The hottest free agent in professional wrestling may soon be a free agent no longer. Samoa Joe, who left TNA earlier this year due to not being able to come to terms on contract details, has been rumored to go to WWE since the news came out that he was done with TNA.
One of his first interviews after leaving TNA was on Chris Jericho’s podcast “Talk is Jericho” and at the end of the podcast, Jericho noted that he was told by Joe that he was in talks with WWE already. It was a “we’ll see what happens” type of situation. Joe took some bookings with Ring of Honor, going back to where he established his name before TNA and he’s also worked some indies. He had a phenomenal match with Jay Briscoe at Supercard of Honor over WrestleMania weekend, which was his last scheduled show with Ring of Honor.
The reason for him not going forward with ROH after that match may be becoming more clear now. In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter (available at f4wonline.com for subscribers), Dave Meltzer reports: “Regarding all kinds of rumors regarding Samoa Joe, the impression we have is that he’s starting in June [with WWE]. I don’t know if a contract is signed and there are often delays with the medicals and such that can happen, but that’s the last date we’ve heard.”
If June is the correct timeframe for Joe to debut, and it’s known that he would go to NXT to start, then that would come just after the next NXT Takeover special that is currently scheduled for May 20th. There are NXT TV Tapings scheduled for June 18th, so it’s not farfetched to think he would debut on one of those episodes. This would be just another feather in the cap of the future of WWE, signing a talent such as Joe.
K-Tank’s Take: To me, there are two names that have never been in WWE, that need to be. AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. I think the time has passed for AJ to ever show up in WWE, but this is great news that Joe is apparently very close to coming to WWE.
Joe is in the prime of his career (he’s 36 years old), and I think he has a lot to prove to fans everywhere, as he was consistently underutilized in TNA.
Obviously everyone will wonder what WWE will change his name to, but to me, it’s irrelevant. Name changes haven’t affected any of the other top flight Indy wrestlers they’ve brought in, because the talent supersedes that.
The possibilities of seeing Joe versus Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, & Hideo Itami are everything a wrestling fan could ask for. Personally, I think Itami would be the perfect opponent for Joe, and vice versa, as Itami needs that top flight storyline right now to stay in line with the other standout NXT stars who seem to have surpassed him a bit.
Are you excited about the possibility of Samoa Joe coming to WWE? If so, who do you want him to feud with first in NXT and then the main roster? Let us know in the comments below.