I know, that headline is going to ruffle some feathers. But by the end of this column, you’ll understand why it makes sense and will be hard to argue with.
Let me make this perfectly clear before I get started. Samoa Joe is a fantastic talent. Not only is he great in the ring, but the guy does a great job of delivering a promo. He’s the all around perfect package when it comes to the kind of guy you want on your roster because he can deliver in so many different ways. He even spent the last year contributing to the company in the form of being a broadcaster. The guy is filled with talent through and through.
The same can be said for Chelsea Green. The untapped potential is real. She exudes charisma and has a unique look to her that I can’t quite put my finger on. I loved her work in TNA as the “Hot Mess” and even though it wasn’t on WWE TV, I love seeing her short videos whereby she scares her boyfriend Zack Ryder on a regular basis. Chelsea has a great personality and will hopefully thrive wherever she ends up next. But there is something that both Samoa Joe and Chelsea have in common that warranted them being released.
They spent more time injured than they did actually work. And that’s a problem.
Samoa Joe started with WWE in 2015 and had a great run in NXT. Unfortunately, the moment he hit the main roster, the injury bug bit. In August of 2017 he suffered a knee injury, but was back in action in October. Then in August of 2019 he had a broken thumb and missed a few months. After doing commentary for a few months, Joe returned in late 2019. Fast forward a couple of months into February of 2020 and Joe apparently hit his head in a commercial shoot and was not medically cleared to compete. A few days after that, he was suspended for thirty days for violating WWE’s wellness policy. From there, he returned to commentary and stayed there for a year before his inevitable release.
Chelsea Green was signed to WWE in August of 2018. In her first TV match, Chelsea suffered a broken wrist in March of 2019 that required surgery. Green returned in July of 2019 and was a consistent performer on the NXT brand. After a solid year injury free, Green was then called up to the Smackdown roster and in her very first match on TV, she yet again broke her wrist. She never competed again prior to being released by WWE earlier this week.
This may come across as insensitive, but when you spend more time on the disabled list than you do performing, that is a big problem. The WWE pays its talent big money, and at some point they have to audit their finances and determine if the person they are paying is really worth the money they’re spending. Look at the NFL. You can have great players get signed to a team, but if they spend more time on the sidelines injured, they eventually get cut or traded. That’s just the nature of the beast. Green unfortunately got injured in her first matches both on the NXT and main roster. She missed a considerable amount of time. The same can be said for Joe. He literally spent the last year plus commentating and never got back in the ring.
The bottom line is that both Samoa Joe and Chelsea Green have proven themselves as liabilities. They spent more time at home collecting a check than they did on the road. I don’t blame WWE at all for releasing them. As far as Joe is concerned, I wouldn’t be surprised if he asked for his release. But that is not the narrative that has been told thus far. I imagined at some point Joe would hold either the WWE or Universal Titles, but his inability to stay healthy thwarted that.
I hope both of them find success in other promotions and its unfortunate that neither of them truly had the opportunity to blossom in WWE.