WWE Rumors on Vince McMahon, WWE Draft; Samoa Joe Talks WWE Release, Return

Adam WellsJune 29, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 08:  WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon speaks at a news conference announcing the WWE Network at the 2014 International CES at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on January 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The network will launch on February 24, 2014 as the first-ever 24/7 streaming network, offering both scheduled programs and video on demand. The USD 9.99 per month subscription will include access to all 12 live WWE pay-per-view events each year. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 10 and is expected to feature 3,200 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.


Vince McMahon Reportedly Scouting Talent

Amid rumblings that the main roster could add an influx of talent from NXT, WWE chairman Vince McMahon is reportedly taking a close look at developmental talent. 

Per Fightful Select (h/t Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc.), McMahon has been scouting the WWE Performance Center as "part of a major scouting effort to replenish WWE's main roster, which has been hit recently with releases and repeat booking."

Even though WWE is in a great financial position thanks largely to its television contracts, there have been indications from the TV ratings that fans are bored with the direction of the product. 

One problem with WWE booking for years is the constant reliance on rematches, even for feuds that don't seem to have any reason for them. 

For example, Roman Reigns destroyed Edge and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 37 to the point he stacked both of his opponents on top of each other for the pinfall to leave no doubt that he was better than both. 

Friday night on SmackDown, Edge returned and is restarting his feud with Reigns because WWE has had the Head of the Table obliterate every other babyface on the roster and there's no one available to fight for the title at Money in the Bank. 

McMahon has promised in the past to shake things up and stop relying on rematches only to fall back into his usual pattern of booking. 

As long as he is serious about changing things this time, WWE has such a deep well of talent to mine from that there's no reason to think the company can't create several new top Superstars to liven things up. 


Update on WWE Draft

Speaking of the current state of WWE's main roster, there remains a lot of chatter about the draft later this summer. 

Andrew Zarian of Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast previously reported the draft is likely to take place Aug. 30 and Sept. 3. 

According to PW Insider (h/t Middleton), several top NXT Superstars have been working dark matches on Raw and SmackDown in recent weeks "so that officials can get a better look at them as they prepare to call them up to the main roster."

The NXT stars who have been featured in dark matches lately include Karrion Kross, Scarlett, Bronson Reed and Shotzi Blackheart. 

Kross and Scarlett, assuming WWE wants them as a duo on the main roster, would make the most sense for a call-up during the draft. He's been a dominant force on NXT since debuting in May 2020. 

The entire presentation of Kross and Scarlett is one of the best things currently going in NXT. There's no clear top contender to challenge for the title after he defeated Pete Dunne, Kyle O'Reilly, Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole in a Fatal 5-Way match at NXT Takeover: In Your House.

Reed and Blackheart were two of NXT's breakout stars last year. Their star is clearly ascending, so it would make sense to maximize their value on the main roster as soon as possible. 


Samoa Joe Talks WWE Release, Comeback

Samoa Joe had an eventful two-month period, starting in April when he was among 10 people released by WWE. 

Two weeks ago, Joe returned to the company in NXT as William Regal's enforcer. Mike Johnson of PW Insider reported that Triple H led the effort to re-sign the two-time NXT champion. 

Appearing on the Out of Character with Ryan Satin podcast (h/t Drew Rice of Wrestling Inc.), Joe called his release a "weird" situation that started with a call from WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis:

"Johnny [Ace] called me, and I thought it was a rare call from Johnny. 'Hey, what's up Johnny? How are you doing?' and he told me, 'Hey listen, we're going to have to release you from your contract.' And I was like, 'Ok. Cool.' [And Johnny said], 'Hey Joe, we think the world of you and would love to work with you again.' And I was like, 'All right, absolutely Johnny.'"

Joe added that it was only "a few hours later" that Triple H called him to let him know that he wanted to bring him back. 

"Then we had a brief conversation, which was essentially, 'Give us a bit of time, I'll work out a package and we'll be talking soon.' And I said, 'All right, that's totally fine. I have no problem with that.' And it led to my return back to NXT."

As for Joe's status as a wrestler, he hasn't competed since February 2020 when he suffered a concussion during a commercial shoot. 

While it's unclear if Joe will be medically cleared to wrestle in WWE ever again, he said "yes" when asked by Satin if he was looking to resume his in-ring career at some point. 


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