The WWE release of Samoa Joe caught many by surprise, including his old rival Christian Cage.
The pair enjoyed many memorable clashes in IMPACT more than a decade ago and now Cage has praised his former rival, while also expressing his surprise at the news that he had been released by WWE.
Speaking to Bleacher Report, Christian Cage said that he was “surprised” by Joe’s release, before going on to call him a “top performer.”
“That surprised me… Joe is a super-talented guy. You see it in the ring, and obviously he has tremendous verbal skills. He was a natural as a commentator as well. When you have that kind of multi-talented individual who can wear a lot of hats, that’s invaluable. He truly is, in my eyes, a top performer. He’s not going to have any shortage of suitors when the time comes, that’s for sure.”
Since being released Samoa Joe is arguably in more demand than ever. IMPACT Co-Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore has hinted that Joe may appear at Slammiversary. While CM Punk has also refused to rule out a future clash against his former rival.
Elsewhere in the interview, Christian Cage was asked about potentially returning to IMPACT. With Cage’s current employers AEW having a working relationship with his former home it may seem obvious Cage will return. Not so, explains the former world champion.
“I don’t have any plans on [returning to Impact] right now. I am solely focused on AEW, but who knows what can happen in the future,” he said. “I am relatively new here. I don’t think my focus should get too far away from AEW at this point. I am committed to being part of this brand and helping it move forward.”
After returning to the ring at the WWE 2021 Royal Rumble, Cage joined AEW just a couple of months later. Since making his debut at AEW Revolution, the tag team legend crossed paths with Kenny Omega before defeating Frankie Kazarian in his first singles match in seven years.