It took a while for Samoa Joe to become a big player on the WWE main roster, but he’s certainly made his mark since getting called up last year.
Wrestling fans know that Joe had a great run with TNA before he ultimately joined WWE, but years ago there was a rumor making the rounds claiming that WWE was interested in bringing Joe in to portray the Umaga character before Eddie Fatu eventually ended up in the role.
Pop Culture recently asked Joe about the rumor, and he confirmed that there is no truth to those claims.
“It absolutely, positively, couldn’t be any more false. We never talked, like… What people didn’t get is, they couldn’t talk to me legally. I think I still had two years on my contract, I wasn’t going anywhere. So, it’s funny, I think people thought you could just walk away from a deal at that time. You couldn’t. We never talked, I was never even brought up to be Umaga.”
Joe also shared his honest reaction to the rumor by saying he thought it was “mad racist.”
“I thought it was mad racist, cause it was like, I had just come on TNA and I was Samoa Joe, and it was like this prominently featured Samoan character, and then it was like, oh, well this is WWE’s answer to Samoa Joe, right? No. You wouldn’t do that if it was any other… Right? It was mad racist to me.”
Samoa Joe has done a great job of building his brand over the years, and after what Eddie Fatu did with Umaga, it’s hard to picture anyone else trying to take on the character.
Either way this rumor has been officially debunked.