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The WWE Released Samoa Joe For The Second Time In Less Than A Year

Samoa Joe in NXT
(Image credit: WWE)

Just a day after WWE dropped William Regal and several other NXT creatives and trainers, the company released yet another big name in the brand. For the second time in less than a year, the WWE released Samoa Joe from his duties to the company. The story brings to an end a bizarre year for Joe, which saw many unexpected things happen. 

To recap the past year for the wrestler, the WWE fired Samoa Joe (alongside other talents) from his previous duties as a commentator for Monday Night Raw in April 2021. In June, word got out that Samoa Joe was re-hired but in a new role at NXT. Joe returned to NXT, and even won the NXT title from former WWE talent Karrion Kross, but never wrestled again. Ultimately he vacated the title due to an undisclosed injury and remained a background presence in NXT until Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful confirmed that the WWE let him go again. Samoa Joe recently commented on his departure on Twitter, and seems to be in good spirits.

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At the moment, it’s unclear exactly why the WWE released Samoa Joe. It’s no secret that the wrestler suffered from injury problems, as an injury eventually led to his commentator role on Monday Night Raw. His return to NXT seemed like a fresh start to revitalize his long wrestling career, but as mentioned, he only wrestled one match between his return and eventual release. Samoa Joe’s comments certainly seem to indicate he’s excited about the future and that he’s apparently not upset to leave the WWE. 

Samoa Joe’s firing is only the latest news out of the mass firings at NXT. The firings seem to be a concerted effort to remove all staff tied to the old NXT, which means the staff that existed prior to the re-branding of NXT 2.0. Specifically, most of these hires were by Triple H, who essentially ran NXT prior to his recent cardiac event, which sidelined him from his duties. 

There are not a whole lot of answers as to why all these recent firings are happening. Sean Ross Sapp noted that past departures involved company-wide emails that described the circumstances of the release in broad terms, but that hasn’t happened here. Some fans suspect that this shakeup is a result of NXT’s inability to compete with AEW in its short-lived ratings war, which inevitably led USA to move the program to a different night. 

For the WWE, behind-the-scenes changes were seemingly needed in addition to all the roster and aesthetic changes present in NXT 2.0. The good news is that guys like Samoa Joe and William Regal probably won’t find trouble working in pro wrestling elsewhere, provided that’s something they want to do. 

NXT 2.0 airs on USA every Tuesday starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. Tune into to the series to see its latest champion Bron Breakker, who has already generated a lot of buzz in the wrestling industry.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.