During a recent appearance on the “After the Bell with Corey Graves” podcast, Samoa Joe commented on returning to the ring for WWE NXT, his match with Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the process of returning to the ring: “I kept it simple. It was just getting healthy. I think sometimes a lot of people have a tendency to overcomplicate their problems and make them worse and adding to them by adding extra pressure. My focus was simply just to get healthy. No other expectations to put on it, no expectations to return to the ring. No expectations other than getting back to where I should be and getting my brain healthy and my body healthy. That was my main focus. Just the people around me, I told them I would take that approach. See how my health came along, see how I felt, be careful with it, take extra time, and just really concentrate on getting better. That was my main focus and that’s what helped me. It was not thinking about ‘Man, will I ever be back in the ring again?’ A lot of it was having the hindsight and seeing other people I know going through similar struggles and gathering the wealth of knowledge and taking the doctors’ advice and asking a lot of questions from others who have dealt with it throughout their career and making the best health decision for me. Once we got through that process and I was comfortable with that, we started concentrating on getting back in the ring and finding the best ways and opportunity. During that entire time, I like to keep busy and I’m never one to shirk away from going to work. When the opportunity came to do commentary and to do a panel or other things in WWE, I jumped at the chance.
On the seriousness of his injury: “It was a much worse type of injury than I had dealt with before. It scared me, it scared a lot of people that cared about me too. It became very easy to make that the focus as far as what I wanted to do when wanted to come back. Inevitably, it all hinged on making sure I was alright and feeling good and when I came back to the ring, I didn’t want to come back in a 70 percent or 60 percent capacity. I wanted to make sure I could come back and give the best I could to the fans. I do play my cards close to my chest, but that’s just the belief I have.”
On his upcoming match with Karrion Kross: “Karrion Kross, without a doubt, an extremely dominating force. He’s run through everybody they’ve put in front of him. He’s been an absolute beast of a champion. Hits hard, throws harder. I’m going to beat the brakes off him. I’m gonna put all the hands on him. It’s going to be a lot of pummeling and strikes to the head and face area. I’m gonna probably do my best to not wear out my right foot when I’m whipping his ass with it all over the ring. There has been some trauma, I’m dealing with a Conor [McGregor] situation. Hopefully, it won’t be too big of a deal. We’ll have some fun and set some things right.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)