New WWE NXT Champion Samoa Joe was recently a guest on the Sam Roberts podcast in which he revealed how he was able to keep his name and gimmick which he has used for over a decade when signing with WWE and also his thoughts on Vince McMahon who he refers to as "the ultimate poker player" who gives nothing away.
On Signing With WWE
"My lawyer is dope. Yeah, but I’m really super over and awesome, so that helps. I think the biggest thing really is when they looked at the situation, which was very unique that I was coming into, and AJ [Styles]’s much the same way. It’s very unique where we have decade-plus careers and decade-plus name recognition behind us that it’s more of a benefit to keep us as we are, so I think that’s the biggest thing. And for branding purposes and all that, I understand their business acumen behind trying to change somebody’s name. But, at the same time, do we want to start moving stuff a couple of months down the line or start moving stuff on night one? And that was a motivating factor, too. I mean, it was financially smart and it was creatively smart, so I think that was the biggest thing that went into it."
On Vince McMahon
"Vince is the ultimate poker player and you’ll never know [what he thinks of your character]. Oh no, it was ‘very nice to meet you’ and then it’s like this coy smile where he’s like, ‘very nice to meet you’, but on the other side it’s like, ‘pfft, you ain’t sh*t’. I couldn’t tell, man. I’ve been at the table with some really great poker players. I’m sure Vince McMahon is a hell of a poker player."