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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: Samoa Joe As TNA Tag Team Champions

By @MeenHendrix

This week I want to step outside of the box and focus on a singular wrestler representing a team by himself. We've seen it done many of times by Chris Benoit, Matt Morgan and Kurt Angle. However, there are none I've enjoyed more than Samoa Joe going all lone wolf like over the Impact Zone.

This phase of Joe's obsession with becoming king of the 6 Sides started with a losing effort in the King of the Mountain match for the TNA World Title. Shortly thereafter a Match Of Champions match was announced for Victory Road. It would involve the X Division Champion and TNA World Heavyweight Champion teaming up against the TNA World Tag Team Champions.

Whoever scored a pinfall would become dual Title holders. Joe qualified the match by taking down Jay Lethal and Chris Sabin in a match for the X Division Championship. At Victory Road, Joe would team up with bitter rival and then TNA World Champion Kurt Angle against Team 3D, which ended with Joe pinning Brother Ray. By scoring the winning pinfall, Joe would become the TNA World Tag Team Champions by himself because he didn't want Angle to be his partner. This made him the first man in TNA history to hold two titles at once. He would then put up his X Division and World Tag Team Championships on the line against Angle for the TNA World Championship and IWGP World Championship at Hard Justice. He would lose both titles to Angle.

It's weird that I picked Joe for this week's article because he technically wasn't a team. His reign as "Champions" lasted only 28 days. However, what we did get from it was a superb main event to Hard Justice, which would have been much better if it hadn't ended with Joe being screwed over by the Angles.

Although it holds no historical significance, Joe's reign did serve as another reminder that he deserved to be a World Champion and that TNA couldn't seem to catch on for at least another year. It would have been nice to see Joe actually go on a tear as a double champion. They could have built him up as an unstoppable force with him defending the Tag Titles in multiple Handicap matches. Joe would go on to become Tag Team Champion once again with Magnus, but that's another Tag Team for another Tuesday.



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