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Samoa Joe says NXT stint helped him adjust to WWE’s style of wrestling

Samoa Joe, who has wrestled internationally and on the independent circuit for various promotions, said his one-and-a-half-year stint with WWE’s developmental brand NXT helped him adjust to WWE’s style of wrestling.

other sports Updated: Aug 20, 2017 19:56 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New York
Samoa Joe made his WWE main roster debut earlier this year. (Twitter/ Rolling Stone )

It has been a long journey for the ‘Samoan submission machine’ Samoa Joe. From being a legend on the independent circuit to being a part of the WWE Summerslam in his first year with the company, Joe has seen almost all the ups and downs of the pro-wrestling business. However, he still gets nervous before big matches and his excitement for the game has not waned a bit.

“I am really excited to headline such a huge event. Six months in, I’m in the main event of Summerslam and I could not have asked for a better start to my WWE journey,” Joe told Hindustan Times days before his big fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Samoa Joe will take on WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar, Brawn Strowman and Roman Reigns in a fatal four-way encounter for the championship. The presence of such big names means more challenge for the Samoan, but Joe is looking at it as an opportunity to show off his talent.

(Read | Jinder Mahal dreams big, targets multiple championship runs in WWE)

“I think my feud with Brock (Lesnar) has been quite intense and on Sunday, I will be in the main event of Summerslam with three extremely talented wrestlers. So, things have been quite great.”

Samoa Joe is a veteran in the pro-wrestling industry and, since his debut in 1999 he has held championship belts in almost all of the major promotions in USA. He has won titles in TNA, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Noah and has also been voted as the Most Popular Wrestler of the Year in 2006 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated. However, he joined WWE quite late in his career and, according to Joe, it is his prior experience that has helped him adjust to WWE’s style of working.

“It was not very difficult for me to adjust in WWE because of my previous experience. Stylistically, this company is quite different from other promotions but adapting to it is part of the job.”

(Read | Becky Lynch wants bigger and better things for women’s wrestling in WWE)

The ‘Samoan submission machine’ continued his dominant run when he joined WWE’s developmental brand NXT and in his one-and-a-half-year stint with the promotion, he won the NXT Championship twice beating big names like Finn Balor and Shinshuke Nakamura.

“My experience at NXT was quite stellar. Being part of such a revolutionary atmosphere helps you grow as a wrestler and it helped me adjust to the WWE style of wrestling.”

The WWE has recruited a lot of ROH wrestlers in the last year and with Adam Cole becoming the latest addition, Samoa Joe told HT about the wrestlers he would like to see in WWE.

“I would like to see Jay Lethal and Dalton Castle join the company. Both have made their name in Ring of Honor and their addition can make WWE a very exciting place.”

Jay Lethal was Samoa Joe’s protégé in Ring of Honor and he was one of the longest-running champion of the promotion. On the other hand, Dalton Castle is an upcoming star in the business and his innovative move set has already made him quite famous in independent circles.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 19:56 IST