Samoa Joe is the number one contender for the WWE Universal Championship and will challenge Brock Lesnar on 7/9 at Great Balls of Fire. Joe defeated Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Fin Balor in the Fatal 5-Way main event, last night, at Extreme Rules.
The finish saw Finn Balor hit Roman Reigns with the Coupe de Grace, only for Joe to pull him away from the cover and apply the Coquina Clutch. Balor passed and out and the referee called for the bell.
Finn Balor was the favorite to win the match from a booking perspective since it was teased on Raw a couple of weeks ago that Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar are watching Balor with a vested interest. The match would have made sense being that Balor never lost the Universal Title.
Betting wise, Samoa Joe was the favorite at -900 as there was a notable shift in the betting odds yesterday morning. This has become an increasing disappointment because the late favorite in a particular match has ended up the winner. It’s obvious that someone on WWE’s creative team is placing huge bets at the last moment, thus spoiling the outcome.
Samoa Joe’s win puts a lot of steam back on his character since he’s cooled down quite a bit in the months following his main roster debut in January. It was mentioned on the broadcast that Joe was the only guy in the match to never be world champion, which was a nice way of highlighting him a little more going into the main event.
Normally, Brock Lesnar’s opponents are booked as underdogs facing insurmountable odds. Samoa Joe should be the exception to that rule. This is a dream match where two badasses are going to wrestle each other. If WWE doesn’t botch the booking of this program, it could be truly something memorable.
That’s the big question, though. Can WWE do it right?
The word on the street has Bruan Strowman penciled in as Lesnar’s dance partner at Summer Slam in August. Strowman is injured right now but expected back next month. If Strowman vs. Lesnar is still the plan, that means Joe vs. Lesnar could end up being nothing more than a means to heat up Lesnar, which would be a huge missed opportunity.
Joe doesn’t have to go over on Brock Lesnar in order for the match to come off as something spectacular. The irresistible force colliding with the immovable object would be a more compelling story to tell. Yes, they already did that with Goldberg, but he’s gone now and may never return.
Samoa Joe is going to be on TV every week and getting him over as a world beater is a sure fire way to create a new star. Something WWE desperately needs.