NXT was an opportunity Samoa Joe could not resist.
Samoa Joe debuted in NXT May 2015 as part of a wave of independent wrestlers going to NXT. Independent wrestlers like Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Kevin Owens have been a big part of NXT and then went on to main roster careers. In an interview with AMNewYork, Samoa Joe said he is excited to be in NXT, but he did not mention joining the main roster.
"I knew NXT was really, really gaining a lot of steam, it was kind of exploding and making kind of this tremendous impact on the industry in general. To be there and help further that movement and further that expansion was very, very interesting to me. I’ve had the pleasure of being on the forefront of new brands expanding the industry and building things from scratch and from the ground up, and NXT is very much the same environment. It’s a really awesome environment to work in. You get this crazy opportunity to be on the ground floor of something and really establish it, and make it a bigger presence in the industry. It’s just fun, man. There’s a revolutionary energy behind it and it’s really invigorating for me as well as NXT," said Samoa Joe.
Before signing with WWE, Samoa Joe had fifteen years experience. He believes of that he has a unique perspective to offer at NXT.
"I feel it’s one of the things I’ve benefited from throughout the entirety of my career, the ability to work with an incredibly diverse amount of talent through all different points in their career. Right now, on the [WWE] Network, I think you can see an early match, in 2000, between me and William Regal and so on and so forth. One of the defining characteristics of becoming a better performer is the ability to work with these guys. You pull stuff off of them, bits of their charisma, things that they do, interactions with them, that basically you’re forced to become better. I think that’s part of the impetus of me becoming a part of the brand. We wanted young WWE superstars who are coming up the ranks to get that worldly experience to work with guys who are seasoned," Samoa Joe.
The interview also covered Samoa's experiences wrestling in New York, Samoans in Professional Wrestling, and his role at NXT. It is available at amny.com.
Samoa Joe faces Shinsuke Nakamura tonight for the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover.