NXT Champion Samoa Joe is now part of the scouting system in WWE and has sought to allay fears from recent reports about how the company is now looking for talent.
Recent reports have suggested that WWE has somewhat overhauled their recruiting process as NXT is reportedly set to return to a more developmental role in the company. Since then further reports have stated that the company is moving away from scouting independent wrestlers following years of packing the black and gold brand with them.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Samoa Joe discussed the process of recruitment to WWE and started by talking about the tryouts the company held in Las Vegas prior to SummerSlam:
“First of all, the tryouts in Vegas went awesome. I think all in all we signed 14 talents. We were on the fence about a few so don’t quote me on that but I think we ended up signing 14. A few of those guys I’m really excited about. Really genuinely excited. Fantastic athletes, incredible body mechanics, very charismatic – I was very happy with the tryouts.”
Joe then spoke about the directive for recruitment to the company and says the orders come from the very top of the company:
“As for the directive, yeah, there is a directive and they do come straight from Vince [McMahon]. Vince says ‘hey, this is what we want.’ But, the directives, it’s weird. They’ve been around forever. I worked for WWE in developmental when I very, very first started in California and these directives existed.”
“But, they change. It changes based on the needs of the company. It’s funny, I read the articles – I know exactly what you’re talking about – I read the outrage about the directive and I’m like, this is nothing different. And then next week, the directive will be different. I think at this point, the track record of NXT and the hiring process has shown that.”
Joe then discussed the cyclical nature of what WWE is looking for in a potential recruit and notes that they probably have shifted as per reports at the moment but that can all change again:
“There have been different cycles where different types of athletes come in. Everything from independent talents come in to just straight-up athletes; these directives change and they shift basically on the needs of the company. The directive right now is probably a little bit younger and looking for a little more athletic, which isn’t terrible whatsoever, but that directive will invariably shift as the needs as the company shifts. So yeah, there is a directive, it comes from Vince, we all follow it and we get the job done for him. We’re happy to do so.”
Joe then likened the process to that of a Hollywood casting agency:
“It’s that simple by the way too, there’s no other convolution to it. It’s ‘we’re looking for this right now, can you get us this?’ Sure! We’re the talent department, we’ll go look for that.”
“It’s much like a casting agency if you’re in Hollywood. Then maybe a few months later he goes ‘ah, I need this, which is different from what I said before, can you get me that?’ And then we as a talent department goes ‘You know what? We can get you that!’ Then we go out and we find him that. Yes, that is how it works. I hope I have demystified the process for everybody.”
“When you take the circumstances and you put it in some people’s imaginations, it’s a much more horrible process. But yeah, it’s as simple as that!”
Forty-two-year-old Samoa Joe became the first man to become a three-time NXT Champion when he defeated the Raw-bound Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver: 36.