Samoa Joe talked about his second run in WWE NXT during an appearance on today’s Busted Open Radio.
He was originally released by WWE in April 2021 then returned after Triple H brought him back to be William Regal’s enforcer. Joe beat Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver 36 to win the WWE NXT Title only to vacate it because of “injuries.”
Joe revealed in this interview that he had COVID-19 right before vacating the title then went into a backstage role and was eventually released this past January.
“I popped for COVID. It was the weekend, my wife was making stew and I couldn’t smell it. She said, ‘Wow, doesn’t that smell great.’ I said, ‘No.’ I tested positive on Saturday. By then, Vince wanted to go in a different direction with NXT and he wanted to have the new opening with NXT 2.0 be with a bang and I agreed with him. I said, ‘If that’s the case, this is probably what’s best for what your vision is for this product.’ I went behind the scenes and started working with talent on a one to one basis, pulling guys individually in open gyms, working with them, and focusing on these new tremendous prospects were brought in and people that were hungry to learn and excited about this newfound opportunity. It was invigorating for me. When you’re working with younger talent that are hungry and want to succeed on a high level, it amps up your own spirit. I was delving into that heavily. Working with Matt Bloom on revising things, training techniques, and evaluating what we were doing already and seeing if we could do it better. That was really the end of my tenure at WWE,” he said.
H/T to Fightful for the transcription