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Samoa Freakin’ Joe

A few years ago Triple H and his wife Stephanie McMahon prized Seth Rollins away from The Shield and guaranteed him all the successes that he ever dreamed of. Under The Authority Rollins became WWE Champion and he served well as Hunter and Stephanie’s “chosen one.” Rollins was dubbed “the future” and for a while he was the face of WWE. But that was until injuries took their toll and while they did, The Authority broke down. Rollins rehabilitates from injury and comes back to a Championship opportunity – only for Triple H to screw him out of the win and virtually hand the then new WWE Universal Title to Kevin Owens. Seth’s obviously been furious ever since, consistently poking at Stephanie and calling her husband a coward. Rollins finally looks like he’s going to get at least a fist fight with Triple H, but then Samoa Joe enters like a tornado and wipes Rollins out. Injuring him, seemingly ruling him out of WrestleMania.

Seth Rollins is going through rehab, again, and once again he may miss WrestleMania due to injury. On February 27th’s episode of Monday Night Raw Rollins was interviewed in the ring and he said that maybe he deserved these injuries as some sort of comeuppance after his antics in the last few years. Triple H entered to mock Seth’s injury status and he told him to stay away from WrestleMania, or else he may never compete in a WWE ring again. Rollins stepped up and yelled at Hunter telling him that he will be at WrestleMania and he will call Triple H out, promising him that it’ll be the last thing he’ll ever do.

During this segment Triple H’s new hitman was loitering at ringside.

Here’s how I would have written what happened…

Triple H is standing on the ring apron and having his back and forth with Rollins on the microphone. Hunter says that he used Rollins, but the reason why he screwed him out of the Universal Championship was because Seth Rollins was the one choice that he was disappointed in. He calls Rollins an embarrassment and states that with all his injuries, Rollins is no longer “the future,” in fact, Rollins is a “never was.” Rollins barks back at Triple H, stating that he would call him out at WrestleMania. But then Triple H gets into the ring. Rollins hobbles on his crutch and Hunter kicks the crutch away. The commentators remind the audience at home that Triple H didn’t lay a hand on Rollins when The Destroyer Samoa Joe injured him a few weeks ago. Again, it seems like Joe’s going to do Triple H’s bidding. Joe gets into the ring, loosens his cuffs and the crowd anticipate the end of Seth Rollins as we know it – but instead of attacking Rollins, Joe latches onto Triple H and chokes out the COO of WWE. Triple H is made to pass out and Seth Rollins cannot believe it. Not only do the fans not know what to make of this, but the commentary team make a big deal about the fact that on this occasion, Joe did nothing whatsoever to Seth Rollins.

The following week on Raw Stephanie McMahon marches to the ring and she demands that Samoa Joe come to the ring and give her an explanation. Raw’s General Manager Mick Foley enters too. He tells Stephanie that Joe is a dangerous man, so he wants to be in the ring and act as a buffer to ensure Stephanie’s safety. Samoa Joe makes an entrance, not in a corporate suit, but a tee and jeans. He gets into the ring and tells Stephanie McMahon to her face that he has double crossed Triple H.

Joe: “Think about it Stephanie. Your husband came into this business once upon a time and he rode the coattails of Shawn Michaels. On and off over the years he turned on Michaels and he did so with a means of getting to the top. I think Michaels respected that and I suppose that’s why they’re still friends. But after DX came Evolution. The elite of past present and future. What did your husband do? He learned everything he could from the dirtiest player in the game and then he screwed over Batista and then he screwed over Randy Orton. As soon as those two superstars realised they were better than “The Game” your cerebral assassin husband decided to change the game in his favour. Good for him. More power to him. But fast forward to the last couple of years and Triple H has been trying to vicariously continue his career through Seth Rollins. He gave him Kane as a bodyguard, he gave him two midgets in security and he made sure that people thought of him whenever they saw Seth Rollins. Facial hair. A back-stabbing of best friends. The Pedigree as a finisher. And so now, I come into WWE NXT and I’m too much for them there. I hurt people and the NXT roster is thin on the ground as it is so Hunter comes to me and offers me the opportunity to sign up to Raw and be on WWE’s biggest stage. All I had to do was take out Seth Rollins. So there, I did it. Triple H kept up his end of the bargain; I got my Raw contract. What? I was supposed to be loyal after that? I’m supposed to do your husband’s dirty work any time going forward? For what? I’m here. I got here. It was a business deal and both parties got what they wanted.”

Stephanie: “But why the hell did you take Hunter out?! You could have shook hands and walked away. You didn’t even need to be at ringside last week. Seth was on crutches!”

Joe: “Seth was on crutches and still, still, Triple H wanted me out there. He asked me to go out there as a favour, as if I owed him something. He wanted to humiliate Rollins, a man on one leg. I know Seth and I haven’t always seen eye to eye away from WWE, but I don’t need to kick a man while he’s down to know that I am the man. Triple H wanted someone humiliated in the ring last week, so I humiliated him.”

