Samoa Joe has revealed that he was re-signed by WWE on the very same day that he was released by the company after Triple H asked him to return to the company.
On April 15th Samoa Joe was released by WWE alongside the likes of Peyton Royce and Mickie James. In the months prior Joe had been performing as an announcer on Monday Night RAW. The former NXT Champion hadn’t competed inside the ring since February 2020. Only a matter of weeks later Samoa Joe made a stunning return to NXT, two months to the day after he was released by WWE – with an almost instant call from Triple H sealing his return.
With NXT General Manager William Regal seemingly about to step down from his post, NXT Champion Karrion Kross confronted the Brit along with Scarlett. After Kross ran down the GM, Samoa Joe marched to to the ring, where Regal offered him the chance to become General Manager.
However, Joe turned Regal down countering that he would become the GM’s enforcer to make sure he gets the respect he deserves. Regal accepted the proposal as Joe told Kross and Scarlett to leave the ring. Joe wasted little time in getting his hands dirty, breaking up a backstage brawl between Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole. After Cole shoved Joe out of the way, the newly anointed enforcer choked out the former NXT Champion leaving him laying.
Speaking to Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Joe revealed that he actually agreed to return to NXT on the same day that he was released after being contacted by Triple H hours after his release.
“It was weird. Johnny [Laurinaitis] called me and I thought, hey, that’s a rare call from Johnny. I’m like ‘Hey, Johnny, how are you doing?’ He told me ‘Hey, listen, we’re going to have to release you from your contract.’ I was like ‘OK, cool.’ He went ‘We think the world of you and we would love to work with you again.’ I was like ‘OK, yeah, absolutely, Johnny.’ And honestly, I did have a bit of an understanding. Obviously, at the time, dealing with injuries, coming back and getting ready to get my rehabilitation going, we are in a pandemic all that stuff. I got it, it wasn’t unexpected. But at the same time, I was relatively calm about it. I’ve kind of been in this situation before. A younger me probably would have been really freaked out but, at this point, you roll, pivot. That’s really all there is to it, in life in general. At that point I was setting up the framework for what I was going to do next. A few hours later, I get a call from Hunter [Triple H] and that pretty much all kind of changed.”
Joe initially joined NXT after signing with WWE in May 2015. The former IMPACT Wrestling star immediately made his presence known at the top of the card, teaming with Finn Balor to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. By the end of the year Joe had turned on his partner and the pair went to war over the NXT Championship.
Despite coming up short on more than one occasion, Joe finally claimed NXT’s top prize in shocking fashion, defeating Balor at a live event. The former ROH World Champion went on to lose the title to Shinsuke Nakamura before winning it back, becoming the black and gold’s first ever two-time champion.
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