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Samoa Joe returns to Busted Open


Samoa Joe on still being able to be ‘Samoa Joe’ in NXT:

“It really wasn’t something I had to champion much for. I think my inclusion, especially here in NXT, I think NXT was kind of transcending its status as kind of being this developmental league and it was kind of an anomaly within the company, too. It was steamrolling and the fans were so reactive and they were loving the shows and the quality of matches that were coming out of it were amazing. I think with Hunter - it being his kind of brainchild and something that he cares very deeply about - he wanted to add some momentum to what was already storming down the line. Bringing me in was a big part of that and I think that he understood the value of what I brought to the table, as far as a brand. The best analogy I can use, and it’s something similar to how he felt, is, ‘Do we want to start moving on day one? Or do we want to start moving a couple days down the line, after we’ve had to rebrand and maybe even deal with a little bit of rejection by the fans because that’s not who he is and that’s not what he’s about?’... At the end of the day, Samoa Joe is who they brought into NXT and it’s who I am now and I’m enjoying it.”

On if he was nervous about the fan reaction for his NXT debut:

“No, I really wasn’t… I was more worried about tripping on a cable and Shockmaster-ing my way out into the aisle. I really wasn’t worried about the reception. I just knew that it was going to be a special moment. I was more looking forward to it than being nervous about it.”

On trying to be a heel while being so beloved by fans everywhere:

“Basically, I’ve been threatening a lot of children at ringside. I threatened to run over a lady’s trailer on the way to town a couple weeks ago… It’s all part of the game and what I get to do every night. Having that recognition and, I guess, pro wrestling legitimacy is cool, but at the same I’m not very likable to some people and if they choose to boo, they choose to boo. I can’t help it if they’re just totally ignorant of what greatness looks like.”


On the differences between WWE and places he’s worked for prior:

“Obviously, the infrastructure and organization is top-notch here. This is probably one of the most amazing machines, as far as promotion and getting us out here to the media and putting on a spectacle, you can find. I can’t give enough credit to the production guys that I think are kind of the unsung heroes of the sports entertainment industry. When you see what they’ve got on tap for WrestleMania, what they’ve got on tap for tonight, it’s something to see, man. It’s an experience. It’s an audio, visual, sensual experience. Sensual, that got kind of weird.”

On the possibility of Eric Young and/or Bobby Roode coming to NXT:

“It’s funny. They have enough of a pedigree and an acumen that my championing for them, it’s almost unnecessary. I just really hope that circumstances find them here or find them somewhere on the world stage doing what they do best.”

On if he feels vindicated after being underutilized in TNA:

“If I was really spiteful about it, I guess it would be. I don’t really look at it that way. They made their decisions when I was with them, creatively and stuff. Those are their decisions. Hey, they write the checks and that’s what they want on the show and if that’s what they feel the fans want to see, it’s fine. But being here, once again, they’ve made their creative decisions and the decision that they made was to keep me at the forefront of the NXT brand and it’s worked out so far. I’ll let the track record speak for that.”

On what it’s like working with Triple H:

“It’s been a pretty great process. He has a very, very strong and definitive vision of what he likes to present and being there and being a part of that, it’s really, really cool. Just to kind of be under somebody who has a definitive idea of what he wants is a bit different for me. Obviously, places I’ve been in the past, it hasn’t been that definitive so to be able to make that come alive… it’s really cool to be a part of that process and I’m enjoying it a lot.”