Samoa Joe On Leaving TNA, The Promotion’s Identity Issues

Samoa Joe was a guest on The LAW: Live Audio Wrestling this past Sunday and promoting his appearance for Smash Wrestling in Toronto on Saturday June 6th against Chris Hero. The full show is available at and below are some of the highlights:

Decision to leave TNA:
I think the decision was made in the final few weeks. I’ve often been called by people loyal to a fault, and I didn’t feel the mission was accomplished in TNA yet. I’d done my best throughout my career to help try to build the company and bring it into prominence. It’s had its ups and down and pitfalls here and there, and I don’t feel that job was finished yet. Towards the end there, there were some apparent things and incidents that kinda showed me that maybe it was time for me to move on and maybe it was better for me, both personally and professionally, to explore other options and explore other things. I’ve gotta admit, I’m not unhappy with my decision. I’m unhappy that I didn’t get the opportunity to kinda finish out what I wanted to start in TNA, but at the same time, so many great things have popped up since that I’m very, very satisfied with the decision that I made.

TNA’s identity as a promotion during his tenure:
I think at times TNA did have a defined identity, but the identity wasn’t really supported, and it was restarted in favor of something else they thought would be somewhat better or was pitched to them as being better. With the X-Division being what it was, the level of athleticism and the guys we had prominent in the company at the time, it very much did have an identity. And then somewhere along the line, that identity was kind of pushed to the background in favor of trying to be something that I feel it never should have gone to be. TNA was unique in that it had a very high-level athletic style, and at times I felt it was trying to be transformed into something more sports entertainment-ish, when we were definitely an alternative to that particular kind of style. As time when on, it ebbed and flowed, and it’ll come to the surface and then it’ll be pushed to the background. Wrestlers were cycled in and out, and creative teams were regularly cycled in and out. That’s I think where the identity started to get muddled.