Nuufolau Joel Seanoa is a 42-year-old wrestler from Orange County, California. Seanoa currently wrestles for the WWE and performs on NXT under the ring name, Samoa Joe.
Seanoa started his wrestling career in 2000 for the promotion Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) and had his first feud against John Cena. He also formed a tag team with Mike Knox and had their first match on December 12, 2000 in the Galaxy Theatre of Santa Ana, California where they defeated Al Katrazz with Basil. Eventually, Seanoa captured the UPW Heavyweight Championship and became the longest reigning UPW Heavyweight Champion.
Seanoa wrestled on the independent scene for several years for promotions including Pro Wrestling Zero-One, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Joe became best known for his time in Ring of Honor where he held the ROH World Championship for a record 21 months from March 2003 to December 2004.
When he joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in June 2005, he enjoyed a 19 month long winning streak and won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship once, the TNA X Division Championship five times, the TNA World Tag Team Championship twice, and the TNA Television Championship once.
Samoa Joe Signs With WWE
WWE announced on June 1, 2015 that they had signed Seanoa to a contract. He was renamed Samoa Joe and made his NXT debut at NXT TakeOver: Unstoppable, where he saved Sami Zayn after an attack from Kevin Owens.
Samoa Joe won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic alongside Finn Bálor in 2015. He also won the NXT Championship twice, with the first time against Bálor and the second time against Shinsuke Nakamura.
Samoa Joe made his main roster debut in January 2017, attacking Seth Rollins and aligning himself with Triple H. Joe got his first big win on the main roster at Extreme Rules 2017. Joe competed in an Extreme Rules match also featuring Finn Bálor, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, and Seth Rollins. He won the match earning an opportunity to face Brock Lesnar at the next event, Great Balls of Fire, which he ended up losing to Lesnar.
At SummerSlam, Joe got another opportunity at the Universal Championship in a fatal-four-way match against Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, and Braun Strowman, but lost the match. Joe was involved in multiple feuds against Roman Reigns, Kofi Kingston, A.J. Styles, and Seth Rollins.
In 2019, Samoa Joe won his first main roster championship when he won the United States Championship in a fatal-four-way match against R-Truth, Andrade, and Rey Mysterio. He won his second United States title after Rey Mysterio relinquished it to him. From 2019 to 2020, Samoa Joe has also worked regularly at the commentary table.
Samoe Joe’s Release & Return to NXT
Samoa Joe was of the many WWE talent released in the company’s April 2021 cutbacks. He was brought back in June to act as a special enforcer in NXT. On July 27th’s episode of NXT, Samoa Joe handed his resignation to NXT General Manager William Regal. This marked the end of his role as a special ‘authority’ or enforcer for NXT. The NXT storyline was that William Regal brought Joe back under two conditions – Joe was no longer a NXT Superstar, and Joe could not get physical with the NXT roster, unless provoked.
NXT Champion Karrion Kross did provoke Samoa Joe and attacked him after his victory over Johnny Gargano. Regal accepted Joe’s resignation and reinstated him as an active competitor on NXT’s roster. Samoa Joe’s first match will be at NXT TakeOver 36. He had not wrestled in over 18 months as he suffered a concussion while filming a commercial for WWE. Joe also had a suspension for violating the company’s Wellness Policy which resulted in him being part of the Monday Night RAW commentary team until his release earlier this year.
Samoa Joe Becomes NXT Champion at TakeOver 36
At NXT TakeOver 36, Samoa Joe defeated reigning NXT Champion, Karion Kross, to become the first ever NXT third time champion. Due to an injury, Samoa Joe had to vacate his NXT Championship on September 14, 2021.
Career Championships and Accomplishments
- Ballpark Brawl
- Natural Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Extreme Wrestling Federation
- Xtreme 8 Tournament (2006)
- Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South
- Revolution Strong Style Tournament (2004)
- German Wrestling Association
- GWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time, final)
- Pro Wrestling Noah
- GHC Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Zero-One
- NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Pure Wrestling Association
- PWA Pure Wrestling Championship (1 time)
- Ring of Honor
- ROH Pure Championship (1 time)
- ROH World Championship (1 time)
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- TNA Television Championship (1 time)
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- TNA World Tag Team Championship (2 times)
- TNA X Division Championship (5 times)
- King of the Mountain (2008)
- Maximum Impact Tournament (2011)
- TNA X Division Championship Tournament (2014)
- Super X Cup (2005)
- Feast or Fired (2009 – World Heavyweight Championship contract)
- TNA Turkey Bowl (2007)
- Gauntlet for the Gold (2007 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship)
- Wild Card Tournament (2011)
- Third TNA Grand Slam Champion
- Third TNA Triple Crown Champion
- Mr. TNA (2006, 2007)
- X Division star of the Year (2006)
- Feud of the Year (2006–2007)
- Finisher of the Year (2007)
- Twin Wrestling Entertainment
- TWE Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Ultimate Pro Wrestling
- UPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- UPW No Holds Barred Championship (1 time)
- United Independent Wrestling Alliance
- UIWA Tag Team Championship (2 times)
- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
- NXT Championship (3 times)
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic (2015)
- WWE United States Championship (2 times)