This Monday, Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling issued a press release to announce their debut show.
Beyond a date and location ( June 12 at The Ballpark at Jackson in Jackson, Tennessee), the company’s PR provided little insight into what fans can expect when the company kick off their inaugural ‘MiLB Grand Slam Tour’; a string of summer shows at baseball parks from Florida to California.
Yet that hasn’t stopped fans speculating on what might happen, and who may be appearing, when GWF arrive on the US scene with the follow-up to their successful co-promotion of NJPW’s highly-praised Wrestle Kingdom 9 this past January.
Is Joe in?
Prior to the baseball-themed press release going out, GFW set the cat among the proverbial pigeons by teasing that they’d reached an arrangement with a big name star the mighty WWE had been eager to sign up.
For many folks, all signs point to one man: Former TNA veteran and arguably one of the most sought after free agents on the scene, Samoa Joe.
Almost immediately after announcing his departure from Dixie Carter’s outfit back in February, The Samoan Submission Machine was the talk of the Internet, with not only the fans, but former headliners like Steve Austin and Mick Foley suggesting that a move to McMahonland might be a wise move for Joe.
Coupled with the news that Joe himself had cancelled all his future bookings, or at least declined to accept any, beyond April, it seemed almost a given that the long-time TNA mainstay would appear in an NXT ring some time after Wrestlemania.
Of course, it’s still early days yet, though several weeks removed from the big event and we’ve still heard nothing about a Samoa Joe/WWE deal taking place.
That’s not to say something isn’t on the cards, but it does certainly lend a sense of credibility to the rumour that Jeff Jarrett may have beaten his old employer Vince McMahon to the punch and come to some arrangement with Samoa Joe.
GFW vs. WWE
Assuming that both Double J and either McMahon or Triple H are interested in bringing Samoa Joe into their fold, where he ends up is of course, ultimately up to him. Not that it would be an easy decision to make.
Without speculating on a potential Monday Night War III, there are pros and cons to both organisations.
Join Jarrett’s camp, and Joe’s got the backing of a man who played at least some part in Joe’s brief run as a certified TNA main eventer. Wrestling under the GFW banner, is it anything but a given that we’d see a proven commodity like Samoa Joe in the top spot many feel he deserves?
Meanwhile, the start-up promotion’s agreements with a plethora of wrestling companies from all four corners of the globe has potential to serve us with an almost limitless supply of big time matches. Stepping into the ring with top talents from the likes of AAA, NJPW and Englands’ Revolution Pro Wrestling, Joe could well spend the rest of his days hanging out in the top tier of GFW and having no end of awesome matches.
Yet even starring as the focal point of Jarrett’s organisation doesn’t appear to offer the same kind of gains that going for broke with the WWE could provide a star of Joe’s calibre.
Providing the WWE brain trust give him an opportunity to catch on with their audiences, something this writer feels he’s more than capable of, is there any reason to doubt that the current ROH performer could reach the same level of popularity as ROH alumni Daniel Bryan and CM Punk?
En route to the top, Samoa Joe could well give us classics against the likes of Kevin Owens, Hideo Itami and potentially even D-Bry himself, all whilst raking in the kind of cash you’ve got to believe would appeal to a performer who has more than paid his dues over the years.
On the other hand, it could all go horribly, horribly wrong for Samoa Joe: WWE Superstar. After all, it’s not as if McMahon’s creative team don’t have a proven track record of grossly mismanaging talented performers with a knack for connecting with audiences.
Just as much as he could become our next Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe could well wind up as the new Zack Ryder, all of which seems to suggest that appearing on GFW’s first show this June could be, if nothing else, at least a safe bet for the hottest free agent in the United States.