Samoa Joe

Samoa Joe on Wardlow’s Biggest Advantage Being “A Gift and a Curse”

Samoa Joe defends his TNT championship against former champion Wardlow at AEW Revolution 2023 on March 5th.

Joe appeared on Bowks Talking Bouts to discuss his pro wrestling showdown with a UFC 1 veteran, “discovering new familiarity” with All Elite Wrestling and ROH, plus so much more. Excerpts from our chat are below.

Samoa Joe

Joe’s history of clashing with heavyweight leviathans like Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, and Kenta Kobashi in the context of how Wardlow stacks up among those giants

“I mean I think his biggest advantage is probably the enthusiasm. But you know, like most things it’s both a gift and a curse. I think an athlete like Wardlow obviously a tremendous physical specimen. A guy who definitely outputs a lot more power than what you think that frame could. I’d liken him to a tugboat as far as being all engine in that chassis. So you know just a lot of physicality, man. He’s a tough dude to deal with and he’s a big strong guy. I think you look up and down the line of some of the people you mentioned there, you’ll see a lot of parallels.”

The tensions between Joe and Wardlow reaching a peak boiling point before Sunday’s clash

“Yeah I mean you know obviously we are at a boiling point. I mean, that’s purposeful. I’m glad we are. That’s the way I like things to be. When you see me show up on your television screen, I’m out there to pick a fight. Not to you know sing, dance, and entertain. Yeah, that to me is kind of the essence of what I look for and what I think a lot of fans look for. They want two guys who really don’t like each other. They want to find out what’s what at the end of the night. That very much is the vibe me and Wardlow have going right now and I’m completely content with that.”

AEW Revolution 2023

AEW being a brand new thing in it’s own right but also bearing a lot of hallmarks from that early 2000’s indie scene

“Oh absolutely. My whole career has been discovering new familiarity I like to call it. Because everywhere I go, I see a lot of the same faces. A lot of the same people whether it be in ROH to TNA to WWE and now here in AEW. That’s not by accident. When you keep looking around and seeing the same people in the locker rooms year after year, you know usually they’re some of the best that the world has ever produced. So yeah, it is very interesting.”

“Because obviously it’s very cool to have had your journey and have gone where you have gone. Then to be able to circle back and circle back around and see people. Now they’re out there and they’re flourishing in the world. They’re on their way and I mean coming back to AEW, there was a lot of those type of reunions. So it was for me personally, just from a career standpoint, it’s very cool to be able to revisit people and see them at their best.”

Joe vs Gordeau

Joes recollections of wrestling Gerard Gordeau (competed in the first ever televised UFC fight, early 90’s K-1 veteran, etc) for Zero1 in Japan

“Oh absolutely terrifying. Gerard Gordeau is probably one of the most serious individuals on planet earth. Fortunately Sensei Gordeau was a really awesome guy to tour with. I actually got to sit down and have a lot of really perspectively interesting conversations with him. About various world events and it was eye opening for me. Especially as a young man because you know you’re travelling internationally for the first time. You’re kind of hearing all these crazy different points of view and seeing where they come from; where they originate from.”

“But yeah the match in and of itself was very much like Gerard Gordeau is not a man who pro wrestles and he’ll tell you that. You know I’m a Kyokushin black belt, I kickbox, and I beat people up. He throws his kicks and his punches, you do your best to stay in there. Hopefully not missing any teeth when you’re finished up there. But other than that I mean he’s an awesome guy. Every time I come through to Holland in the Netherlands, he would be like hey, come to Kamakura. There’s always an open invite. Yeah, interesting individual to say the least (laughs).”

author avatar
Dylan Bowker
I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.