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Samoa Joe on Hook: ‘We’re Going To Find Out If He’s The Truth Or Not’

Samoa Joe on Jon Moxley challenging Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP world heavyweight title: “If I were Mox, I’d look to take someone else’s belt, too. He wants to fight any other champion in the world but me.”

Samoa Joe will defend the AEW world title for the very first time tomorrow on Dynamite, matching up against Hook, an opponent he has yet to meet in the ring.

Courtesy AEW

Courtesy AEW

Joe has been wrestling for the past 25 years, which is longer than the 24-year-old Hook has been alive. Two decades older, Joe, 44, plans to use the wisdom acquired over the course of his distinguished career–as well as a whole lot of physicality–to start his title reign.

“I’m very much looking forward to it,” said Joe. “This typifies what I want to see during my reign–I want these first-time matchups with something at stake. Hook is quite the dynamic little athlete, and he’s been doing his best to make his case. His record speaks for itself, and we’re going to find out if he’s the truth or not.”

Courtesy AEW

Courtesy AEW

Hook has won 28 of his 29 singles matches in AEW. Yet it is his thirtieth singles bout that will be the most memorable, as he gets a crack at the world title.

“It takes about 29 other athletes to equal something approximating me, so this will be a good little test,” said Joe. “We’ll find out where we’re at.”

This will be a clear clash of styles. The son of wrestling icon Taz, Hook is the product of an entirely different generation. Closer in age to Taz than he is to Hook–only a dozen years separate them–Joe is eager to see if the son lives up to his father’s lofty reputation.

“I had very limited exposure to Taz on the west coast, but when I did see him, it was almost like I felt a kinship,” said Joe. “That no-nonsense attitude, destroy-at-all-costs, that’s who he was. That’s who I am. Now it’s exemplified in an athlete like Hook, so let’s get in the ring and go.”

Courtesy AEW

Courtesy AEW

This title bout features a Suicide Squad integration. Joe voices King Shark in Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, and the match is expected to include connective tissue with the series.

“I’m going to bring along the savageness of King Shark,” said Joe. “It’s going to be best displayed in the evisceration of Hook in front of millions of people around the world.”

Wrestling fans may be wary of brand sponsorships. Whether it is a Mountain Dew-sponsored match in the dark or a clunky Texas Chainsaw Massacre cameo, there is valid cause for concern over the match becoming overshadowed by product integration. Yet Joe vowed that will not be a factor here, as the focus will be on what takes place in the ring.

“Don’t worry about [product] integration,” said Joe. “Just worry about Hook’s safety.”

The AEW world title at stake is a brand-new championship, one specifically designed for Joe.

“That was done on my behalf, and it is a wonderful piece of gold from the Khan family,” said Joe, whose title also includes a new name plate. “It’s not going anywhere for a long time, so we’re letting everyone know who the champion is.

“It’s my championship belt under my reign, so it needed to reflect my values. The belt was very fancy looking before. My belt belongs among kings and queens, not looking like it’s going to be paraded around the Hamptons on the weekend.”

Courtesy AEW

Courtesy AEW

The potential exists for even more gold to arrive in AEW. After defeating Shingo Takagi in a bloody affair this past Saturday at New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Battle in the Valley card, former AEW champ Jon Moxley is now challenging IWGP world heavyweight champion Tetsuya Naito this April.

Joe applauded Moxley’s decision to go for the top prize in New Japan, noting that he will have better luck there than if he were to challenge for the AEW belt.

“Moxley doing that, it doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Joe. “If I were Mox, I’d look to take someone else’s belt, too. He wants to fight any other champion in the world but me. There was thought behind what he did. Let’s not deny that.

“And that gets back to the wonder of AEW: it’s a worldwide marketplace. You can compete against champions from around the world, not just hidden in your own pocket dimension where no one else can get it. If Mox wants to parade that belt around the real world’s champion, I’d be more than happy to give him a better perspective on where his championship reign really stands.”

Courtesy NJPW

Courtesy NJPW

A Moxley-Joe program would be compelling. He has no shortage of challengers for the belt, including Swerve Strickland and Hangman Page, as well as Hook.

Ensuring that he delivers the most captivating title matches in the world is his goal. As champion, Joe’s objective is to redefine AEW.

“My mission is to shift the focus back to the greatest thing in AEW, and that’s the wrestling,” said Joe. “If not, there are going to be consequences. For far too long, consequences haven’t been around. That’s going to change on AEW television.”