AMADI’S TAKE: The presence of Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura in NXT is beginning to do more harm than good

Samoa Joe (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


Samoa Joe coming out to ruin Dan Matha’s NXT debut made for a fun segment. Perhaps it’s his resemblance to failed WWE experiment Nathan Jones, but the weeks of video packages hyping his arrival didn’t do much for me. Apparently the Full Sail crowd felt similarly, because they popped for Joe’s beat down of Matha and his threats to “escalate things” should he not be served up Shinsuke Nakamura or given the NXT Championship next week.

It was a perfect next step for his storyline with Nakamura. Last week Joe laid waste to the Ealy brothers, this week the heavily-hyped Dan Matha. The storyline seems to be that the feud between Joe and Nakamura is a threat to the up and comers of NXT and the brand itself.

Unfortunately, that’s a little too close to the truth.

It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to the shake the feeling that the presence of Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura on NXT television is starting to do more harm than good.

Daniel Bryan said it best in an interview with Michael Cole on following Finn Balor’s shoulder injury; he said that stars like Balor, Joe, and Nakamura should have been on the main roster a long time ago. That’s really a no-brainer at this point. Having world class, superstar wrestlers in their mid-to-late 30s relegated to NXT is an obvious waste of their talents.

Shinsuke Nakamura is a star, but why would anyone be excited to tune in to NXT to see him basically squash Wesley Blake. Samoa Joe is a star, but he’s spent pretty much the last year feuding with Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura exclusively. You can only watch big time feuds on the small time platform for so long before it loses its appeal. At a point it stops being a treat to see major stars on the supposed “developmental brand” and it start to come across more like they’re being held hostage there.

However, more than a waste of just those talents, having them in top spots in NXT hurts the feel of the entire show. We’ve already seen guys like Tye Dillinger go from cold, to warm, to hot in NXT without ever really moving up the card because wrestlers such as Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, and Shinsuke Nakamura have been bottlenecking the top of the male division for so long. Only now are we getting to see him progress into a program with Bobby Roode, who realistically should also be on the main roster sooner rather than later as well.

NXT is often said, at least on NXT television, to be the “hottest brand in sports entertainment.” It sure felt that way heading in to “NXT Takeover: Dallas” and it sure feels a lot less that way following each subsequent Takeover special. We’re not on a journey with Shinsuke Nakamura or Samoa Joe the way we were with Sami Zayn or American Alpha. We know they’re not the WWE’s future, but rather its wasted present.

(Jason Amadi has been a columnist at and makes his premiere with this column. Follow him on Twitter @JasonAmadi.)

1 Comment on AMADI’S TAKE: The presence of Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura in NXT is beginning to do more harm than good

  1. I’m wondering if Samoa Joe is happy NOT traveling 200 days a year and enjoying some family time after an endless number of years on the road. I see all these articles assuming Samoa Joe is being held back – what if this is his choice?

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