After building a stellar reputation in TNA/IMPACT, ROH, and other Independent promotions, Samoa Joe signed with WWE in 2015, joining NXT.
Fans wondered for years how Joe would perform in the WWE environment after being so successful everywhere he had gone, but not having the typical look desired by WWE.
Speaking to Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Joe discussed his decision to join NXT.
"I left TNA and was ready for something new and new experiences," he said. "At that point in my career, I would have been happy if it was a few more years and I would have transitioned into a few other things I had been working on at the time. I put out some feelers and sent messages through the grapevine to several different intermediate areas, through Paul Heyman, Joey Mercury at the time, Road Dogg, like, 'Hey, what would be the interest of me over at WWE?' For the most part, it had been largely locked off to anybody who hadn't come up in the system. TNA guys explicitly were very much not sought after. It wasn't an official edict, but I know they were in no rush to hire TNA guys, especially because of past legal entanglements. It was a shot in the dark. Within a few minutes, I got messages back from all of the parties above and were like, 'Triple H is trying this new idea and NXT is this new thing, you'd be a perfect fit for what we do' and that's when the discussion started."
Joe continued by saying, "My goals are a lot different than most people. I'm looking more for the matches and moments rather than necessarily a bunch of accolades. It was a new experience and a new environment. For the most part, for the majority of my career, an environment I had heard about but never experienced myself. I had essentially worked everywhere else but [WWE] and maybe it wouldn't be complete unless I gave it a shot. That was also a big factor in my decision."
Joe was initially allowed to take outside ventures when he first joined NXT in May 2015, but quickly signed a full-time deal after impressive merchandise sales.
He found plenty of success on the gold brand, winning the NXT Championship on two occasions. He is now back in NXT as the enforcer for GM William Regal.
Elsewhere during the interview, Joe discussed re-signing with WWE following his release. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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