REPORT: Samoa Joe returning to WWE with role at NXT

Originally published at REPORT: Samoa Joe returning to WWE with role at NXT

After being one of many releases earlier this year, it appears that Samoa Joe will be returning to WWE with a role at NXT.

Over the weekend, it was reported by Fightful Select that Samoa Joe had been seen at the WWE Performance Center and that there had been pitches made to use him at NXT.

Following the ending of TakeOver where commissioner William Regal stated it was “time for a change”, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer confirmed that Samoa Joe is coming back to NXT and speculated that it could be part of this storyline with Regal.

Joe has not wrestled since February 2020 and had been put onto the commentary team for Raw over the past year that ended when he was released in April. Joe’s absence from in-ring activity came after the performer sustained two concussions within a short period.

Joe began his WWE tenure in 2015 where he joined NXT while still being able to work outside dates before he was exclusive to the company. After winning the NXT Championship twice in 2016, Joe moved up to the main roster in January 2017.

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Bummer. The opportunities for this guy in-ring outside the Universe were endless. If he is back in a non-wrestling role, fine. Otherwise, wasted opportunity, he could have always gone back later after increasing his personal value touring the rest of the Wrestling world.


Lame, especially if he’s just becoming a GM. William Regal has been perfectly fine. I actually was thinking if Kross retained the title, that Joe might show up at the end, just before the show closes and choke out Kross.

I’m generally amazed how often fans confuse “I would like to see a wrester do this thing” with “this thing is the best move for this wrestler” or “this is what they should want to do with their lives.”

Anyway, I’m happy he’s back. And I’m glad that just because “opportunity” existed for him that he didn’t put his health in any more danger just because he could get cleared elsewhere.


The WWE is the weirdest company on earth. I just hope Joe wasn’t forced to take a pay cut to stay with the same company that cut him a few months earlier :woozy_face:


Ya, I think some fans (not all) don’t actually care about the wrestlers as people, and their opinions on what a wrestler should do are based on how it effects them as fans. Personally, I just want these performers to do what is best for them and their families, I will never get mad at a performer for doing what is the best choice for them.


A wrestling GM ?

As a human being, I think Joe sticking in WWE is a shitty life choice.

He was injured during a WWE commercial shoot, not doing his actual job of wrestling, but of doing a stunt. Right there, he should have been suing the shit out of them for an unsafe environment.

And then… They fired him. Right after most would say, he found himself and was succeeding in a new role within the company.

Unless they are hiring him back with a big fat raise, there is no way to look at Joe’s recent run in the WWE as severely detrimental to Joe the person.

I really hope for his sake, they do indeed make right for the wrongs he has suffered over the last few years in the company.


Even though it’s not somewhere else and not in the ring, I’m looking forward to what he does on TV, and I’m happy he has job security. He, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels all deserve it (just thinking of those three together).

Its one thing to do what is best for you and your family, its another thing to accept being in a shittier position. They released this guy, doing something he was pretty good at. He was one of their better color commentators. For whatever reason, that didnt matter to them.

If he’s going to wrestle or be on commentary in NXT, thats alright. If he is just coming back to be a GM, then why? Joe is not going to bring anything different to the role. William Regal is very good in the role.

I mean, “job security” isn’t a phrase I’d use, when he is literally returning to a place that fired him a month ago.

I do understand your point… I just have a hard time thinking that is what this is.

I agree that WWE shouldnt have fired him, and if you are making the argument that WWE made a shitty decision when they let him go, I wont dispute that. You want to argue that they made a poor decision taking him off commentary when he’s 10x better then some announcers there currently, I wont dispute that.

With that said, I cant agree he made a shitty life choice. There are two things that a job should give to a person, 1) personal fulfillment, 2) the ability to provide for yourself and your family. I dont know what Joe feels about the NXT job, or what he’s being paid, but if its a job he’s going to enjoy and he’s paid well, who are we as fans to tell him he made the wrong decision. Its not about us being happy that he’s “sticking it” to WWE, from his perspective, its about him doing something that he enjoys and that allows him to live his life the way he wants to live it. Dating back to the 90’s, I’ve always hated it when fans think they can dictate where a performer goes or who they work for.

I know your coming from a good place with your opinion, as I 100% agree that WWE did Joe wrong, but I wont criticize Joe for going back.


Obviously, I am only speaking from somebody looking at the public perception of the events that have transpired for Joe over the last few years.

