On this week's episode of Fox Sports' Out of Character with Ryan Satin podcast, Samoa Joe detailed his return to NXT and his new role with the brand.
Joe was released by WWE during a round of roster cuts this April but made his return to the company earlier this month. He's now working as an enforcer-like authority figure in NXT. When asked by Satin what his first thoughts were when he was released, Joe spoke about being informed of his release by John Laurinaitis and then getting a call from Paul "Triple H" Levesque just hours later:
It was weird. Johnny called me and I thought it was a rare call from Johnny. 'Hey, what's up Johnny, how you doing?’ He told me, ‘Hey, listen, we’re going to have to release you from your contract.' I was just like, ‘Okay, cool.' 'Joe, you know we think the world of you and we’d love to work with you again.' And I was like, ‘Alright, absolutely Johnny.'
And honestly, I did have a bit of understanding. Obviously at the time, dealing with injuries, coming back, getting ready to get my rehabilitation going and all that stuff. We’re in a pandemic. All this other stuff. So, 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, really freaked out. But, I mean at this point you just roll/pivot. That’s really all there is to it when it comes to life in general. That's kind of the mantra I've kept. At that point I think I was already kind of in the works and setting up the next framework for whatever else I was going to do. A few hours later I get a call from Hunter and it pretty much all kind of changed.
I had sent some company farewell texts, just to people to say, 'Hey, look, pleasure working with you.' Some genuine people that I really, really enjoyed working with. Just some general like, 'Hey, thanks and I'm sure we'll talk down the road at some point' or something like that. I got a text back, ‘Hey, give me a minute, I'm getting out of a meeting.' We had a brief conversation which was essentially like, ‘Give us a little bit of time. I’ll work out a package and we’ll be talking soon.' I said, ‘Alright, that’s totally fine. I have no problem with that.' It led to my return back to NXT.
Joe said that, in addition to his on-screen role in NXT, he's working in the talent scouting department and doing a few more administrative things here and there behind the scenes. Joe said it's a very nice understanding that he and Levesque have come to and he's very excited about it.
Prior to being released in April, Joe had been working as a color commentator on Raw. He hasn't wrestled since February 2020 due to concussion issues. When asked by Satin if he's still working toward a return to the ring, Joe said: "Absolutely. We'll just say yes. We'll leave it at that."
Joe named Karrion Kross, Pete Dunne, WALTER, Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O'Reilly, and Bronson Reed as opponents he'd like to face if he could wrestle in NXT.