It was a weird end to Samoa Joe’s run in WWE. He was dealing with some injury issues forcing him out of action from February 2020, even taking a seat behind the commentary desk on Monday Night Raw and WrestleMania. Shortly after WrestleMania, he received the first of his WWE releases.
He surprisingly returned to the company not long later. On screen, NXT General Manager was struggling to maintain peace on his black and gold show. Just as it looked as if Regal wasn’t coping and would soon step down, Samoa Joe returned to NXT to act as an enforcer. He got into the faces of many of the talent, not least the then NXT Champion Karrion Kross, and was finally cleared to compete against the champion at NXT TakeOver 36. Joe won the championship and strangely relinquished it just as NXT undertook it’s colourful revamp to NXT 2.0. In January of 2022, Joe was released by WWE for the second time.
Recently, AEW Owner, Tony Khan acquired Ring of Honor. This paved the way for recently released talent and ROH HOF legend Samoa Joe to return to the promotion at the Supercard of Honor PPV. He has also already battled Minoru Suzuki for the ROH World Television Championship, winning the title.
Joe joins a list of people who’ve recently switched to the ‘All Elite’ brand that features the likes of Keith Lee, Swerve Strickland and William Regal. The latter of which is setting the wrestling landscape alight with his faction ‘The Blackpool Combat Club’. The group currently features Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson and newly added Wheeler Yuta. Since Yuta joined, fans have been wondering who would be next into the faction.
In an interview with the New York Post, Samoa Joe was asked about the faction to which he was very respectful of the group but doesn’t see himself joining.
“There are a lot of men within that stable I have a great amount of respect from and some I’m learning to acquire respect for, obviously some would think that it would be a perfect fit for me, but I’ve never been one to be a very good teammate so I don’t know how that would work.”-Samoa Joe.
He then talks about how long he plans to wrestle before taking a backstage role similar to the one he had in WWE.
“It’s a difficult choice not because ‘oh, there’s this specific thing, no, there are a lot of things. Knowing my luck it will be some combination, hybrid, kind of all those things kind of rolled into one and I’d have bitten off more than I can chew, but alas, that is life.”-Samoa Joe.
In AEW, Samoa Joe is currently feuding with Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt & the newly debuted, 7ft+ Satnam Singh. He’s already been on screen backing Jonathan Gresham, Lee Moriarty & Matt Sydal, but has yet to form or join a group, although it is still very very early days.