Samoa Joe recently detailed a potential return to the ring, stating WWE are taking the safest approach possible.
Joe, a 20-year veteran has picked up World Championship victories for the likes of Ring of Honor, TNA and NXT. A highly decorated and respected performer, Joe made his main roster debut with WWE back in January 2017, attacking Seth Rollins on an episode of Monday Night Raw.
Prior to his injury, Samoa Joe had cemented himself as one of WWE’s most ruthless competitors. A two-time United States Champion, Joe was one of the powerhouses WWE’s Roster until a concussion suffered in February 2020 sidelined the ‘Samoan Submission Machine.’ It was reported that Joe suffered a concussion during a WWE commercial shoot, allegedly injuring his head during a table breaking spot.
In a recent interview with Uproxx, Samoa Joe detailed his desire to return to in ring action, and how WWE’s medical team are treating his health concerns with the utmost care and understanding:
“I think right now, we’ve learned a lot medically about concussions and recovery and we’re taking the safest and the best approach and I appreciate it. WWE medical, they’ve been great and understanding and wonderful. So I think at this time we’re just taking the best course of action and obviously some things have been delayed just because of the pandemic and medical availability and liability of being in places and traveling to get evaluations and stuff. So, I mean, there’s been some technical holdups as well as just a very careful approach to my return and recovery and I appreciate it. And I’m all aboard, you know?
“I would rather take this time and miss a large considerable amount of time than potentially this getting more serious. It took [WWE] a lot to talk me down. But after seeing medically, you know, what I’ve seen, I agree with them. And we’re just taking our time with it and trying to do right.”
Perhaps the other most memorable performer to be sidelined due to concussion issues in recent times is the leader of the ‘Yes! Movement’, Daniel Bryan. Bryan was forced into retirement in 2016 following mounting issues with head trauma. However, he made his triumphant return to in-ring action at WrestleMania 34.
Samoa Joe would then describe how far medical studies have progressed in recent years, and how professional wrestling as a whole is able to better deal with head injuries because of this:
“There’s technology and science involved and because of that, hopefully we’re dealing with this situation better than we have in the past, but I am my own worst enemy in this aspect, where I just want to shake it off. I have people that depend on me and you see these other things that could happen. I had to realise that I have to start listening because I have to honour these responsibilities to people, both professionally, personally, everybody.
It’s very, very difficult when you come from a state of always wanting to charge forward, wanting to go harder and fight through. And this series we’re doing now preaches those very qualities of understanding when it’s time to take care of yourself.”
Since his in-ring hiatus, Joe has found himself sat at the broadcast table as a colour commentator on Monday Night Raw. Although he admits to missing the allure of the squared circle, Samoa Joe has praised WWE’s broadcast team, stating the role has allowed him to grow and appreciate the sheer scale of WWE’s weekly production:
“Sitting behind the commentary desk [has allowed me to see] how all the moving parts work and coming to have an appreciation for the incredibly intricate and amazing machine that is WWE production. And I think that’s by far the most surprising thing that I’ve enjoyed learning about. Just seeing my colleagues on the announce desk, guys like Michael Cole, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and seeing the amazing amounts of responsibility that they balance and have.
In my opinion, that broadcast seat is one of the most unique jobs in sports. And it is probably one of the things that I think the world will never know how complex it is.”
Though no in-ring details have been confirmed regarding Samoa Joe, it seems WWE are doing all they can to ensure the safest return possible for the ‘Samoan Submission Specialist’.
Credit for Interview: Uproxx