After a successful run in NXT as NXT Champion, Samoa Joe moved up to WWE Raw in January 2017 where he was inserted into Triple H's feud with Seth Rollins.
During the attack, Rollins suffered an MCL injury, which partially derailed the storyline and Joe's involvement.
Speaking to Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Joe discussed when he found out he would be called up and Rollins' unfortunate injury.
"Hunter approached me, said they were calling me up to Raw, and I was like, 'Okay, cool.' I flew to Texas, hid in the bus all day, and debuted on Raw. Quite a chaotic debut it was," said Joe. "Seth's knee getting destroyed right out of the gate was not cool. That was like, 'Ahhh.' I felt terrible for Seth. He was just like, 'It's one of those things.' My career path has not been par for the course when it comes to twists and turns. That was definitely a bad twist. There was no heat or anger, it was a freak thing. Seth, I've known for a very long, and I told him early, 'You're going to be a star.' It broke my heart."
When Joe was in NXT, a main roster run never felt like it would be in the cards given how long it took Joe to make it to WWE and the knock on former TNA wrestlers.
Though Joe knew his main roster prospects may have been small when he signed and joined NXT, he was never worried about not being called up.
"I think people think I get hurt when I hear that, but I've experienced this my entire career everywhere I've gone," Joe said when asked how he felt about being told that there was a slim chance he'd be on Raw or SmackDown. "Everywhere. My initial time in Ring of Honor, 'Hey, we can't afford a California flight. We'll bring you in for one match, it'll be cool.' Went out, had one match, and it was 'you're working for us every month, every week.' TNA, Dutch Mantell says right before I'm about to walk out for my first match, 'You only get one chance to make a first impression. Doesn't look like you're about to make a good one. Go get em kid!' I'm dying laughing as I walk down the ramp. Being doubted walking through the door, I'm numb to it. Being told that, I was like, 'Cool.' Once I was in, things changed rapidly. I'm just happy that WWE was willing to change with those things as they changed rapidly. We went through several contracts in a short amount of time, but we finally got one that we all liked."
Joe remained on the main roster in a wrestling capacity until February 2020 when a concussion halted his in-ring career for the time being. After being released by WWE in April, he returned to NXT in June.
Elsewhere during the interview, Joe discussed a potential in-ring return. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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