On Thursday, WWE released former NXT Champion Samoa Joe from his contract.
Following the news of his release, Samoa Joe issued a statement on social media that you can read below:
This is the second time WWE has released Samoa Joe over the past nine months. He was also let go from the company on Apr. 15 of last year, but WWE wound up bringing him back on a new deal. Samoa Joe returned to television as William Regal’s “Special Enforcer”.
He would go on to claim the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver 36. Joe defeated Karrion Kross that night. Kross was among the company’s round of cuts in early November. In WWE, Joe won the NXT Championship three times and the United States Championship on two occasions. In 2015, he and Finn Balor teamed up to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
WWE has released several NXT wrestlers and employees since Wednesday. This included the stunning release of NXT mainstay William Regal, Scott Armstrong and WWE Hall of Famer Road Dogg. Wrestlers Hideki Suzuki, Timothy Thatcher, Danny Burch and Allison Danger were also released.
NXT talent contracts usually consist of 30-day non-compete clauses, and the clauses for main roster talents are traditionally for 90 days. It’s unclear how long Samoa Joe’s non-compete clause is for, but the well-respected wrestling legend shouldn’t have any problems finding a new home. Impact Wrestling could very well look to bring him back, and it obviously wouldn’t be a surprise if AEW made a play for the 42-year-old.
Various injuries unfortunately sidelined Samoa Joe for long periods of time in WWE after he joined the main roster in 2017. Still, Joe had high popularity among the fans and is an elite in-ring worker. Simply put, he should have had at least one world championship reign on the main roster, but WWE often failed to fully maximize his star power and potential. There’s little doubt that Samoa Joe will enjoy great success in his next stop.