The Samoan Submission Machine Challenges The Phenomenal One In WWE #25

by Brendan M. Allen

All of the sacrifices AJ Styles has made have paid off—he’s atop the mountain of WWE and retains the WWE Championship. But there’s no time to rest, as perhaps his most dangerous challenge awaits—the Samoan Submission Machine, Samoa Joe.

WWE #25 wraps up the feud between the Champ That Runs the Camp and the Samoan Submission Machine. With a rivalry that spans decades and crosses wrestling promotions, it’s fair to say AJ Styles and Samoa Joe are pretty familiar with each other’s strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. Also fair to assume these dudes have run into each other’s friends and family members a time or two behind the curtain. Might have even broken bread once or twice at each others’ homes.
Joe exploits intimate knowledge of AJ’s personal life in this newest iteration of their professional feud, bringing the fight to AJ’s living room and drawing in Styles’ wife and children. It might be brilliant. Might also backfire spectacularly. Either way, this is gonna be fun to watch.
Dennis Hallum rides that line between kayfabe and reality right into the final chapter not only of this feud, but apparently of the Boom! Studios WWE ongoing. He expands some of the scenes we already saw on WWE programming, but also takes us a little further into Styles’ private life with his wife and kids, who played an on-screen role in this storyline.
As fantastic as the writing has been on this entire series, it wouldn’t have worked without a dead brilliant artist. Serg Acuna exceeded every expectation I had for this series. Likenesses, ring gear, set dressing, expressions, finishers… All portrayed with a scary attention to detail. The Boom! Studios WWE ongoing has been one of the best things to hit professional wrestling in a long time. Hallum and Acuna display an intimate knowledge, understanding, and respect for the business of professional wrestling. These arcs have fleshed out WWE storylines in ways that simply wouldn’t be possible in another medium. Sorry to see this one end, but grateful to have been able to experience it.WWE #25, Boom! Studios, released 06 Feb 2019. Written by Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, illustrated by Serg Acuna, color by Doug Garbark, letters by Jim Campbell, cover and variant cover by Marco D’Alfonso, Nia Jax preorder variant cover by Xermanico, Shinsuke Nakamura unlocked retailer variant cover by Eric Garza.

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