It has been reported that Samoa Joe’s deal with WWE to become the new main event performer in NXT is a non-exclusive deal, however that is dependent upon what one would consider “non-exclusive.”
While Joe’s contract does allow him to work outside of WWE at independent shows, such as the Ring Of Honor television taping he is scheduled for on June 20th in New York City, WWE does have the right to sign him to a full-time, exclusive deal that would take precedent over outside companies and promotions.
Joe’s deal with WWE included a new t-shirt, which sold out of its’ initial stock immediately, as well as the rights to his “Samoa Joe” name, particularly because he’s not appearing on the main roster WWE television programming.
Additionally, his deal with WWE calls for limited NXT dates. Originally, Joe gave word that he couldn’t take any independent dates after April, a timetable that continued to be pushed back, which figured that his debut in WWE was being delayed. However, he is now taking dates with outside promotions through August of 2015.
Joe’s current deal with WWE basically allows him to work pretty much wherever he wants. Originally, he was looking at starting later in the year with ROH, somewhere around September, but the nature of his unique deal with WWE allowed him to continue working in ROH, so he started looking for new dates going forward, however that has since been moved up, as he’s currently scheduled to work the 6/20 ROH television tapings in New York.
It’s also worth mentioning that Joe has recently had talks with officials from New Japan Pro Wrestling. It’s also said that with all of his outside commitments, WWE could end up offering him a full-time deal. The word going around in the industry is that Joe can’t commit to anything full-time from another promotion during his current short-term window. If WWE were to sign him to a full-time deal at any point, it’s said that it would immediately end his working relationship with any other company. Even if that doesn’t happen, the belief is that WWE has first priority on his dates.
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(Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)