Samoa Joe on why going to NXT was the right decision:
I knew NXT was really, really gaining a lot of steam, it was kind of exploding and making kind of this tremendous impact on the industry in general. To be there and help further that movement and further that expansion was very, very interesting to me. I’ve had the pleasure of being on the forefront of new brands expanding the industry and building things from scratch and from the ground up, and NXT is very much the same environment. It’s a really awesome environment to work in. You get this crazy opportunity to be on the ground floor of something and really establish it, and make it a bigger presence in the industry. It’s just fun, man. There’s a revolutionary energy behind it and it’s really invigorating for me as well as NXT.
Joe on what performing in NYC means to him:
I think it means something to anybody, having the ability to perform in New York City. It has some of the most famous venues in the world and it goes back to pop culture attitudes — if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. New York crowds, especially for WWE, have classically been some of the hottest crowds that WWE enjoys. … Any opportunity to get back to New York and wrestle there, it’s always special.
Joe talks about learning from different international talent in NXT:
I feel it’s one of the things I’ve benefited from throughout the entirety of my career, the ability to work with an incredibly diverse amount of talent through all different points in their career. Right now, on the [WWE] Network, I think you can see an early match, in 2000, between me and William Regal and so on and so forth. … One of the defining characteristics of becoming a better performer is the ability to work with these guys. You pull stuff off of them, bits of their charisma, things that they do, interactions with them, that basically you’re forced to become better. I think that’s part of the impetus of me becoming a part of the brand. We wanted young WWE superstars who are coming up the ranks to get that worldly experience to work with guys who are seasoned.