Samoa Joe Opens Up On Recovery Process Ahead Of WWE In-Ring Return
Joe will return to the ring against Karrion Kross in August
Samoa Joe has opened up on his recovery process following an injury that has kept him out of the ring for almost 18 months.
Joe last competed in February 2020 due to reported concussion-related issues but is set to return to action at NXT TakeOver 36 on Sunday 22 August, in an NXT Championship match against Karrion Kross.
During the last 18 months Joe had transitioned into a commentary role for WWE before being released in April, quickly being re-signed by Triple H to the black-and-gold brand.
Speaking about his injury and his time away from the ring, Joe says he wanted to just focus on getting himself healthy before he contemplated his return to action.
Speaking to Corey Graves on WWE After The Bell, Joe said: "I kept it simple. It was just getting healthy. I think sometimes a lot of people have a tendency to overcomplicate their problems and make them worse and adding to them by adding extra pressure. My focus was simply just to get healthy. No other expectations to put on it, no expectations to return to the ring. No expectations other than getting back to where I should be and getting my brain healthy and my body healthy.
"That was my main focus. Just the people around me, I told them I would take that approach. See how my health came along, see how I felt, be careful with it, take extra time, and just really concentrate on getting better. That was my main focus and that’s what helped me. It was not thinking about ‘Man, will I ever be back in the ring again?’ A lot of it was having the hindsight and seeing other people I know going through similar struggles and gathering the wealth of knowledge and taking the doctors’ advice and asking a lot of questions from others who have dealt with it throughout their career and making the best health decision for me.
"Once we got through that process and I was comfortable with that, we started concentrating on getting back in the ring and finding the best ways and opportunity. During that entire time, I like to keep busy and I’m never one to shirk away from going to work. When the opportunity came to do commentary and to do a panel or other things in WWE, I jumped at the chance.
"It was a much worse type of injury than I had dealt with before. It scared me, it scared a lot of people that cared about me too. It became very easy to make that the focus as far as what I wanted to do when wanted to come back. Inevitably, it all hinged on making sure I was alright and feeling good and when I came back to the ring, I didn’t want to come back in a 70 percent or 60 percent capacity. I wanted to make sure I could come back and give the best I could to the fans. I do play my cards close to my chest, but that’s just the belief I have."