Samoa Joe Talks His WWE Release, Possible In-Ring Return

Current NXT enforcer Samoa Joe was a recent guest on Out of Character with Ryan Satin. During the interview Joe discussed whether or not he keeps tabs on the happenings throughout the independent wrestling scene, especially now that he is also working as a talent scout.

"Yeah, I do," Joe answered quickly. "I always try to keep a pulse on the industry in general. Whether it be through me looking, or my network contacts and just people I know. Not only that, outside of the indie wrestling world and [in] the combat sports world and the athletic world. A lot of that world is from my past, and I have heavy connections and such. It was a really nice fit. I'm looking forward to giving an opportunity to a lot of people who would get a look that they wouldn't normally get."

While discussing the WWE, Joe was asked about his release from the company in April of this year. Joe said the whole ordeal was a bit weird, but says he understood the decision from the company's perspective. Joe also revealed that Triple H was quickly in-touch with him following the company's decision.

"It was weird," admitted Joe. "Johnny [Ace] called me, and I thought it was a rare call from Johnny. 'Hey, what's up Johnny? How are you doing?' and he told me, 'Hey listen, we're going to have to release you from your contract.' And I was like, 'Okay. Cool.' [And Johnny said], 'Hey Joe, we think the world of you and would love to work with you again.' And I was like, 'Alright, absolutely Johnny.'

"And honestly, I did have a bit of understanding, obviously at the time, dealing with injuries, coming back and getting ready to get my rehabilitation going and all that stuff. And we're in a pandemic and all this other stuff. I got it. It wasn't expected, 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've been really freaked out. But at this point you just roll [and] pivot. That's really all there is to it when it comes to life in general. That's kind of the mantra I've kept, so at that point I think I was kind of already in the works of setting up the next frameworks of what I was going to do.

"A few hours later I get a call from Hunter [Triple H] and [it] pretty much all kind of changed. . . I had sent some company farewell texts to people to some people I genuinely enjoyed working with, and just something general, like, 'Hey thanks, and I'm sure we'll talk down the road at some point.' And I got a text back, 'Hey, give me a minute. I'm getting out of a meeting.' Then we had a brief conversation, which was essentially, 'Give us a bit of time, I'll work out a package and we'll be talking soon.' And I said, 'Alright, that's totally fine. I have no problem with that.' And it led to my return back to NXT."

Joe discussed if he had any hesitations about returning to the WWE so quickly after his release. Joe said he had no reservations about his return because he had already spoken with Triple H about how he would transition back into the company.

"No," stated Joe. "A lot of it was that me and Triple H had spoken about this transition in-depth. It wasn't just coming back to NXT and being an enforcer and having a role on the show. Now I'm working in the talent scouting department, a few more administrative things behind the scenes, so it's a little bit of a transition for me too, into some of the other aspects of the business of the WWE. So, it's kind of an evolution of my journey. I've gone to the commentary, the production, now I'm working a bit more on behind-the-house types of things. It was a really great, cool opportunity that Hunter offered me. And [I'm] still performing here in the bounds of the WWE. So, it was a nice understanding that we've come to and I'm really excited about some of the projects we're going to be working on."

Joe was also asked if a return to the ring was something that he was still working towards. Joe had a short answer.

"Yes," answered Joe. "We'll just say yes. We'll leave it at that."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Out of Character with Ryan Satin with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.