I really believe that Joe is one of the most important performers of the 00’s. And I believe that he deserves to be in a place that both respects and publicly treats him as such.

As a fan, I can’t see the WWE system doing that. There are at least four other places I have no doubt would do Joe better from an optics point of view. Two of those places would treat him like a true legend, having history in them. And I honestly believe most of them could match whatever WWE is paying, if they wanted to.

I truly hope he is happy and fulfilled. Hopefully they gave him a truck full of money to make up for his time, and lost time due to injuries that they caused.


This is all speculation of course as none of us are privy to his contracts, but I would imagine his non-wrestling role in NXT would be like being on an employee contract, as opposed to his independent contractor contract he had as a wrestler (and probably didn’t change when he moved to commentary… unless it did). Quick aside, I don’t agree at all with the independent contractor status of WWE’s wrestlers that can’t work anywhere else, I’m just thinking stuff out within WWE’s rules. If his new role (which Fightful reported this morning has room for expansion) involves working behind the scenes as well, I think that constitutes being a full-time employee, hence my assumption of job security.

I absolutely agree Joe is one of the most important wrestlers and MVPs of the 00s, and deserves to be treated respectfully wherever he works. WWE being wishy-washy on firing and rehiring people is nothing new (there are also the rumors of some within WWE pushing for Aleister Black to be brought back), and it’s frustrating from this large company. If he gets jerked around and frustrated during this new stint, I’ll definitely think otherwise about Joe’s decision to return, but then again, so will he.

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Wouldn’t it be best for Samoa Joe to go back to making himself a feature star, increasing his own brand-value, and then being able to re-sign later for much more money?
I don’t think anyone makes a distinction between best for Joe and his family, vs. best for Joe if he has interest in raising his own personal brand value. Wrestlers are absolutely their own brand, if you think you can elevate yourself outside to Universe, why settle?

EDIT: Hats off to the guys been grinding for decades and happy getting the check from the Universe. However, you can’t make a business argument that this is best for his personal value. It may be easiest, comfiest, most secure, which should all count. Especially if a talent doesn’t want to grind on the road any more. But if we are purely speaking about what is best for the value of Samoa Joe the wrestling brand and likeness, his own personal upside, it’s not a conversation, unless the argument is WWE will not sign him back if he says No this time - they’d probably give him a bigger check if he was must-see after a short run elsewhere. It’s how brand and IP work. higher demand = higher value. But there are other factors at play and so who can really say, we’re all just marks on a wrestling forum.

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Different thought: I can’t wait til the guys who got cut get huge babyface pops because fans have sympathy from them. Don’t be surprised if this is a new tactic to get guys over, like when they’d beat a guy down for months to make fans support them and them claim “long term booking”

If Alister Black returns as an earth-scorching babyface before end of 2021 I will not be surprised in the slightest. In fact, I’ll bet it was Heyman’s idea :sweat_smile:

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I get the impression that this role for Joe is not in ring. Assuming Joe lives in Florida, working exclusively with NXT allows him to go to work every day like a normal person in the same city he lives in. No travel (outside of the occasional TakeOver), and he probably is going to get paid a lot of money, and he gets to do so without having to deal with Vince.

I have no idea if AEW had any interest in him out of the ring, and I assume that other companies would likely require him to travel. If he was cleared to wrestle, then I could see your point, but if he’s done, I could see NXT being perfect. I really do get the impression that the NXT culture is completely different then the culture on the main roster.

@kliq if he’s done as an in-ring, then yes, he isn’t going to benefit from getting back on the road. And by the way, maybe being close to home at this stage of his career is the smartest and best thing for him. God Bless, he deserves it. If he is concerned he only has a handful of matches left, then yeah, sign for guaranteed money (it’s not like he hasn’t been fired from one of those deals recently :sweat_smile:)

I’m not sure who thinks they know what is best for Joe, but what is best for brand and IP is to increase it as much as possible before landing the next pay day. Grantd, not everyone in wrestling is just after the next big bag. I guess some love it for the creative fulfillment and benefits. Many reasons for people to take jobs.


Well that’s disappointing lol I was hoping for a stop in Impact, stupid NXT!!! Lol

I’m not sure how any one can argue about someone allegedly accepting a job offer, but this is where we seem to be today. If Joe wants to rejoin WWE then I can only assume he’s accepting a great offer and he’s alright with what lead to his termination previously. Good for him. It is disappointing we won’t get to seem him wrestle elsewhere but I’m sure he weighed those factors in his decision making.