Samoa Joe On WWE’s Talent Directive: They’ve Been Around Forever, It Changes Based On Need
Photo Credit: WWE
Samoa Joe recently sat down with Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT about various subjects related to the black and gold brand of WWE NXT. When asked about the new talent directive for the WWE Performance Center making the rounds online, Joe confirms the directive and says it comes straight from Vince McMahon. However, it’s something that’s been around forever:
“As for the directive, yeah, there is a directive and they do come straight from Vince [McMahon],” Samoa Joe said. “Vince says, ‘hey, this is what we want.’ But, the directives, it’s weird. They’ve been around forever. I worked for WWE in developmental when I very, very first started in California, and these directives existed. But, they change. It changes based on the needs of the company.
“It’s funny, I read the articles – I know exactly what you’re talking about – I read the outrage about the directive, and I’m like, this is nothing different. And then next week, the directive will be different. I think at this point, the track record of NXT and the hiring process has shown that. There have been different cycles where different types of athletes come in.
“Everything from independent talents come in to just straight up athletes; these directives change, and they shift basically on the needs of the company. The directive right now is probably a little bit younger and looking for a little more athletic, which isn’t terrible whatsoever, but that directive will invariably shift as the needs as the company shifts. So yeah, there is a directive; it comes from Vince, we all follow it, and we get the job done for him. We’re happy to do so.
“It’s that simple by the way, too! There’s no other convolution to it. It’s ‘we’re looking for this right now, can you get us this?’ Sure! We’re the talent department; we’ll go look for that. It’s much like a casting agency if you’re in Hollywood. Then maybe a few months later, he goes, ‘ah, I need this, which is different from what I said before, can you get me that?’
“And then we as a talent department goes ‘You know what? We can get you that!’ Then we go out and we find him that. Yes, that is how it works. I hope I have demystified the process for everybody. When you take the circumstances and you put it in some people’s imaginations, it’s a much more horrible process. But yeah, it’s as simple as that!”
The conversation shifted to the fact that Samoa Joe is now the new and only three-time NXT Champion. WALTER just recently dropped the NXT UK Championship at the same event, and it’s no secret that the WWE Universe is already craving a dream match between these two men. Joe has a lot of respect for WALTER and feels the two men have had similar paths:
“I think the respect is absolutely mutual. In fact, I can guarantee it is on my end,” Samoa Joe said. “I think the respect is more from understanding we had similar paths. We started on the independent, it’s funny, it’s almost the reverse of when we come to a bigger company – you stick out like a sore thumb. You’re the bigger guy; everyone else is normally a bit smaller, more cruiserweight. At least they were when I was coming up, I say anecdotally, it’s not par for the course!
“But it forces you as a bigger guy to be a bit more agile. To blend your style and to keep up with the lighter-weight wrestlers. At the same time, still be you. Not try to transform you into a giant version of what those guys [cruiserweights] are able to do. WALTER has been able to adapt to any style with anybody and still remain WALTER. If that was my influence on him, then I’m happy because he’s done such a wonderful job with it. He’s big; he’s brutal. He goes in there and mauls his opponents.
“When you see a WALTER match, you look forward to the mauling. It’s like ‘bring out the bear, let’s kill the villagers!’ and that in and of itself is what makes him tremendously special. When I see that, I got to admit it puts a smile on my face. If we ever end up across from each other in the ring, well, be a whole lot of bears and the villagers should run [laughs].”
What do you think about Vince McMahon’s current talent directive for WWE NXT? Would you like to see a match between Samoa Joe and WALTER soon? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.