Stephanie goes ballistic, calling Samoa Joe ungrateful and yelling at him throughout. Mick Foley chimes in and says that “Hunter said it himself. He uses people and spits them out once he’s done chewing on them, so why would a man like Samoa Joe allow that to happen?”

Foley continues: “Joe’s no rookie. Joe’s been around the world facing factions, organisations and some of the toughest s.o.b’s on the planet.”

Stephanie: “So you’re condoning this?! Joe just took out my husband! You know what Joe, you may have gotten your contract, but you do not take a swipe at my man and get away with it.”

Foley: “Stephanie no!”

Foley holds Stephanie back.

Stephanie: “Get out of my way. I’m going to slap him and then I’m going to fire him on the spot!”

Foley eventually gets Stephanie to calm down. He raises his voice as he tells her that firing Joe would come at a huge expense for WWE because he had it written into his contract that if he were fired then he’d be given a huge pay-off.

Stephanie: “Who the hell put that in his contract?!”

Foley: “I did.”

Stephanie and Foley have a back and forth argument, with Stephanie stating Mick’s lack of competence as a General Manager. Mick says what’s done is done and that while he’s not going to let Stephanie fire Joe, he will make a match for Samoa Joe at WrestleMania.

Foley: “Knowing Triple H how we all know him, and giving him the benefit of any doubt that he would have kicked Seth Rollins’ ass at WrestleMania, Joe this is how it’s going to go down. Stephanie doesn’t want you here. She wants you punished for what you did last week.”

Stephanie: “That’s right!”

Foley: “So this is how it’s going to happen. Samoa Joe you will compete at WrestleMania, in your first WrestleMania, the grandest stage of our industry… and you’ll face Triple H one on one.”

Stephanie goes ballistic off-mic. Her hands to her head, yelling at Foley.

Foley: “Now hold on, hold on. Joe if you lose, your contract here is null and void. You don’t get a pay-off, you’re done and you’re outta here.”

Stephanie calms a little, liking the idea of Triple H being the man to put Joe out of business.

Samoa Joe: “But Mick, what if I win? What do I get then?”

Foley: “If you win… Triple H never competes in a WWE ring again.”

Stephanie: “What?!”

Commentators: “What!?”

Foley says that Hunter keeps his job and his status as Chief Operating Officer of WWE, but if Samoa Joe defeats him at WrestleMania then Triple H is done and forced to retire from in-ring competition. “That way, everybody has something to lose.”

In the weeks building up to WrestleMania a lot is made of Triple H’s career and there are numerous video packages telling his story. Stephanie hates all this and eventually it all adds up to why she fires Mick Foley as General Manager of Raw. Before that though, what tips Stephanie over the edge on that decision is the fact that Mick Foley instates Seth Rollins as the Special Guest Referee between Triple H and Samoa Joe at WrestleMania.

With Rollins as the referee, the match can turn out so many ways. Rollins hates Triple H, but if he screws him over then he will never have the one on one opportunity to face him because Hunter would have been forced to retire. If Rollins screws over Joe, he gets rid of Joe from Raw, no doubt eliminating a longer term competitor. Does he call the match right down the middle? Whichever way the result ends up, Joe bumps into Daniel Bryan backstage at WrestleMania – and Bryan tells him that if he does happen to lose, a contract will be waiting for him on Tuesday night’s SmackDown Live.

The major reason why I would build up to WrestleMania as such is because Samoa Joe as a character looks stupid if the guy using him is telling people that using people is what he does. Why would Joe take that on the chin? Why would a man like him be threatened by anything that could come his way? He and Hunter had/have a business agreement, one which they both delivered on. Any sense of “loyalty” doesn’t come into and for Joe the character, it would tell the audience a lot more about his fearlessness if he decked Triple H rather than continue to be a pawn.

Next? Well, I would have Rollins actually count fast for a Triple H pin on Joe. This sends Joe to SmackDown Live with the possible “unfinished business” between him and Rollins much later on down the road. And this means that the Rollins/Triple H story could continue in one of two ways. Rollins helps Hunter win so Triple H is grateful and they form a respect for one another. Calling it quits on any underlying hatred that they had formed. Or, Seth’s reason could be that he still wants a piece of Triple H and so he needed him to remain on the competitive roster in order to get a shot at him later on.

For Joe, if he wins he stays on Raw, probably going through Braun Strowman before ever coming close to any WWE Gold. If he loses and goes to SmackDown Live, his career continues as the man who double crossed Triple H. No doubt he’ll get pats on his back from Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon.

Thank you for reading. I aspire to become a WWE Creative Writer. I hope this and the link to my ‘Archive’ show you what I can do.

Farook of Crawley, March 13th 2017

Farook Qais

BA Hons, Creative Industries

OPEN STARTER

Loki lay in the shadows on the cold concrete, breathing labored as he applied pressure to one of his deeper wounds. The syringe he had been pierced with lay at his side, its mysterious contents drained dry. Who could have possibly formulated a substance capable of rendering him this defenseless? 

He held his breath at the sound of approaching footfalls, fearing that his pursuer had managed to track him. Even in his weakness, he could not stop his tongue.

“Have you come to put me out of my misery? How noble.”