Update on Samoa Joe's WWE Status (UPDATED)
What's next for the Samoan Submission Machine?
After vacating the NXT Championship due to injury, we now have an update on Samoa Joe's status within WWE.
On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer spoke at length about the situation, saying:
“It’s a weird story. He’s still with the company. But I don’t know if he’s going to be wrestling much because the only thing I heard officially from WWE on this, because I contacted unofficially a bunch of people who really didn’t know anything – he’d actually said this before people in NXT even had an idea any of this was going on, so it wasn’t like they knew anything.
“But the official thing that I was just told is that he was hired to be more of an administrator or whatever, like a front office person, more than a wrestler, so that’s gonna be his job. The thing with him and Kross drew interest, it was a big deal in NXT, but they’re going in a different direction. Why he couldn’t lose the title (in a match instead of vacating it) beats me.
“There’s many unanswered questions in this story. If he’s gonna be able to wrestle in a couple of weeks, or a short period of time, stripping him kind of makes no sense. There’s a lot of vagueness and when there’s vagueness there’s probably a lot more to it than has come out.
“But my impression is that he’s going to be wrestling less going forward, because again, the idea of NXT now is to develop stars for the future, and Joe is in his 40s and in future, he’s gonna be a coach and a trainer and things like that, based on what I was told.” (Quote courtesy of Wrestletalk)
WWE have been very tight lipped about the situation regarding Joe's in ring status, although he was originally scheduled to appear on RAW last night, possibly to promote the upcoming NXT show. This however seems to suggest that Joe will be transitioning away from regular in ring competition, and more to a backstage role within WWE.
Whilst it is true that, at 42 years old, Samoa Joe does not fit the image of what the "New NXT" is all about, having an established hand on the roster would surely be a benefit to the young stars looking to make their way in WWE.
In any case, whatever his career holds next for him, we are sure that he will continue to be a success.
UPDATE: As reported by PWInsider, Samoa Joe's injury is legitimate and is not a work of any kind. With WWE Medical advising him to take some time out of the ring to heal, the decision was made to "turn a negative into a positive" and have him vacate the title, clearing the way for a brand new champion to kick off the new era of NXT tonight.
Joe is not expected to be out of action for too long, but it still seems he will wrestle less going forward.