Brock Lesnar has had many detractors during his return to WWE over the last couple of years, but someone stepped forward to defend him recently that you might not expect: Samoa Joe.
Joe took part in an interview with USA Today recently and the topic of Lesnar was brought up. My fans and pundits alike have criticized Brock for working a part-time schedule with WWE now for over five years. Those criticisms always get louder when Brock has the title due to the fact that one of the company's top prizes is absent from television nearly every week.
Joe defended Brock by invoking a legend from the past.
“You go to the Hulk Hogan era reigns, and I definitely didn’t see him on TV every week. There is a mystique to him not being on TV that much. When he does make appearances, it’s usually for purposeful reasons. That’s been the big theme for Brock. You hear he’s not here, but if you look back at the shows, he’s here when it counts and when I need to get my hands on him. As long as that still happens, I’m good with that," Joe said.
He is certainly correct that Hulk Hogan did not appear on television regularly while the champion in the 1980s. However, it's also true that WWE television was a completely different animal during that time period. Today, television is the center piece of the WWE product and the primary focus. In the 1980s, television's main purpose was still to push the live event (house show) business. Hogan did work a full-time house show schedule as champion throughout the decade, which is not something that Lesnar does.
If there's anyone who has gotten to know Lesnar well while he has been at television recently, though, it has been Samoa Joe. Joe and Brock certainly have found a great chemistry in working together; their match at Great Balls of Fire was fantastic as was their interaction in the fatal four-way match at SummerSlam.
Joe continues to recover from a knee injury that he suffered a couple of weeks back. The injury will reportedly sideline him until the end of October. It couldn't have came at a worse time for Joe, who really caught on this summer as a main event caliber talent with WWE.
One thing is for sure, though. Wrestling fans don't forget, and when Joe makes his television return, it will surely be a great and welcomed moment.