Samoa Joe has been a wrecking ball since signing with the WWE and wrestling in NXT starting in 2015.
But with no match and virtually no storyline in NXT at the promotion’s NXT TakeOver: San Antonio event on January 28, rumors are swirling that Joe will be appearing at the WWE Royal Rumble on January 29.
Joe was shown in the crowd at the event, and CagesideSeats.com reported that he is “likely to be one of those surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble.
The possibility of Joe being called up to the main roster soon was confirmed by Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer, who said there is an “idea” that Samoa Joe will make his debut “very soon” and would include a “major push.” The “push” would include being one of the “top few matches” at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando.
In a recent interview with The Sporting News, WWE Superstar AJ Styles said about Joe:
Well, Joe is an amazing wrestler. There’s no doubt about that. Always has been. Joe is one of my really good friends. It’s just a matter of time before he’s on the roster. It wouldn’t surprise me if he showed up on Sunday. There’s always surprises in the Royal Rumble and you try not to get surprised, you try to see it coming but that’s what makes the Royal Rumble so fun. If Joe doesn’t show up on Sunday (at Royal Rumble), he’ll definitely show up soon. I know it.
Joe worked his way through the NXT roster, winning every match in his first few months and turning heel against then-champion Finn Balor. Joe wrestled Balor for the title, but lost at NXT TakeOver: London. He got another shot at Balor at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, but lost once again, suffering a cut to his face just minutes into the match.
Joe held the NXT Championship since then, but lost it to Shinsuke Nakamura at an NXT Live event in Osaka, Japan on December 3, 2016. He never held the NXT title again.
So, will Samoa Joe make an appearance at the Royal Rumble? While it sounds like most signs point to yes, you can be sure by watching the Royal Rumble, beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern on January 29 on WWE Network.