With all the pro-wrestling championships in the world, chances are that Samoa Joe, 37, has won every single one. The man has ruled every organization from Ring of Honor to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla to TNA. And now he now has taken over NXT. Having defeated Finn Balor, 35, for the NXT Championship, the Samoan Submission Specialist will face “The King of Strong Style,” Shinsuke Nakamura, 36, at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II.
Ahead of this epic event, part of WWE’s SummerSlam weekend extravaganza, Joe took time to EXCLUSIVELY speak with HollywoodLife.com’s Russ Weakland about the brand split between Raw and Smackdown, his future outside of the ring and a severe warning to all current WWE championship holders!
How important is it for you to make NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II the better show over SummerSlam?
“Absolutely paramount! You know, when we had our show last year before SummerSlam, everyone in that locker room had the intention to steal the weekend. And that vibe and attention will be no different this weekend.”
Facing Shinsuke Nakamura, many feel that will be a 5 star match and a Match of the Year Candidate. How do you handle expectations of that nature?
“You know, I have had the extreme honor and pleasure on being in matches that have been considered “Match of the Year.” Even though people think of that — I am thinking of the match. I am thinking about my opponent and what I want to get across.
“The focus is definitely on that and if you think of it as a potential “Match of the Year,” you lose a little bit of being in the moment and how to catch that energy from the crowd and go out there and perform at your highest level.
“That is literally what is paramount on my mind anytime I am in the ring. It really doesn’t have to do with what accolades and acclaim you’ll get afterwards. It is all about that match and what we will do in that moment.”
You appear to be the “wrestler’s wrestler,” but WWE has many outlets with movies, cartoons and other things of that nature. Would you want to do any of that or just stick to the ring?
“Absolutely! To say that I wouldn’t want to have those opportunities would be a little naive. I think it is part of what we do. I have already done some voice acting for several video games and I [was] interested in that style of work while I was living in LA. I would like to explore those avenues in the entertainment industry and try new things. You know — schedule permitting.”
With the recent brand split, win lose or draw, when would you like to appear on Smackdown or RAW? When would be the perfect time for that?
“The perfect time is when either brand is ready for me to arrive!
“I have been a big proponent with “quality over quantity.” I think, never more in this time of the WWE, the opportunity is the most it has ever been for various wrestlers to come in a succeed on so many levels and so many shows and brands!
“NXT being the sort of third brand of the WWE and having its own quality and having its own fans and people that love it. I think when the stage is set properly, that is the time it will be for me to arrive anyway!”
What else do you have to prove in your career that you haven’t done yet? Something you must do or do again?
“I want to touch every piece of gold in the WWE! I think that is very accomplishable. I have that on my sights and I would like to say that I have held every championship in every company I have worked for. The WWE is no different!”
Will Joe succeed in defeating Shinsuke? Tune in to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II at 8:00 PM, only on the WWE Network!
And make sure to live the match in your living room when WWE 2K17 comes to your favorite console, whether it be PS4 or XBOX One on October 11th. You will not be disappointed! Make sure to pre-order it now!
HollywoodLifers, are you rooting for Joe? Do you think he should go to Raw or Smackdown?