After a successful 15-year career, many fans wondered if we'd ever see Samoa Joe in the WWE. Not only is he there, but the superstar has already made quite the impact as the first ever two-time NXT champion and is currently in his second reign as the United States champion.?
But it feels like there's plenty of unfinished business for the "Samoan Submission Machine" who brings an incredible presence with his intensity and physicality that has many times earned the chants of "Joe is gonna kill you."
Just hours before the June 10 edition of "Monday Night Raw," where he will be on a segment of "Miz TV,"?Samoa Joe spoke with Sporting News about participating in?Super ShowDown, his first WrestleMania experience, the legitimacy he brings with his persona?and how he has fit in with?the WWE.
Sporting?News: WWE was over in Jeddah for Super ShowDown last Friday. You were in the 50-man battle royal. Have you ever been in a match with that many people in the ring at one time?
Samoa Joe: No, I don't think anybody ever has. It was a chaotic scene, let me tell you that in 101-degree weather and a lot of human body heat. It was quite the inferno in that ring.
Speaking of that, have you ever been in conditions like that before?
Oddly enough, yes. If anybody remembers the Murphy Rec [Center] in Philadelphia during the summer, it was usually those types of temperatures with a little more humidity.
Is there anything you have to do to adjust for conditions like that since it's going to be very slippery in here pretty quickly with so many people and the heat?
That's the kind of heat you don't make adjustments for. You just realize it's going to suck really, really bad. You're going to have to grin and bear it. With the exception of maybe running sprints in a sauna, I don't think there's anything you can really do to prepare for that.
There was talk that you had broke your nose during your match at Money in the Bank and you were bloodied. Did you break it and how times have you broken your nose?
I've broken it plenty of times and have stopped counting. Not really, it wasn't a major break. Everything was fine. There's always those who are very precautionary which is appreciated. Yeah, it wasn't a major issue. It wasn't a break.
The month before was?first WrestleMania that you got to have a match on, as you faced?Rey Mysterio. What was the experience like walking out in front of that many people on that stage?
I think you'd be hard pressed to find any other experience in the industry with the reach of that magnitude. The fans, the whole week leading up to it. It's a really special experience and I'm glad I got to experience it.?
That being said, your match went shorter than?expected. What was going through your mind considering the injury happened and you didn't get to mix it up as long as you had hoped?
True. At the same time, you can't ignore the statement that was made. I think this is definitely an industry of strong, powerful statements. When you have the fastest title defense in the history of WrestleMania, I think that's a pretty clear message to everyone.
We haven't gotten to see you sink your teeth into a lot of long programs so far in WWE. We did last year between you and AJ Styles. It looked like it was going to happen here with Rey Mysterio, but unfortunately he's injured. Is it tough to get on a roll when you haven't been in longer feuds?
I think, in general, I've always found myself in this unique situation in my career where people realized the magnitude of what it is to get into a program with me, but?a lot of times, both creatively and physically, some cats aren't ready for it. That's the way I look at it. Yeah, obviously, I'm bummed. I'm out here searching for these long-term challengers and for that next great entanglement. It's a process, but I think it's going to happen, certainly.
.@SamoaJoe has the #UnitedStatesChampionship back in his possession and he’s ready to make tomorrow night’s edition of #MizTV on #Raw the most “must-see” one yet! @mikethemiz #WWEFresno pic.twitter.com/7YT8aLJd8L— WWE (@WWE) June 10, 2019
We're just a few hours away from?"Raw" tonight and you are scheduled to be on "Miz TV." You haven't done that much with The Miz so far and he's an individual?you've talked about in the past as someone you'd like to get in the ring with. What will it be like getting to work with him tonight and possibly moving forward?
I think it's a very interesting meeting of the great orators of WWE. I'm going to be out there and Miz will be Miz and when we both have live mics, fireworks happen, so we'll see what goes down.
You are one of the better talkers in WWE and there is a feeling of legitimacy and realism that you bring to the table. How do you harness that and when did you feel you could really start to tap into that?
It's really simple. I'd love to sit here and say it was some long, miraculous process, but it's not that at all. When I go out there?and if I'm out in the ring and I'm saying something to you, I'm out there to pick a fight. Plain and simple. I'm out there to push your buttons, to put you off balance, to get you jumping. That's my intentions and it's the effort behind the words that I say and the things that I do.?
People say that it feels a little more real or more authentic. That's because that's its intention. I'm not out there to tell you a wonderful tale about what I have planned. I'm not there to tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to ask you what you're going to do about it.
You're a mean, nasty guy in the current PG world of WWE and that can be challenging. Are there places you want to go, but can't?
Not at all. To be honest, if you can't convey your point, especially convey it with menace, and you have to lean on the crutch of choice four-letter?words or taking it to this blatant, shocking extreme, that's fine. I think that's what sets apart the great talkers of this industry and guys who may be controversial, but without those tools, I think they wouldn't be as successful. I think I can convey all of that without doing that. That's part of the art of doing this.
I think you convey a lot of that with just a walk and a look.
Well, I think that's part of it, too. These are the tools of the trade. Intimidation has been used for centuries to cull certain people's opinions and the best at it, they can do it with very little.?
A lot of your career has been tied to AJ Styles. He recently said that the contract he just signed would be the last of his career. Have you started to think about how much longer you want to do this for?
You know, really, I don't stop trying to wager where my career is going to be and where it's going to go in a few years. If you looked throughout the history of my career, things I thought were for sure, weren't for sure. I know if you would have asked the Samoa Joe of a decade ago if he'd?ever find?himself in the halls of WWE, I would have told you flat out 'No.' I wasn't looking to do that, but obviously?that's changed dramatically. At this point, I'm just kind of on the rise and I'm seeing where it's taking us.
You mention that Samoa Joe from a decade ago, but there's always been people throughout your career that thought you're not going to WWE; that?maybe he's not a fit. You've been there for four years now and with the WWE brand for a little more than two years. It feels like it's been a good transition. How has it felt for you?
It felt like it was a fantastic fit. Coming here wasn't that big of a transition for me from coming from anywhere else.?It was just a new set of opponents and a relatively new locker room. There was some familiar faces, so it was a very easy transition.?
Another guy your career had been tied to is Daniel Bryan. When it comes to what he wants to do, he's said that he wants to wrestle until he's 70. What were your thoughts when you heard him saying that?
I have no doubt that's the absolute truth. Bryan's a guy who greatly enjoys his craft and I could very well see him still trying to throw his hat in the ring after the age of 70.
When it comes to "Raw" and "SmackDown,"?there is now a wild card rule, so we're seeing talent on both brands. Is there still a difference in the way the two brands feel?
There's definitely a different feel between the two brands. I think the wild card guys that are swapping back and forth every week, it adds a little freshness here and there. With that being saiid, I don't see this as a continuing trend. I could be totally wrong, but I think, eventually, you might see the rosters settle down to something a little more stable. But I guess with the wild card being thrown in the mix, you never know.
You started a vlog earlier this year and did two episodes. Any more plans to continue with that?
Yeah. Time available, the schedule has ramped up a bit and there's some other projects that I'm involved with and worked on that are taking considerable amount of my free time when I'm away from the ring. It's a small little project that I practiced for a couple weekends and people have been clamoring for me. Hopefully, we'll get some more video out there.?