Samoa Joe Reveals Conversations About NXT Return Began 'A Few Hours' After WWE Release

Joe has taken on new responsibilities on the black-and-gold brand

Samoa Joe has revealed the wheels were set in motion for his return to NXT just hours after receiving his WWE release. 

Joe was one of the more surprising names to be let go by WWE when the promotion confirmed a number of main roster departures in April, but the Samoan Submission Machine shocked the world by returning to NXT in a new role two weeks ago.

The former United States Champion has now opened up on being told by John Laurinaitis that he was getting released, before speaking to Triple H about a potential return just a little while later.

Speaking to Ryan Satin on the Out Of Character Podcast, Joe said on getting released: "It was weird. Johnny called me and I thought it was rare, a call from Johnny. I said ‘hey Johnny, what’s up man?’ He said ‘hey, listen, we’re going to have to release you from your contract’. I was just like ‘okay, cool’. 

"He added: ‘You know we think the world of you and we’d love to work with you again’, and I said ‘alright, absolutely Johnny‘. And honestly, I did have a bit of understanding. At the time, dealing with injuries and coming back, and getting ready to get my rehabilitation going and all that stuff. And we’re in a pandemic. All this over stuff, so I got it.

"It wasn’t unexpected but I was relatively calm about it. I’ve been in this situation before and a younger me probably would have been really freaked out but at this point you just roll pivot. That’s really all there is to it. In life in general, that’s kind of the mantra I kept. 

"A few hours later I got a call from Hunter and it all pretty much kind of changed. I had sent some company farewell texts, just to some people that I had really, genuinely enjoyed working with, and just some general thanks. I got a text back which was like ‘hey, give me a minute, just getting out of a meeting’.

"We had a brief conversation which was essentially like ‘give us a little bit of time. I’ll work out a package and we’ll be talking soon’. I said ‘alright, that’s totally fine’. It led to my return back to NXT."

Joe added, despite being released, he had no reservations about re-signing with WWE and working in NXT again, after talking in-depth with Triple H about what his job would now entail.

On top of his duties as an on-screen authority figure, Joe revealed he is now working in the Talent Scouting department too.

When asked about any reservations, Joe added: "No, and a lot of it was that me and Triple H had spoken about this transition in-depth further.

"It wasn’t just about coming back to NXT and being an enforcer and having a role on the show. I’m working in the Talent Scouting department, a few more administrative things here and there behind the scenes, it’s a little bit of a transition for me too into some of the other aspects of the business of WWE.

"It was a really great, cool opportunity that Hunter offered me and I’m still a performer within the confines of WWE."

If you use any of the quotes in the article above, please appropriately credit the original source - Ryan Satin’s Out Of Character Podcast - with a H/T to Cultaholic Wrestling for the transcription.

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Mitch Waddon

Written by Mitch Waddon

Editor In Chief at Cultaholic.com