Samoa Joe On NXT Being A ‘Proving Period’, When He Found Out He Was Going To Smackdown, Which WWE Stars He’d Like To Work With

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Samoa Joe recently spoke with Robbie and Jared on Barstool Sports’ From The Top Rope podcast; you can read a few transcribed highlights (credit to Bill Pritchard for below:

Samoa Joe comments on NXT being a ‘proving period’ for him getting into WWE:

Getting through NXT, it was a great experience for me because starting out there for me, it was like proving to the company that I’m everything I say I am, and here’s the proof. It was a small time, but it was during that time that I was able to say ‘this is what I’m able to do for you guys’ and NXT was part of that process. I was more than happy to participate in that and do that, because it’s pretty much like everywhere that I’ve worked in my career, where there’s always been a proving period that I had to go through. It’s something that I never shy away from and I don’t feel insulted, like ‘oh, I shouldn’t have to prove myself’. There’s nothing that gives me more satisfaction silencing doubt with action, and that was very much, to me, what NXT was about.

Joe comments on who he could guarantee he’d tear the house down with:

AJ Styles. Easy choice, but I mean that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that knows us. We’ve been doing this, especially against each other, at a high level for years. He hasn’t lost a step and his game is better than ever, so yeah, that’s an easy answer. To a certain aspect now—and this isn’t because we have a match coming up—but anytime me and Roman have gotten in there and mixed it up, we definitely feed off of each other’s energy.

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Samoa Joe talks about finding out he was moving to Smackdown:

I found out when they told when I got to the Superstar Shakeup. They gave us no head’s up. It’s chaotic that week; you have to rebook your cars and your flights and everything, it’s a mess. Legit, everybody has to make all of these travel alterations, but that comes with the turf. I found out that week—it’s weird because you’re like ‘What?’–you sit there and I thought about the matchups now that I’m over on Smackdown, and I was like ‘ehh… I can deal with this.’ After much reflection, I’m looking forward to it.

What Smackdown stars is he looking forward to working with?

Daniel Bryan is up there on the top of that list. Obviously the champ [AJ Styles], Shinsuke [Nakamura], Randy Orton, Rusev. These names are for a reason, not like the guys that I’m mapping out and targeting, it’s kind ofit’s easier to find people that you wouldn’t want to see me face on Smackdown.