This is the second time that WWE has removed Samoa Joe from his contract.
On January 6, WWE announced that Samoa Joe would be released to Fightful Select. Sean Ross Sapp shared the news on social media. Joe, an independent wrestling icon, has been dropped from the major dub’s roster for the second time in little than a year.
Samoa Joe has been released by WWE, Fightful has confirmed with the company.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) January 6, 2022
Nuufolau Joel Seanoa made his pro wrestling appearance in late 1999 as Samoa, a name he still goes by today. His stint with Ring of Honor (ROH) as well as TNA/Impact Wrestling starting from the early 2000s towards the mid-2010s is possibly his most well-known era.
In 2015, Joe made his WWE debut as a member of the NXT developmental brand, where he went on to become the first two-time NXT Champion ever.
After defeating Finn Bálor at WWE NXT live event in 2016, his first short reign last just 121 days. That year, he won the championship back from Shinsuke Nakamura by defeating him again, and he held it for 13 days until losing it again to Nakamura.
In early 2017, Joe was promoted to the WWE main roster and went on to win the WWE United States Championship twice. Toward the conclusion of the year, Joe started doing color commentary for Monday Night Raw as he recovered from an injury.
Joe, on the other hand, was forced to miss the rest of the season in February 2020 due to an injury he sustained while filming a commercial. In April 2020, he rejoined the Raw commentary desk, where he would remain for the next year.
On Twitter, Joe expressed his gratitude to everyone with whom he worked in WWE. In recent months, he hinted that he had been working behind the scenes with emerging superstars.
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 🙃
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) January 7, 2022
On April 15, 2021, Samoa was dismissed from WWE as part of one of the industry’s notorious mass cuts, along with several other superstars. Joe, on the other hand, was able to renegotiate his contract soon thereafter and returned to the NXT roster on June 15 as the enforcer of General Manager William Regal.
It wasn’t until late July that he was able to fight Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship. The match, Joe’s first in 18 months, took place on August 22 at NXT TakeOver 36. As the first and only three-time NXT Champion, Joe wrestled Kross to retain his championship.
On the other hand, Joe’s third stint as NXT Champion was only recognized to run for 20 days. A video Joe shared on social media on Sept. 12 stated that an unidentified ailment had forced him to give up the title. At the time, he said-
“Recently, WWE medical has informed me that, due to certain injuries, they would like to have me step away from the ring for a brief, yet still indeterminant amount of time,”
When WWE announced broad changes to NXT’s production crew, Joe’s WWE release came just one day later. Other NXT executives who were made public yesterday comprise William Regal as well as Ace Steel, Road Dogg, Ryan Katz, Scott Armstrong, and others.