Samoa Joe has revealed that he actually had an in-ring return date set before he was released by WWE this past April.
It had been assumed that the main reason he was let go was because he wanted to wrestle but WWE wouldn’t clear him, but according to Samoa Joe himself, that wasn’t the case.
Speaking with talkSPORT, Joe said:
“No, it wasn’t a case of that (not being able to get cleared). Obviously I was still trying. There was a little bit more recovery time involved there, so there was a timetable for the recovery, it’s not like it was very far off – obviously (laughs).
“I just think a decision was made on one end, but this tenure and position in NXT I currently have now was kind of talked about two or three years ago. It was a matter of when we were going to get the opportunity to make the transition and there really wasn’t an opportunity because I was so busy with Raw and SmackDown.
“So it’s not like they were going to pull me from there and move me to NXT at the time.”
Joe is set to challenge Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship this coming Sunday at TakeOver 36 after signing with NXT the same day he was released by WWE.
He hasn’t officially worked a match since February last year after suffering a concussion taping a commercial, which is what he’d been trying to get cleared from.