Former two-time NXT World Champion and current WWE main roster Superstar Samoa Joe recently appeared as a guest on Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast.
During his appearance on the show, Joe spoke with Y2J about why he and others, such as Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor, remained part of the NXT brand as long as they did, unlike others who moved up to the main roster in quicker fashion.
“I want to say almost close to two years,” said Joe. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, but I think a part of that too was about driving the brand. And I think that was kind of the issue with myself, Finn, and Nakamura. We were kind of these mainstays, it was a touring brand at this point, and it was like I felt kind of needed us, Bayley, is another consummate player, just it was kind of what people showed up and paid to see.”
Joe continued, “NXT is at a level now where it is a third touring brand within the WWE spectrum and you have to now produce talent that have the risk of being gone. I liken it to a Ring Of Honor or an ECW where it’s like you’d build these huge stars, but eventually opportunity comes calling and now you have to start from scratch.”
Joe also spoke with Jericho about when he first heard rumblings that he would be moving up from NXT to the WWE main roster.
“I think at a certain point it became kind of an unspoken thing,” said Joe. “Then, I remember, I want to say, going probably after Toronto [Canada], NXT TakeOver: Toronto, it was mentioned to me, ‘hey, listen, there [are] probably going to be some opportunities for you elsewhere… so be ready.”
Joe continued, “I really didn’t learn about the debut until the day before the Rumble. Then, the plan was kind of laid out to me.”
Check out the complete Samoa Joe interview on the latest episode of Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast at PodcastOne.com.