AEW and Ring Of Honor star Samoa Joe was a recent guest on AEW Unrestricted. He discussed how the conversation between him and AEW began following his WWE release. Joe’s agent and Tony Khan had a connection already, and he then spoke with the AEW President himself.
“It was a process, I was fortunate enough after my WWE release I was already kind of engaged in some outside projects that were really cool. But my agent, him and Tony kind of have a repartee, they have dealt with each other before. They got together and started brainstorming, going back and forth,” he said. “Then me and Tony got in touch. Tony has always been right in contact with me, doing his best to get to me whenever the opportunity arose. A couple of discussions with Tony, a couple of discussions between them, and it all worked out nicely.”
While Samoa Joe now works for Tony Khan, he initially met him at a WWE show. He likens the AEW President to an overfilled balloon due to his energy.
“So, I actually met Tony prior to AEW and everything, just backstage at a WWE show just hanging out. He was just a cool, quirky guy. Man, he’s got a lot of ideas,” he said. “I liken Tony to an overfilled balloon, all you have to do is just prick the skin, and then all the ideas, everything just comes flooding out in a mass. Really high energy dude, seemed cool, and our talks since then have always been very cool. We get along well, we have a lot of commonalities.”
Samoa Joe initially returned to the ring at the Supercard Of Honor show, but he dealt with travel issues beforehand. Bad weather and plane problems almost saw him miss the show, and he detailed the journey.
“Oh, absolutely, I know there was weather permitting jets to get to Tampa on time,” he said. “And a lot of mechanical issues on flights that went out. So, I had to end up driving to Cross City, Florida, a small little rural town in the middle of Florida to catch a private jet to get up to the show. The best part was, as I arrived to the airport and I walked into this little office, this little man sitting behind the counter looked at me. I said, ‘hey man, I am here, I’ve got a jet coming in to pick me up,’ he said, ‘what time?’ I said, ‘I think seven o’clock,’ he said, ‘well, we close a six, man, I’ll see what I can do.’”
Since joining the company, Samoa Joe believes that things have been moving fast. He explained how the match against Minoru Suzuki ended up happening. That was all down to Tony Khan just having a fun idea.
“Things move fast and that’s what it seems. I liken it to the math that Tony brought up before. We are used to overcoming insurmountable and unusual calculations and odds. I think that’s how the past few weeks have played out,” he said. “You know, I came in, debuted for Ring Of Honor, made my debut on Dynamite, obviously a lot of fun there. A good little opponent just to get the blood boiling. Then coming right in, Tony offered me the opportunity, he said, ‘hey, I have this idea. Suzuki will be around, I just think it’s only natural that these two forces should collide,’ and I was 100 percent in. I said, ‘absolutely, let’s go.’”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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