“I’m sorry, ya’ll, I’ve gotta apologise. Not all Samoans are cowards.”
With Roman technically on SmackDown Live (wild card rule aside) and last night focusing on being a reunion show, I really didn’t expect to see Roman on Raw. I’ve mentioned in the past that there’s a lot of context I miss from beginning to watch the shows in 2016, and last night was a prime example of this. When someone appeared on the screen and the crowd popped, if there wasn’t a title graphic, I had to rely on Twitter to tell me who said person was! While I usually enjoy these shows as a kind of history lesson, I have to admit to feeling somewhat disengaged. So when Samoa Joe came out and started talking about the time wasted on “legends”, complaining that we could have had a fight... well, I wasn’t at all disappointed to hear Roman’s music hit. I thought maybe he was there to chide Joe from his position as a locker room leader, for being disrespectful. Turns out that it was a lot more personal than that: Joe had criticised Rikishi and The Usos, and Roman was not having it. Joe was dismissive of this, but Roman was relentless. “Well. You’re from the same island. You know what comes next.” Joe did—and ran from it, which is when Roman called him out as a coward. As expected, that worked; Roman got his fight.
But there’s one small detail that’s gone overlooked in all of this, something that Joe said almost a year ago: .... He will fight, he will win, he will return stronger, and I will be waiting.... So he was.