Samoa Joe has recently discussed his release and return to WWE television with Ryan Satin on the Out of Character podcast. Joe was part of the April 15th batch of releases by WWE, where the former NXT Champion was amongst 10 names that were let go from their WWE contracts.
The Samoan Submission Machine was not away from WWE TV for long though. On the June 15th episode of NXT, Samoa Joe made his way to the ring in a surprise return to help General Manager William Regal restore order to the black and gold brand. Joe revealed the events that led to the release and also revealed that the release and return happened within a few hours of each other:
“It was weird. Johnny [Laurinaitis] called me and I thought, hey, that’s a rare call from Johnny. I’m like ‘Hey, Johnny, how are you doing?’ He told me ‘Hey, listen, we’re going to have to release you from your contract.’ I was like ‘OK, cool.’ He went ‘We think the world of you and we would love to work with you again.’ I was like ‘OK, yeah, absolutely, Johnny.’ And honestly, I did have a bit of an understanding. Obviously, at the time, dealing with injuries, coming back and getting ready to get my rehabilitation going, we are in a pandemic all that stuff. I got it, it wasn’t unexpected. But at the same time, I was relatively calm about it. I’ve kind of been in this situation before. A younger me probably would have been really freaked out but, at this point, you roll, pivot. That’s really all there is to it, in life in general. At that point I was setting up the framework for what I was going to do next. A few hours later, I get a call from Hunter and that pretty much all kind of changed.”h/t to Inside The Ropes for the use of transcription.
Joe then continued in detail as to how Triple H got the ball rolling to get him to resign with the company:
“I sent some company farewell texts just saying, ‘Pleasure working with you’ and some general ‘thanks.’ I got a text back (from Triple H) who was like, ‘Give me a minute to get out of a meeting.’ We had a brief conversation which was like, ‘Give us a little time, I’ll work out….we’ll be talking soon.’ It led to my return back to NXT.”h/t to Fightful for use of transcription
Samoa Joe was very quick to adapt to his role. This was seen by Adam Cole being chocked out by the fellow former NXT Champion in a backstage altercation. Many have been wondering about if/when a potential in-ring return for Samoa Joe is possible. A short, concise response was what followed:
“Absolutely. We’ll just say yes and leave it at that.”
The show did contain a tease on some dream matches if a return were to happen. Here are some opponents that Samoa Joe wants to face in NXT:
Karrion Kross and Pete Dunne are at the top of that list. A guy like WALTER, people have been asking for it, I’m not blind. It’s for good reason. The guy is a powerhouse and people want to see some furniture moving. It’s not just one or two guys. Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, there are several very accomplished athletes in NXT. Bronson Reed, he’s always yapping and wants to get some. Aussies, they got big mouths.”h/t to Fightful for this transcription and the quote above.
Samoa Joe’s biggest matches was at SummerSlam 2017. Joe faced off against Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. The full match can be found below:
Featured image: Sky Sports