WWE fans were left shocked and disappointed this past April when the company suddenly announced the release of Samoa Joe. Highly regarded as both a wrestler and as a commentator, the role where he'd been working for months at the time of his release, Samoa Joe is a guy who can do it all and that's part of why it was so surprising to see the WWE throw away such a useful hand. Well, as it turns out, maybe they have had a bit of seller's remorse and have changed their minds.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com and further confirmed by the Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, Samoa Joe is back with WWE just two months after being released and will be working exclusively on NXT.
PWInsider.com is told that Triple H "snatched him back" as soon as possible. One source told PWInsider.com that the second a decision by others to "let Joe back on the board", Triple H was not happy and wanted him back in NXT as opposed to being elsewhere outside of WWE's auspices. Triple H was the point person responsible who initially brought Joe to WWE in 2015 for NXT and at one point, had even given him a pretty unique deal where he was able to continue working independent dates, although that later evolved into a more traditional deal.
The report continues that at the moment, Samoa Joe is expected to take on a non-wrestling role in NXT, though it's not out of the question that he could compete again in the future. Samoa Joe's last match was in February of last year when he suffered a concussion that has sidelined him since. WWE didn't feel safe letting him back in the ring with his continuing concussion issues and had him as a part of the Raw commentary team.
So just what would the non-wrestling role be for Samoa Joe in NXT? Well, if you've been watching the brand as of late, you'll have noticed that NXT Commissioner William Regal is looking more and more stressed with dealing with an ever-increasingly chaotic roster and the wrestlers seem to have less and less respect for his authority by the week.
This came to a head at last night's NXT TakeOver: In Your House event, where the event was defined by backstage brawls and a main event that could only be described as barely controlled chaos. At the very end of the show, McKenzie Mitchell tried to interview Regal on his way to the parking lot, and a very broken and exhausted Regal told us that maybe a change is needed.
So are these the seeds being planted for an NXT Commissioner Samoa Joe? Or will Regal bring Samoa Joe in as an enforcer type that will carry out justice in NXT? We'll probably find out soon enough, maybe even tomorrow night. Whatever the role ends up being, I'm sure fans are just happy to have Samoa Joe back in the WWE fold and even happier that he'll be in NXT, where his talents are more likely to be utilized.