Samoa Joe will challenge NXT Champion Karrion Kross for the title at the WWE NXT TakeOver 36 event next month.
This will mark his first match since teaming with The Viking Raiders and Kevin Owens for an eight-man tag team loss to AOP, Murphy, and Seth Rollins on the February 10, 2020, Raw episode as he had suffered a severe concussion around this time. He also dealt with a history of suffering a few concussions in the months leading up to this.
Joe talked about his recovery during an appearance on WWE After The Bell and his mindset over the last year.
“I kept it simple, and it was just getting healthy. I think sometimes a lot of people have a tendency to over complicate their problems, and make them finite or worse, just adding to them my heaping extra pressures, uncertainties, and stuff like that. My focus was simply just to get healthy. No other expectations were put on it. No expectations to return to the ring. No expectations to be anything other than to get back to where I should be, getting my brain healthy, and getting my body healthy. That was my main focus. Just because of the people that I know around me, and that I care about, I told them I would take that approach to see how my health came along, see how I felt, be careful with it, take extra time, and just really concentrate on getting better. I think that was my main focus, and that’s what helped me. It was not thinking about all the extraneous stuff. It was not thinking about, ‘Man, will I ever be back in the ring again? Will I ever do this again?’ A lot of it was having the hindsight of seeing other people that I know in this business going through very similar struggles, gathering a wealth of knowledge, taking the doctor’s advice, asking a lot of questions of other people who have dealt with this in depth throughout their career, and making the best health decisions for me. Once we got through that process and I was comfortable with that, we started concentrating on getting back to the ring and finding the best ways to do it, and the best opportunity. During that entire time, I like to keep busy. I’m never one to shirk away from a little work, so when the opportunity came to do commentary, when the opportunity came to maybe do a panel, or do other things with WWE, I jumped at the chance because I don’t like sitting idly by for too long.”
Joe also talked about if he thought the injury would be the end of his career:
“It was a much worse type of injury than I think I had dealt with before. It scared me. It scared a lot of people that care about me too. They were very, very concerned. It became very easy to make that the focus as far as what I wanted to do, and when I wanted to come back. It inevitably all hinged on that, just making sure I was alright, and making sure I was feeling good. When I came back to the ring, I didn’t want to come back in a 70% capacity. I wanted to make sure I can come back and give the best I could to the fans.”
H/T to WrestlingNews.co