Samoa Joe is a highly skilled and accomplished professional wrestler. He had a successful run in NXT before moving to the WWE main roster, but also experienced being released by the company on two occasions, making him well-versed in the realities of the industry. In fact, Joe considered retiring from pro wrestling before joining AEW.
After a stint on the main roster, the Samoan Submission Machine returned to NXT, only to be released shortly thereafter. However, he was swiftly rehired and entered into a heated rivalry with Karrion Kross.
At NXT TakeOver 36, Samoa Joe emerged victorious against Karrion Kross, capturing the NXT Championship. Unfortunately, a subsequent injury forced Joe to relinquish the title and resulted in a prolonged absence from NXT programming.
In the end, Joe was released by the company once again back in January 2022. While speaking to Renee Paquette on The Sessions, Joe revealed that he considered retiring from pro wrestling before joining AEW.
“All the money they threw at me. Immediately, threw all my morals away…no [laughs]. I was legitimately thinking about hanging it up for health reasons. Still coming off the concussion and still dealing with the very end effects of that and getting back in the ring healthy and transitioning back to a physical state where it’s like I can do something for a good period of time and not want to pass out.
I basically caught two concussions very close together, which is terrible. To that point, I did take a year off to do commentary, which helped me tremendously and I do not regret taking that time. I wouldn’t change it for anything. That allowed me to get healthy and get my mind back together and get back into a place where I felt confident even doing anything physical. I realize that if I were to rush that and done that, I probably, inevitably, would not have returned to the ring at all. I am happy I handled that well, despite wanting to get after it.”
Samoa Joe has returned to the ring in a full-time capacity since signing with AEW. He also defeated Darby Allin to become a two-time TNT Champion on this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, so Joe is very likely more than happy working in AEW right now.
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