Samoa Joe is headed back to WWE.
For those who recall, the company made a ton of releases in April and June. Among those names were the surprising Samoa Joe. WWE released him nearly two months ago, so that means his 90 day non-compete clause was nearing an end. No way, no how did the company want him going elsewhere once he was legally able to. How or why he was let go in the first place? We may never know.
Either way, it doesn’t matter at this point. There had been speculation in recent weeks that WWE was bringing back some talent that were released either last year or in recent months. As I noted in a previous WWE column, this is not exactly a RARE thing. It is done on occasion. Either after some second thoughts or as circumstances change, the talent is given a phone call, the issues are worked out and boom! To Joe’s credit, he has been fairly silent on the release since April and hasn’t tipped his hand on the future or anything like that. Thus, no bridge burned. No hard feelings.
According to PWInsider, F4WOnline, and countless other independent sources, he was spotted at the WWE Performance Center last week (maybe more than just that one time), and many within the company believed he was on his way back to the company. The PWInsider story specifically notes he will come back to the NXT brand and since he is not cleared to wrestle yet after concussion problems (age 42), he will have a “general manager” type role and work behind the scenes. As we have seen in recent weeks on television, there has been a hectic story line where William Regal, current NXT GM, is losing control of the show.
It’s been going on for weeks now, so if you connect the dots, maybe this Samoa Joe thing has been in the works for a little bit now and he will be replacing Regal on air? Just guessing at this point obviously. However, that could be an early assumption at this point. Personally speaking, NXT needs a spark big time. The brand just had a Takeover special last night, and it feels like there is zero momentum right now for Tuesday night’s show on the USA Network. They need SOMETHING interesting.
The PWInsider report further notes that Triple H was the one interested in bringing him back into the fold almost immediately after he was let go. I guess that decision was over his head? Perhaps. HHH did not want to lose him, even if he wasn’t cleared to compete. The only thing that makes sense is WWE was bringing in a new RAW commentator and since Joe wasn’t cleared to compete, they may have felt he was an easy cut. WRONG! He has excelled at commentary, promos, and has years and years of experience and the respect of his peers. A perfect company guy to have on your roster, wrestling or not at that point is irrelevant. You want him around.
Now all we can do is wait. What will Samoa Joe be doing in NXT? Why the heck was he released in the first place? So many questions…