Back on Feb. 25 WWE hit former NXT and United States Champion Samoa Joe with a 30-day suspension for a WWE Wellness Policy violation. That suspension officially expired this week, which would theoretically allow Joe to return to WWE television while the company is pre-taping the next couple of weeks of Raw and SmackDown, along with WrestleMania 36. However the odds of an immediate return seem unlikely, as Joe reportedly suffered a concussion days before the suspension was announced and could be on the shelf for much longer.
Joe has had some poor luck with injuries in recent months. He ended 2019 working at the Raw commentary desk while recovering from a broken thumb, then turned babyface when The AOP attacked him on the Dec. 30 episode of Raw. He quickly inserted himself into the feud between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins' faction, only to suffer a different reported concussion in late January after landing awkwardly on a dive outside the ring. His last match came on the Feb. 10 episode of Raw when he took part in an eight-man tag match involving Rollins, AOP, Murphy, Owens and the Viking Raiders.
Back in August Joe sat down with Gorilla Position and discussed his numerous fruitless attempts at becoming a world champion in WWE. Despite being heavily decorated from his time in Ring of Honor and TNA [Impact] Wrestling, Joe has come up short on numerous occasions at winning either the WWE or Universal Championships on WWE pay-per-views.
"You know what, honestly, time and where we're at in the story," Joe said. "In terms of what the future holds I'm pretty confident about it. Let me put it this way, I've faced a lot worse odds in overcoming things and I'm pretty confident of overcoming this one."
He was then asked if holding either title was important to him.
"For my legacy and for what the fans who have followed me throughout my career, it's very important. For me personally, I find a great amount of enjoyment in what I do. I'm able to do what I do around the world, this is my dream job and I love it," he said. "That being said, it's also very important to me, damn it. Are you crazy? Of course, it's important to me and my legacy. It's important to both."