Don’t sleep on Samoa Joe: The burly submission master has been flying mostly under the radar in the run-up to Sunday’s Fatal 5-Way Match, where he’ll battle to become the No. 1 contender to Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship with three former opponents of The Beast and a fourth whom Paul Heyman explicitly wants to win.
But Joe’s dark-horse status changed in a big way on Raw, when he defeated Bray Wyatt and Finn Bálor in a much-hyped Triple Threat that had been sanctioned by Raw General Manager Kurt Angle in the closing moments of last week’s show.
In the bout Joe had dubbed a battle between “the devil you know and the devil you do not,” The Samoan Submission Machine turned in a hell of a performance, picking apart each of his foes and shaking off a tectonic Tower of Doom by The New Face of Fear. An improbable alliance between Joe and Wyatt put Finn on the ropes, and once The Reaper of Souls made his move and hit Joe with Sister Abigail, Finn pounced with the Coup de Grâce on the former WWE Champion and seemingly had the win in hand.
Joe was waiting, however, hauling Balor off The Eater of Worlds and shoving him into the ring post before pinning the downed Wyatt. He may have been the devil you don't know over the last few weeks, but it's safe to say everyone in the Fatal 5-Way knows him now.