. But which of the shows was the true standout?


WWE Raw continued in its recent tradition of being a very long three-hour show, and while certain moments worked, and were enjoyable, there are too many moments that simply don’t work. The Miz TV opening segment wasn’t exciting, but it does make sense on his behalf to pull out of the Elimination Chamber.

The six-man tag team match featuring The Hurt Business against Riddle and Lucha House Party was a very average match, and the Lacey Evans announcement renders that recent storyline fairly pointless. It’s not been a great story anyway, and the fact a tag team match had Asuka as a bit-part player just showcases where the women’s division is at right now.

Kofi Kingston and The Miz did have a nice match against each other, which was great to see, but the overwhelming positive of this show was the gauntlet match. It’s a stipulation WWE typically does very good at, and this was no different.

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WWE Network Recap: ‘WWE The Day Of’ Royal Rumble 2021



The following is a recap of the new ‘WWE The Day Of’ special that dropped on the WWE Network (LINK) today, taking us behind the scenes of the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view. 

The show opened with classic clips of Pat Patterson talking about how much everyone loves the Royal Rumble and the process behind how he came up with the match. “We’re always trying to be creative and do something that’s never been done.” He had to convince Vince McMahon that it was going to work as he didn’t initially believe it was viable. Patterson also told a story about “Nature Boy” Ric Flair coming through the curtain in ’92 after winning the world title “crying like a baby” and hugging him.

Edge and Christian were shown arriving at the ThunderDome for the 2021 Royal Rumble. They actually shared a dressing room for the show, I imagine for the first time since Edge retired.

Edge talked about the Rumble being based in fan interaction and the challenges of adapting to the pandemic. Now there’s a lot of going out and trying something, then going back and looking on social media to see the reactions and if it worked.

Christian said he’s been asked for years literally everywhere he goes if he’ll ever wrestle another match. Until six months ago he genuinely thought the answer was no, and didn’t like the idea that the last time fans ever saw him would be that segment where Randy Orton punted him.

Damian Priest said the Royal Rumble was his favorite WWE event of the entire year going back to watching as a little kid. “It’s the dream, man. I think part of the process of achieving your dreams is just making it to the company. … In NXT I was one in the back thinking I don’t know if I belong here sometimes, because there’s so much talent, and I don’t know if I can hang. But I figured out a way to belong, and a way to excel. That’s my goal here.”

Shane Helms was asked if he was nervous coming back, but said he was never a person to get a lot of nerves before a big moment. He talked about being a backstage guy now and enjoying every opportunity he has to help someone achieve their goals, but when he sees that ring or walks into the arena there’s a little voice in the back of his head going “you can do it one more time!” Helms said he was okay if his in-ring career ends in the Royal Rumble because it’s his favorite event of all time.

Bad Bunny was shown rehearsing his song with Booker T, which they apparently did in one take. He met various Superstars backstage including Charlotte Flair, who talked about being able to understand Spanish but getting super nervous trying to speak it in front of people. Bunny admitted he was the same with English.

Torrie Wilson said the best part about coming back is seeing all her old friends and the people she watches on TV now. She was really excited to get in the ring with Bianca Belair, calling her a “badass”.

Carlito didn’t know what to expect as obviously this year’s Rumble was very different than any before it, but he was excited to make his walk down a WWE ramp for the first time in ten years. They showed footage of him winning the Intercontinental Championship. “I’m excited to mix it up with the young ones, the old-timers, everybody. It’s what I came for, to compete with everybody. I’m proud to be one of the surprise entrants. Hopefully some people will be happy about it, and some will remember who I was.”

Victoria opened up about her doubts and the pressure she put on herself to be perfect and have an amazing match. She said she was very nervous to meet all the new girls in the locker room, but they were very warm and nice to her and she seemed to be having a great time visiting.

Seth Rollins reiterated that the Rumble is the most fan-interactive WWE event of the year, so he hoped they were able to connect with the fans and bring them something exciting, as well as keep up the energy for the performers in the ring who don’t have live fans to feed off.

Ember Moon said a lot of the same things we’ve already heard but you can tell she’s such a huge fan and is serious when she talks about wanting to headline WrestleMania since she was a kid, watching her favorites point at the sign after winning the Royal Rumble year after year.

An awesome video package recapped the Women’s Royal Rumble match with all the important moments, surprise entrants and eliminations until it came down to the final three.

An emotional Montez Ford was shown backstage watching Bianca Belair win the match. When she came back through the curtain all the producers and women in the match gave her a standing ovation and chanted “EST! EST!” but she went straight to Montez and as she said, “sat in that moment together”.

Bianca also had a moment with Triple H where he hugged her and told her that he believed in her, and that “this is only the first step.” She also spoke to Ric Flair who congratulated her with a big smile on his face and when she admitted she didn’t know what to do next, he said, “This is the real deal. It’s like winning the Super Bowl. You enjoy it.”

Big E paid tribute to Brodie Lee as they showed off the special New Day gear they were all wearing in his memory. Xavier Woods showed the different Brodie poses they had and explained them to Ruby Riott. Big E had to walk off camera, and Woods broke down nearly crying and said “I just miss my friend….”

Much like the women’s match, they ran a video package recapping the highlights from the Men’s Royal Rumble match, interspersed with comments from the performers throughout.

An emotional Edge talked about winning the match and how important it was for him to do it on the same night that his best friend Christian returned, just like him, after being told he would never wrestle again.

“It means a lot. I assumed this was all done. If you had told me four years ago that I would be in the Royal Rumble, going in first and winning it to go to WrestleMania… I still feel like I need to pinch myself. Next to my family, that means the most to me.” … “If you wrote this as a script for Hollywood they’d say it was impossible, that it could never happen. Yet here we are. I don’t get it, and I think I’m going to stop trying to get it, and just enjoy it. It’s happening, and it’s awesome.”

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