During much of the coronavirus pandemic, Samoa Joe has replaced WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler on commentary for Raw, and it seems like this is going to be a full-time switch, as it seems like Lawler isn’t going to be brought back once the pandemic is over.
According to Dave Meltzer in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the former United States and NXT Champion is now the permanent replacement for Jerry Lawler on Monday Night Raw commentary.
Meltzer notes that even though he isn’t cleared for an in-ring return right now, WWE may opt to have Joe continue as Raw commentator even when he is able to wrestle again, whenever that may be:
“Regarding Samoa Joe, he is still not cleared to return, however he is also now considered the permanent replacement for Lawler as an announcer. What that means if/when he is cleared is that he may have the role where he announces and they can shoot angles for him to wrestle using that (since those kind of angles usually do well). Things could also change if later there are depth issues and they feel the need to have him as a full-time wrestler. Or he could mix the two”
While Joe is great on commentary, it makes more sense to bring him back as a full-time wrestler when he is able to return. Raw has lost AJ Styles in recent weeks and the roster feels like it is lacking in true star power. Someone of the calibre and ability of Joe should not be wasted on commentary, no matter how good he is.