The goal of every superstar within NXT would appear to be to make it to the main roster. Joe says that while he knew he would get the call, he was happy being in NXT.
Fox Sports: You spent more than a year in NXT and were the NXT Champion for more than 100 days. Was there ever a moment last year where you were like ‘OK, when am I finally going to get this call up to the main roster?’
Samoa Joe: “No, not really, because I was seeing NXT grow into this third brand within the realm of WWE. It needed me. We had these big events every year – Dallas, Toronto, Brooklyn – and to not have me there would definitely affect the product and definitely affect the momentum that the brand had going for it.
I also knew that when you do get that call, you want to make sure there are things in place to give you the best opportunity to succeed, whether it be on Raw or SmackDown. It’s very much about timing. I’ve been in this game for a while and I kind of realized that, you know, it’s definitely more about timing than trying to get anywhere as quickly as possible. When the timing’s right, things all fall into place, it definitely gives you a lot of momentum – which is what you want to do anytime you find yourself within the bounds of a new company or a new brand.”
Tonight at “Fastlane,” Joe takes on a recent adversary in Sami Zayn. However, is “The Destroyer” looking past this competition and already onto the next thing?
Fox Sports: You face Sami Zayn this weekend at Fastlane, who you’ve said before is a guy ‘just happy to be here,’ unlike yourself. Where do you see yourself in six months, in a year?
Samoa Joe: “In that timeframe, if I’m not holding gold then I’m getting ready to take gold off of somebody and make it my own. I come in with the highest expectations of myself. I come in with the highest goals in mind whenever I approach anything. Seeing myself as a champion in WWE is something I’ve seen from the first day I stepped into the Universe and the realm of the company.
And it’s the reason why I’m here. I’m not here to be a contributing member or ‘live out my dream’ and just try my best. I’m here to be a champion, and I’m here to be one of the best champions in the history of the company. That’s firmly what my goals are and where my eyes are set, and that’s what I expect of myself in that timeframe.”
Since his debut on the main roster, Joe has aligned himself with Triple H in the fight against Seth Rollins. Joe says that “The Game” is the glue that holds NXT together, and is crucial to helping them make their way through the ranks of the company.
Fox Sports: You’ve come into Raw very closely tied to Triple H, who seems to share a special connection with a lot of the WWE stars who have come through NXT given his role with that brand. How important is Triple H to all of these NXT stars who are now dominating Raw?
Samoa Joe: “I think he’s a very integral part to the newer talent that is making their way to Raw and SmackDown. The biggest reason being that NXT is very much something that Triple H is very passionate about. He works those extra hours just to make sure that it has become this world-over brand unto itself instead of just kind of a quiet farm league that sits in the background. It’s definitely at the forefront of WWE.
[He’s] heading that up and working with these people week after week and seeing their development and definitely having a more personal connection with the newer talent. He’s very integral in translating the abilities and what they’re able to do, their skill sets, when they do make it to Raw or SmackDown.”
Joe also discusses the difference between other companies and WWE, the excitement of WrestleMania season, and more.
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