News broke Monday night during Raw that Samoa Joe has signed a full-time deal with WWE.
The Pro Wrestling Torch first reported Joe’s full-time deal with WWE, noting that both Triple H and Vince McMahon were impressed by the Samoan Submission Machine’s “off-the-charts” merchandise sales and work at the last set of NXT TV tapings.
It’s unclear whether Joe will continue to work primarily in NXT or will get called up to the main roster, but Joe will be wrapping up his independent dates.
The signing of Joe comes as Kevin Owens finds himself a fixture of WWE’s main roster and working a program with United States Champion John Cena.
Joe debuted at NXT Takeover Unstoppable, confronting Owens, the developmental league’s champion. That’s clearly the leading program for that circuit, and Joe could be in line to be the new face of NXT. Or WWE’s brass could want him on the main stage given his merch numbers. On Monday, before word leaked of Joe’s signing, the independent darling reportedly worked a dark match against Tyson Kidd prior to the Raw show.