Last week on Smackdown, Samoa Joe did a promo declaring his innocence from Roman Reigns’ reoccurring accidents. The angle saw Samoa Joe claiming he was being blamed all week by Reigns and the fans for the scaffolding falling during a backstage interview. When Samoa Joe confronted Reigns in his car another car crashed into the side of Reigns’ vehicle. This caused Joe to show an uncharacteristic amount of concern for Reigns’ health. This led people into believing that we might see a Samoa Joe babyface turn.
During a heel promo from Sami Zayn on this week’s WWE Raw, Samoa Joe issued a challenge for an impromptu match that presented him as the babyface. After a near squash, Samoa Joe cut a promo saying that he’ll never forgive the fans for turning on him and once again making him heel.
According to Dave Meltzer, these events were set up to relieve Sami of any babyface pops during Raw which would take place in Sami’s home country of Canada. The idea was that people would be so excited to finally see Samoa Joe as a babyface that they would favor him over Sami Zayn. The WWE was concerned that Sami’s momentum for his new heel character would be slowed down if the crowd were on his side. Once that had been finished, Samoa Joe was turned heel once again.