Samoa Joe: WWE Is Taking The ‘Safest And Best Approach’ To His In-Ring Return, And He’s All Aboard
Photo Credit: WWE
When will Samoa Joe return to the ring? The Samoan Submission Machine says he’s on board with WWE’s plan to bring him back the right (and safe) way.
Joe recently spoke with Uproxx and talked about his in-ring absence and the setbacks he’s faced, in addition to his current role at the commentary table on RAW. Joe says they’ve learned so much about concussion-related injuries in recent years, so WWE is just taking a slow approach and doing things the right way and he’s on board with it.
“I think right now, we’ve learned a lot medically about concussions and recovery and we’re taking the safest and the best approach and I appreciate it. WWE medical, they’ve been great and understanding and wonderful. So I think at this time we’re just taking the best course of action and obviously some things have been delayed just because of the pandemic and medical availability and liability of being in places and traveling to get evaluations and stuff. So, I mean, there’s been some technical holdups as well as just a very careful approach to my return and recovery and I appreciate it. And I’m all aboard, you know? I would rather take this time,” Joe explained, “and miss a large considerable amount of time than potentially this getting more serious. It took (WWE) a lot to talk me down. But after seeing medically, you know, what I’ve seen, I agree with them. And we’re just taking our time with it and trying to do right.”
Joe explained that the knowledge of concussions has evolved so much in ten years and it’s dealt with better than in the past, but he can’t deny his stubbornness and noted that he had to force himself to listen to the experts.
“There’s technology and science involved and because of that, hopefully we’re dealing with this situation better than we have in the past, but I am my own worst enemy in this aspect, where I just want to shake it off. I have people that depend on me and you see these other things that could happen. I had to realize that I have to start listening because I have to honor these responsibilities to people, both professionally, personally, everybody. It’s very, very difficult when you come from a state of always wanting to charge forward,” Joe said, “wanting to go harder and fight through. And this series we’re doing now preaches those very qualities of understanding when it’s time to take care of yourself.”
Joe says he still wants to come back to the ring eventually, but he’s satisfied getting a new outlook on wrestling from the RAW commentary table.
“Sitting behind the commentary desk (has allowed me to see) how all the moving parts work and coming to have an appreciation for the incredibly intricate and amazing machine that is WWE production. And I think that’s by far the most surprising thing that I’ve enjoyed learning about. Just seeing my colleagues on the announce desk, guys like Michael Cole, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and seeing the amazing amounts of responsibility that they balance and have,” Joe said. “In my opinion, that broadcast seat is one of the most unique jobs in sports. And it is probably one of the things that I think the world will never know how complex it is.”
Joe has been out of action for more than a year since suffering a head injury during a WWE commercial shoot. His last match was on February 10, 2020, when he teamed with Kevin Owens and The Viking Raiders in a losing effort to AOP, Murphy and Seth Rollins on WWE RAW.