NXT superstar Samoa Joe, who made his debut with the brand at the end of “NXT Takeover: Unstoppable,” is now working under a deal to be a full-time WWE superstar.
That originally presented an issue with Ring of Honor, who intended on using Joe for the June 20th tapings in New York City. Joe would have teamed with IWGP Champion AJ Styles against ROH World Tag Team Champions, The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels).
According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE pushed very hard for that bout to not be taped for television. It wasn’t originally a problem, but with ROH now on Destination America, WWE doesn’t want one of its top NXT stars to be showing up on another network.
The report notes that, as of last word, the match would no longer be taped.
That aforementioned television deal is the number one reason why WWE wanted to sign Joe to that full-time contract.
He will not be taking independent bookings past Aug. 31. Joe will begin his full-time run with NXT in September. In the meantime, the former TNA World Champion will be available for major live events and “NXT: Takeover” specials.
WWE was also desperate to secure Joe’s services because of NXT’s lack of drawing power. With Kevin Owens on the main roster and both Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami on the shelf, Joe could step in and slowly become the face of the brand.
How about that name change, though? It made sense to keep the Samoa Joe name before, considering he was part-time and still had name recognition to use on his non-WWE dates. Things are different now, so don’t be surprised if Joe ends up with a different moniker. Hope it’s nothing silly. Ugh.