wrestling / News

Samoa Joe Talks His Initial NXT Signing & Releases, How He Was Cast In Twisted Metal

February 8, 2023 | Posted by Jonathan Hunter
Samoa Joe WWE NXT Image Credit: WWE

On a recent edition of The Sessions with Renee Paquette, Samoa Joe revealed that his two separate WWE firings were the result of conflict between different sections of WWE management. Joe also talked about his unique initial NXT deal, being rehired mere hours after his first firing, and how he came to be cast as Sweet Tooth in the upcoming Twisted Metal movie. Read on for the details:

On his initial NXT deal that allowed him to continue working indies: “What happened with TNA during that time to the transition to NXT was obviously very unique and very unusual. For Hunter [Triple H] to take that type of chance and go against internal dogma, by the people who were at the time, was a big thing. He offered me a great initial deal. After that went well, he offered me a better one. I think he offered me two more that were even better as we kept going. And then we were finally in business properly, full-time. For me, that was validation as far as all the work that I had done, all the time spent, was all for good.”

On the management struggles behind his first WWE release: “Being released from WWE the first time… as I understand it, unconfirmed, there [were] issues between the two upper echelons of management and they were playing out their war with the careers and the contracts of the people underneath them. After the initial one, I didn’t have much of a chance to breathe, because essentially I was hired back within hours.”

On his second release and his reaction: “The second time, I just kinda chuckled. I realized it was very much the same situation. At the same time, I wasn’t bitter or mad. The truth of it is, and this is to give, I guess, WWE some credence, I was expensive (laughs). I was expensive to keep around. And if cutting my contract, they say that saved the company money, trust me, I believe it did. I wasn’t hot about that, it was just more the silliness of the situation and what they were doing, and the reasoning why they were doing it. Which you can never officially confirm, but I’ve heard from enough people that have pretty good idea, including many of the people involved.”

On how quickly opportunities came his way: “After that, I think I spent a day kind of pissed? Like I said, more at the situation than the actual firing. And then all these super awesome opportunities literally materialized out of nowhere. I really wish I could say it was some miracle stroke of luck, but… it was refreshing to see that a lot of the groundwork I laid, just trying to treat people with respect and be kind, and be open. It came back to visit me.”

On the connection that led him being cast in the Twisted Metal movie: “The guy that I had met fifteen years prior, and we had a mutual friend. Hung out, watched pay-per-views together, stuff like that. He was kind of like just getting started out at New Line Cinema at the time. He gives me a call, and he’s now a major producer at Sony Pictures. He’s like ‘hey man, I’ve got an opportunity for you. It’s pretty crazy. Are you available?’ Yeah yeah, sure, I’m available; I’ve just been made available. ‘You heard of Twisted Metal?’ Yeah, the videogame. He’s like ‘Sweet Tooth.’ I’m in, let’s do it!”

If using any of the above quotations, please credit The Sessions h/t 411mania for the transcription.