The current WWE NXT Champion Samoa Joe was recently a guest on Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast. The Samoan Submission Machine discussed various different topics, including: when he knew NXT was the place where he wanted to be, being confident that WWE would give him a fair opportunity to succeed, and having some influence on AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura signing with WWE. Please note that this interview occurred before Joe defeated Finn Balor for the NXT Title this past Thursday in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Joe on knowing NXT was the place for him.
“I’ve been fortunate enough that I’m kind of on the cusp of companies coming, getting worldwide acclaim, and kind of exploding. And this is kind of like my third time and it’s awesome, so I recognize all the hallmarks, all the signs, I’ve seen before, kind of like Ring Of Honor and it’s like, when I saw that and I saw the energy and the vibe when I went to the [NXT] shows and kind of met with some of the guys and saw how they felt about things, I was like, ‘yeah, I’m totally cool with it – this is where I want to be’.”
CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins’ success played a big role in Joe realizing he’d get a fair shake with WWE.
“It’s crazy because it was never a timetable issue for me. First of all, all those guys are really good friends of mine, so it was like, I was beyond stoked for them. I was like, ‘man, that’s awesome, man!’ because I understood the concept of the character, I understood what they brought to the table, and I’d been in the ring with them, traveled the roads with them, so I knew what they were capable of and I knew their ability level. And to see them be WWE Champion just reinforced what I had already believed about them. When the opportunity presented itself here, I felt more confident because of the inroads they had made, if anything. Like, if that hadn’t happened before I came here, I’d probably be more apprehensive about coming to WWE because it’s like the place to be, but at the same time, it’s like, ‘am I really going to get the fair shake that I hoped I would?’ And seeing what they had done here, I more than realized, ‘yeah, I would’.”
When asked if he would try and get friends of his like Low-Ki, MVP and Homicide jobs with WWE, he said he’d love to but he’s not sure if they’re interested in working for the company at the moment. However, he went on to say that he does believe he’s had influence on some of his other friends like Styles and Nakamura joining WWE.
“I’ve been able to, I hope, have some influence on some of my friends being here, AJ [Styles], [Shinsuke] Nakamura, who I remember when he first started in the L.A. dojo with me and in the Inoki Dojo in Santa Monica [California] and to see him debuting here [at NXT TakeOver: Dallas] is crazy.”
Picture used above is courtesy of WWE.com.