Samoa Joe Released from WWE Contract After Rejoining NXT in 2021January 6, 2022
For the second time in less than a year, popular veteran wrestler Samoa Joe has been released from his WWE contract.
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reported the news on Thursday after receiving confirmation from the company. Joe was previously released last April before rejoining NXT in June.
Joe took to Twitter to thank the people he got to work with during his time in WWE. He indicated that he was working with younger superstars behind the scenes in recent months.
After his initial release, Joe was reportedly brought back to the company thanks in part to Triple H advocating for him to return. He originally served as an enforcer for NXT general manager William Regal, but he eventually entered into a feud with then-champion Karrion Kross that culminated with a match at TakeOver 36.
Joe defeated Kross to become the first three-time NXT champion in the brand's history. However, he was forced to relinquish the title in September due to an undisclosed injury and hasn't been seen on WWE television since.
Joe first joined WWE as part of NXT in 2015 after making a name for himself in TNA/Impact Wresting, Ring of Honor and other indie promotions. He won the NXT title twice before moving up to the main roster. Though he never won a world title, he was a two-time United States champion.
Joe's WWE run was mired by multiple injuries to his knee, foot and head that kept him out of action for months at a time. He also served a 30-day suspension for violating WWE's wellness policy. He eventually joined the Monday Night Raw commentary team while he wasn't medically cleared to compete.
Joe's release continues a trend of WWE getting rid of members of the original NXT brand. The company has since shifted to "NXT 2.0," which spotlights younger talent. Regal was also released earlier this week along with members of the production and Performance Center staffs.
Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).