Former two-time NXT champion Samoa Joe recently spoke to The Asbury Park Press where he talked about whom he wanted to face in WWE, his feud with Seth Rollins and other exciting stuff. Below are some highlights;
For wrestling fans, you have been on our radar for years at this point. Only in the last couple of years have you been working for the WWE, first in NXT and now on the main roster. For someone as skilled as you, what have been some of the biggest areas of adjustment to working in the WWE style?
“I think synchronising your performance and what you do in the ring with some incredibly talented people on the production side of things. There are a dedication and an intricacy to the production style that you find in WWE, and for me, it was just minor adjustments. I’ve obviously worked in television for a while, so for me, it wasn’t quite a big adjustment.
“But especially having the benefits of being in NXT and seeing the coaching and the experience that a lot of younger guys go through as they make their way up to the main roster, you see a lot of these nuanced things that you really will not deal with anywhere else in the world in any company, not matter what the size. There’s definitely a higher premium put on the spectacle aspect of what you see in WWE, so I think those are definitely major adjustments for anybody, no matter where you come from.”
You’re in the midst of a great run opposite Seth Rollins. Who is someone you’re dying to work with in the near or distant future, whether that’s someone you’ve worked with previously in another company and haven’t worked with in WWE or someone you’ve never gotten in the ring with before?
“In a lot of ways, I think it would be easier to provide a list of people who I’m not excited to get in the ring and go a with. I mean, the answer is probably more people than I can list in this certain amount of time.
“(At) the top of that list, obviously, (are) the John Cenas of the world, Randy Orton. Of course, me and AJ (Styles), we’ve battled for years back and forth, so anything involving him I’m more than compliant with. Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, the list really is quite long — and hopefully, I’ll get to a lot of those places in the coming years.”
From your standpoint, what would you say makes a perfect heel in sports entertainment?
“I think to elicit negative emotions out of the crowd, you almost have to have a moral high ground to stand on. It’s just (that) his way of interpreting that moral high ground is slightly skewed and/or sadistic and wrong. So, I think those are some heel elements.
“Something that your heel has to say in the ring is, he has to say something that resonates with the audience where the audience knows that they’re wrong for feeling a certain way but they’ll occasionally embrace that way of thinking. Those are some of the major things; I think he has to have a point. It’s just the way he goes about enforcing that point is probably not the best way.”