Last year, Samoa Joe was released by WWE but was brought back to be a part of the NXT brand. This time, his second release by the company might be a permanent move.
Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp was the first to report that Joe, a TNA World and X Division, Ring of Honor Pure and World, and NXT Champion, was let go for the second time by WWE. This comes a day after WWE released several behind-the-scenes individuals within NXT as the brand continues to change to NXT 2.0.
WWE released a statement that read: “With the continued evolution of NXT 2.0, we’ve decided to part ways with some of the staff based in our Performance Center. We thank them for their many contributions throughout the years and wish them the best.”
Joe was signed by WWE in 2015, performing under the NXT brand. He made his main roster debut in 2017 and would compete in various feuds during his time there, including world title matches. Joe also won the United States Championship twice. The past two years have been interesting for Joe as he last wrestled on the main roster around February 2020. He was moved to the RAW commentary team to recover from injuries. Joe was then released in April 2021 before Triple H brought him back in June. Becoming an enforcer in NXT, Joe defeated Karrion Kross for the NXT Title at NXT TakeOver 36, relinquished it due to injury, and hasn’t been seen since.
Working behind the scenes, Joe has been acting as a coach and has helped out with tryout camps. According to Fightful Select, Joe was released on Wednesday along with William Regal, Timothy Thatcher, and others. With Regal gone, it appeared only a matter of time before Joe was gone. The reported reasoning for the release was a result of WWE looking to change all aspects of Triple H’s original vision for NXT, which lasted from 2013 to now. There were no talks of having Joe back in the ring for the company.
Joe responded to the news via social media, saying he is upset he won’t be able to personally see the progress of the young talent NXT 2.0 has, but that he is excited about the future.
“Extremely fortunate and grateful to all the young & amazing talent I had the pleasure of working with in the past months. Only saddened at the loss of an “excuse” to see their continued growth & achievement . I am very excited for there future,….. and mine”
Joe, 42, made his pro wrestling debut in 1999. A Ring of Honor original, Joe was also known for his time with Impact Wrestling, becoming a dominant figure in its X-Division before moving on to become world champion.
It is unclear how long Joe’s non-compete clause is or where he might end up, whether as a wrestler or in another backstage role.
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