Former NXT World Champion and WWE Superstar Samoa Joe recently appeared as a guest on Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On originally thinking he would never make it past NXT: “I think the initial idea was, ‘let’s just bring him in for NXT’ and we got such a good response with everything that it kind of really blew up even beyond that and here I am on the main roster. And really to the company’s credit, it wasn’t something that was set in stone. Like, the scenario that was laid out before me was like, ‘listen, we can use you here in NXT, but we don’t really think that it’ll go much beyond that.'”
On being brought in to NXT to help build the brand: “I think it was a cultural thing here in WWE. I think that for a long time, past TNA projects that they had brought in hadn’t done well. And I think there was a major push within the company that says, ‘we’re going to build guys from scratch on our own.’ They had put a tremendous amount of money into the PC and the Performance Center, which is producing great talent. So it was kind of like, ‘hey, this is a guy who can help us build NXT into a brand.'”
On using his ring name in WWE instead of a generic WWE name: “No, no, never [was Joe going to have a bogus name like ‘Dax Phoenix’ in WWE]. It was always the case [that he was going to be Samoa Joe]. I mean, well, and I tell guys too, I had made the effort before I came here to like trademark my name and everything, which makes the process easier because it’s like if I own it, then it’s easier for me to lease to WWE or let them use it, so guys who don’t own their names, I don’t care how long you’ve been under it, if you don’t own your name, it’s not you.”
Check out the complete episode of Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast featuring the Samoa Joe interview at PodcastOne.com.