Samoa Joe shockingly returned to the wrestling world at ROH Supercard of Honor, and AEW President Tony Khan subsequently announced that Joe has signed with AEW. As a result, Joe is back under contract with a wrestling company for the first time since his second WWE release in January.
During the media scrum after ROH Supercard of Honor, Joe explained that he’s looking forward to working with everyone in AEW and ROH. He stated that he thrives in environments that are filled with young, hungry talent, which is what he’ll encounter with both promotions now. “The Samoan Submission Machine” pointed out that he succeeded under similar circumstances in both NXT and WWE.
“I’m more than excited,” said Joe. “These are the environments that I love. You know, a lot of guys, they get to a certain point in the industry, and they don’t want to put themselves in the crucible, they don’t wanna put themselves in situations where they got young, hungry guys wanting to tear their throat out for their spot. I’ve never had any issue with that. And that’s a major reason why I’m here. Talking with Tony, I understand the lay of the land and the athletes that have been attracted to AEW and ROH. I knew it was a place that I wanted to be.
“A lot of familiar faces, a lot of new stars that are coming into their own, and these are the environments where I thrive. When I came into NXT, it was very much the same type. When I came into WWE, everywhere I go, I’m searching out for those matchups with types of individuals, and AEW is flush with them. And ROH is flush with them. And now I have this grand opportunity to pursue those targets on both brands”
Joe was also asked whether Khan’s purchase of ROH influenced his decision to sign with AEW. The former ROH World Champion described how it played a “major role”, given his legacy with the promotion and his eagerness to help the company moving forward.
“It played a role,” sais Joe. “But the initial discussions, Tony was playing his cards very close to his chest and not revealing things. Heavily alluding to it, but never quite revealing, but it did play a major role. But it did play a major role because obviously I have a lot of my legacy tied up with the promotion, and a lot of work that many fans have enjoyed over the years has been affiliated with the promotion. So to see it and to be a part of it and to help influence the future of it, it was kind of an unmissable opportunity.”
During the scrum, Joe also discussed his WWE release, his health, and his desire to win the ROH World Championship.