Samoa Joe joins inaugural class of the Ring of Honor Hall of Fame

Originally published at Samoa Joe joins inaugural class of the Ring of Honor Hall of Fame

Samoa Joe is the latest inductee for Ring of Honor’s inaugural Hall of Fame class.

The longest-tenured ROH champion joins The Briscoes and Bryan Danielson as part of this year’s class.

Joe first appeared at Ring of Honor at “Glory by Honor” in October 2002 and would become one of the key building blocks for the promotion when he won the championship in March 2003.

Joe was the third champion in the promotion’s history following Low Ki and Xavier and would hold the title until December 2004. Joe would make 31 defenses of the title including ones with Doug Williams, Homicide, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Jay Briscoe, and a trilogy of matches with CM Punk.

The matches with Punk included two sixty-minute limit draws in July and October 2004. Joe beat Punk in December of that year at All-Star Extravaganza.

The title reign ended at Final Battle that year when he was defeated by Austin Aries.

He was involved in arguably the most popular match in the promotion’s history when he faced Kenta Kobashi in October 2005 at The New Yorker Hotel.

Joe began wrestling for TNA in May 2005 and would become one of the key parts of the X Division and worked for the company for the next ten years.

In 2015, he moved to NXT and would become a three-time champion of the brand.

After being released by WWE last year, he was brought back to NXT for an on-screen and behind-the-scenes role. He won the NXT championship for the third and final time last August but vacated the title when NXT 2.0 launched and never appeared on screen again. Last month, he was released by WWE again.

This weekend’s Ring of Honor television program will feature matches involving Samoa Joe with the Hall of Fame episode of the program airing the weekend of March 5th.