Samoa Joe could have the highest profile win of his 19-year pro wrestling career this Sunday at SummerSlam if he defeats AJ Styles to become WWE Champion. Like with Shinsuke Nakamura before WrestleMania 34, WWE has released an episode of the WWE Chronicle documentary series about the challenger for one of their most prestigious titles. It covers from April 9, 2018 — right before Joe returned from injury after being sidelined for a second consecutive ‘Mania — to this past Thursday.
The 45-minute documentary (on YouTube here and on the WWE Network here) switches between shoot and kayfabe, with more obvious kayfabe content than Nakamura’s. But alongside with several quality Joe promos, we learned some new things about the Samoan Submission Machine’s career in and out of WWE, his approaches to life and wrestling, and, as the title of the episode states, “How Samoa Joe Proved WWE Wrong.”
He was told he would never make it to the main roster
Joe says that when he was approached to join NXT, Triple H was “brutally honest” with him. In their meeting, Triple H promised creative freedom, but quickly said he didn’t think Vince McMahon was looking to promote someone in his late-30s up to the main roster. Joe says he just smiled at William Regal and Joey Mercury across the table, “and they knew.”