Appearing on Busted Open Radio, former NXT champion Samoa Joe revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19 after winning the NXT title from Karrion Kross and was not in a position to appear on NXT 2.0, hence the decision came to vacate the title.
Joe said that McMahon wanted to go in a different direction with the brand and wanted the first episode to be a big one.
“And I agreed with him,” Joe said. “I said, ‘Listen, if that’s the case, this is probably what’s best for what your vision is for what you want for this product,'” he continued, referring to vacating the title.
After recovering from coronavirus, Joe said he transitioned to a behind the scenes role where he trained talent one-on-one, saying it was “really invigorating” for him.
But things turned around and Joe was released in January, the second time he had been let go in nine months. While he’s ready to get back in the ring, the former WWE star said that he’s taking a break to spend time with his family and work on other non-wrestling related stuff for now.