Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe. After a surprising defeat to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34, Roman Reigns seemed lost. The WWE universe had expected the ‘big dog’ to capture the Universal Championship; however, he appeared to set his sights on capturing the championship at the upcoming ‘Greatest Royal Rumble’ event. When discussing this on Raw, a returning Samoa Joe appeared for the first time in months, facing off with Reigns and lining up a potential dream match in the future. This is the story of when two of the best Samoans of a generation finally came face to face.
Joe immediately mocked Reigns for his failure at defeating Brock Lesnar. The Samoan Submission Machine then challenged Reigns to a match at the upcoming Backlash pay-per-view. Reigns would accept the challenge, and the two would exchange harsh words over the coming weeks. However, a sudden twist threw a spanner in the works.
Joe and Reigns had been feuding on Raw. However, Joe announced that he had been drafted to Smackdown in the superstar shakeup. This confirmed that the feud would likely consist of just one match, making both men want the win at Backlash even more.
Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe
On SmackDown, Samoa Joe expressed his interest in facing some of the blue brand’s biggest stars, such as Randy Orton and the recently returned Daniel Bryan. However, his focus, for the time being, was still on Roman Reigns.
The match was scheduled to main event Backlash 2018. Immediately this frustrated the WWE universe. After AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura at WWE’s WrestleMania had left fans feeling underwhelmed, many hoped their Backlash rematch would main event, and be the dream rematch the fans had expected. Their match was placed earlier in the night, however, and the show itself had so far left the audience bored and disappointed. Reigns and Joe would have to come flying out of the gate from the start to stand any chance of winning over the restless crowd.
Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe – The Battle For Supremacy
The two started brawling and spilled to the outside from the off. Joe managed to put Reigns through the announce table with an enziguri. Reigns then began to sell heavily, slowing the pace of the match down rapidly. A few long minutes of rest holds commenced, and members of the crowd could be seen leaving, despite the match being less than five minutes in.
If that weren’t bad enough, ‘CM Punk,’ chants began to break out. This was a now synonymous sign from the crowd that they were displeased with the action they were seeing, and wanted the WWE to know about it. Joe put Reigns in a chokehold, and the camera pans round. The audience are no longer chanting, but instead look bored and disinterested.
The Clash of the Samoan’ Joe’s’
After a dive to the outside by Joe, the match shows signs of picking up. However, within moments, the two are back in the middle of the ring, applying rest holds. This time, even larger groups of the audience can be seen leaving. Roman begins his fightback, and hits a spinebuster, that Joe kicks out of at two. Out of nowhere, Joe locks in the Coquina Clutch, but Reigns escapes, falling out of the ring in the process.
Back inside the ring, Reigns regains momentum and hits a superman punch. However, Joe again kicks out at two. Reigns then hits a spear, but Joe gets his foot on the rope just before the three count. The crowd unfortunately weren’t tricked by the near fall and were now barely reacting to any spots. Joe eventually locked in the Coquina Clutch again and held it for a while. Reigns just made it to the ropes, but seems out of it.
Finally, Joe sets Reigns up for the muscle buster. Reigns escapes, hits the spear, and pins Joe for the win. Ultimately, a match that could have been great, was underwhelming. The lacklustre undercard didn’t help, but the lack of pace of the match put an end to any interest the crowd had in the feud. It was a disappointing end, to what had been an exciting prospect.
Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe
Following their match, the two would only face off one more time. At the Raw reunion show on 22nd July 2019. Joe cut a promo, describing the Raw reunion show as a ‘plague to the WWE.’ During the promo, Joe would mock the Uso’s, Rikishi and John Cena rap segment from earlier in the show. This caused Roman Reigns to appear, and stick up for his family. Reigns tells Joe that since he’s ‘from the same island,’ he knows what happens next.
The two began brawling both in and outside of the ring, until Joe grabs a microphone and pretends to want a match with the ‘big dog.’ He tricks the crowd and changes his mind, before Reigns calls Joe a coward, leading to Joe having a change of heart, and the match starting. After an entertaining TV match, Reigns would eventually win with a spear.
With Samoa Joe now in AEW, and Reigns still on top in WWE, it seems unlikely these two will faceoff again in the near future. Given his victories, it’s undoubtedly that Reigns came out on top in this feud. However, having a major feud with one of the top stars in the company was still a plus for Samoa Joe. This was the story of Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe.