Samoa Joe Says WWE Management Were “Playing Out War With People’s Careers”
Samoa Joe has discussed the releases from WWE in recent years, including his own, and says management was at war with each other and WWE stars paid the price.
Dozens of WWE stars were released from their deals as the company significantly cut its budget beginning during the pandemic in 2020. Several have since returned to the company now that it is under the creative control of Triple H rather than Vince McMahon – although McMahon made his own sensational comeback early in 2023.
One of the casualties was Samoa Joe who actually appeared to have been released twice. However, the first time he received his bad news from then-Head of Talent Relations John Lauriniatis, he received another call later that day from Triple H who brought him back to NXT.
With Triple H subsequently taken out of action by a serious medical situation, there was no second reprieve for Joe who was released in January 2022. Since then he has debuted for AEW and is currently the ROH World Television Champion.
Speaking to Renee Paquette on The Sessions, Samoa Joe has discussed his experience of his release in WWE and says he believes that WWE management was fighting a war where the stars of the company ended up being the victims:
“That, initially, 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 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. The second time, I just kind of chuckled as I realize 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 WWE some credence, is that I was expensive. I was expensive to keep around. If cutting my contract, if 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, what they were doing, and the reasoning why they were doing it, which I can never officially confirm, but I’ve heard from enough people that I have a pretty good idea…including many of the people involved. After that, I think I spent a day pissed. More of the situation than the actual firing. Then, all these super awesome opportunities literally materialized.”