Ever since Samoa Joe made his NXT debut there has been a lot of chatter among wrestling fans on the future of the Samoan Submission Machine. Joe’s original deal was similar to Rhyno’s, where he would work some NXT dates using his established ring name and be able to book his own independent dates, as long as he didn’t work for a promotion that had a wrestling show on cable. After ROH announced their new deal with Destination America, Joe’s deal started to change.
According to the June 8th issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a contract had not been signed, but those close to the situation say the deal terms have pretty well been agreed upon.
Joe has informed people on the independent scene that he will be honoring his scheduled dates, but will be taking no more dates after August. When it comes to ROH, he will be working the 6/20 television tapings in New York, in a tag team match teaming with A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian. WWE is pushing very hard for the 6/20 match to not be taped for television, as was the original plan. ROH announced today that the New York tapings will be Joe’s ROH farewell, but there is still no confirmation on whether or not Joe’s match will be taped for TV or not.
Joe is taking no more independent dates after 8/31 and will be full-time with WWE, taking Owens’ spot as the top star of the NXT brand. Joe is confirmed by WWE to appear on out of Florida NXT house shows on 6/11 in Pittsburgh, 6/12 in Cleveland and 6/13 in Columbus, OH. Joe is scheduled to work all NXT television tapings and major house shows from this point and would be full-time with the company starting in September. As far as a name change, or a main roster position, that is all up in the air, but for Joe to give up all outside work, the company would have had to have made a significant financial commitment to him. Joe makes his NXT in-ring debut tomorrow night.
With the last set of NXT tapings, Joe is currently progressing towards a rivalry with Kevin Owens. However, we might not get to see this rivalry happen depending on the results from the Japan July 4th special. Owens is scheduled to defend the NXT Championship against Finn Balor. With Owens prominently wrestling on the main roster, one would have to assume that Owens will be dropping the belt to Balor and leaving NXT for good. There wouldn’t be a better place than Japan for Balor to win the NXT Championship considering his wrestling history in that country. (How cool would it be to see Bullet Club help Balor beat Owens?! Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.) This would more than kill any hopes of a Joe/Owens feud in NXT. However, there is always plan B. Owens could retain the NXT title and Japan and continue to dominate both NXT and the main roster. Owens could then defend the NXT Championship against Samoa Joe at the next Takeover Special which is scheduled for August. Owens could drop the belt to Joe in his final NXT appearance. The future of NXT could then be built around Joe. Samoa Joe has an opportunity to make history in his run with the WWE. Joe can be the first man to win the ROH World Title, TNA World Title, NXT Title and WWE World Title. I’ve been a big fan of Joe since his ROH days and I’m glad to see him get the opportunity to wrestle on the biggest stage and be himself. With the popularity of Joe and is already impressive merchandise sales, I don’t think it will be long before we see Joe tapping out guys on the main roster.