Samoa Joe is a big, bad dude. Whether he’s running the show as the Television Champion in Ring of Honor or causing havoc as the TNT Champion in AEW, the self-declared “King of TV” has been on a tear since making a comeback to the ring as a regular performer, winning 17 of his last 18 matches going back to his match against Carrion Kross in NXT.

With his personality on full display week in and week out, Joe’s career is experiencing a bit of a resurgence in AEW/ROH now that he is at ease working for Tony Khan. However, even a king occasionally needs to stack the deck to remain in the black, as the Samoan Submission Machine decided to attack his opponent with a led pipe an hour before his scheduled match with Wardlow, bashing up his knee while doing so.

When Wardlow didn’t come out of the back for the match as expected, Joe entered the ring for the main event of the show and played coy, choosing instead to attack the local sports market as any good heel should. Joe listened as Wardlow’s music and images hit.

Joe addressed the gathering, saying, “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is I, your ‘One True King of Television. And regrettably, tonight, Wardlow appears to be experiencing a little stage fright. He won’t be here right now, either.

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We even phoned the Denver Broncos and asked if they wanted to send someone over here because, let’s face it, you all have already suffered enough losses in this town this year. In fact, I made a few calls in the back to try and find myself an opponent.

Samoa Joe

Unfortunately for Joe, he was unable to complete his statement as Wardlow battled through security personnel and medical personnel to enter the ring for theding, ding, ding. Alas, even his most heroic attempts fell short of stopping his opponent and winning the strap that was rightly his. Even though he tried his best to push through the discomfort, Wardlow’s knee injury worsened as the match went on, and in the end, he was defeated by Joe’s rear-naked choke for the 1-2-3.

Wardlow gave it his best despite losing the count, so if that had been the conclusion of the battle, the crowd would have been left disappointed but not openly dejected. However, Joe wasn’t going to let his former tag team partner depart the Mile High City intact.

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No, once Wardlow regained consciousness, the “Samoan Submission Machine” dressed him in straps and then, while he was unconscious, had his hair hacked off in a display of disdain that would make Samson blush. Even though Darby Allin’s song started playing soon after and he was able to escape the behemoth, one has to wonder what Wardlow’s future holds—whether it’s eventual victory over Joe or a new direction for AEW.

Joe predicted the outcome of AEW New Year’s Smash on the previous Dynamite.

Even though Joe’s victory may have surprised some, Samoan himself correctly foresaw it in the previous episode of Dynamite when he advised Wardlow to enjoy his time with friends and family while he still could.

Greetings, friends Samoa You have your ROH Television Champion and Undisputed TNT Champion, Joe, who is also referred to as the “True King of Television,” here to wish you all a happy holiday. Joe remarked. “And in particular, Wardlow, I have a special greeting for you because of the spirit of teamwork and friendship that comes with the season. I hope you have the happiest and merriest of holidays.

May they be full of the people you love and cherish, including family, friends, and family. Because I believe we both realize that you won’t be enjoying a nice new year. In actuality, Santa might not bring what you want on December 25 but on December 28 I’m going to give you more than you’ve ever asked for, Wardlow.

Wardlow, I’m going to take from you once I’ve given you exactly what you’ve asked for. Have a wonderful holiday season, Wardlow. But the holiday happiness stops on December 28.

Joe cut that extremely festive promo, but did he know he was going to smash Wardlow with a metal pipe before the bout started? Or was that more of an impulsive choice, since no wrestler would waste a perfectly nice pipe? It’s impossible to say; fans just know that Joe is still the “King of Television” and that the rest of the AEW and Ring of Honor teams are his subjects with Dynamite in the rearview mirror.

 

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