Samoa Joe has discussed his impending return to the ring for the first time in eighteen months and says the issues that forced him to step away from wrestling scared him.
Joe’s last match came on the 10th of February 2020 edition of Raw where he teamed with Kevin Owens and The Viking Raiders, falling to defeat against Seth Rollins, Buddy Murphy, and The Authors Of Pain. Since that time reported issues related to concussions forced the former NXT Champion to step away from the ring.
During that time Samoa Joe made a home for himself behind the announce desk on Raw. Joe was even on the call at WrestleMania 37, famously appearing on camera alongside Michael Cole in ponchos as The Show Of Shows suffered an unprecedented rain delay.
Samoa Joe was reported to have been released from the company on the 15th of April 2021 before later clarifying that Triple H had called to bring Joe back to the company on NXT just hours after John Laurinaitis had called to inform him of his release.
Joe returned to the black and gold brand where he became General Manager William Regal’s on-screen enforcer. That role did not last long however as Joe resigned after being attacked by NXT Champion Karrion Kross. Regal then named Joe as Kross’ number one contender with the two titans set to face off at NXT TakeOver 36 on SummerSlam weekend.
Speaking on the After The Bell podcast, Samoa Joe had this to say about his return to action:
“Obviously it’s good to be back, it’s good to be [an] active competitor again and you know, I like the circumstances. Coming back into NXT and fighting for the championship, I mean it just kind of feels right, seems right and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get back in the ring in front of the WWE Universe.”
He then followed up by discussing the injury issues that had kept him on the injured reserve list for so long, admitting that they scared him:
“It was a much worse type of injury than I think I had dealt with before. It scared me, scared a lot of people that care about me too and they were very, very concerned. So, I mean, it became very easy to make that the focus as far as what I wanna do when I wanted to come back so, yeah, it just — inevitably it all was just kind of hinged on that. Just making sure I was alright, making sure I was feeling good and then when I came back to the ring, I didn’t wanna kind of come back in a 70 percent, 60 percent capacity. I wanted to make sure I could come back and then give the best that I could to the fans.”
Samoa Joe’s NXT TakeOver 36 opponent Karrion Kross recently took to social media to give his say on his recent controversial Raw debut that saw him lose in short order to Jeff Hardy.