Samoa Joe has been working as a color commentator on Monday Night Raw in recent times. While his work has been praised, it's also led to speculation about him being retired from in-ring competition. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Radio, that's not the case.
As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, the reason for Joe's current role is due to injury concerns. Commentating is a way to keep him on the airwaves while he fully recovers.
"I know that when he first did the announcing, and of course things changed, I was told that it was temporary because he's too valuable as a talent to have him as an announcer. But obviously, minds changed from when I was told that to when they decided to revamp it and he is great as an announcer. In theory, he's supposed to wrestle again but who knows."Joe hasn't wrestled since he suffered a concussion in February. As noted by Wrestling Inc., he got hurt while filming a commercial for the red brand's weekly show. This coincided with his 30-day suspension for violating WWE's Wellness Policy coming to an end.
However, he has teased an in-ring return on recent episodes of Monday Night Raw. The superstar has engaged in confrontations with Seth Rollins, suggesting that he could be gearing up for a comeback.
The company appears to have moved on from that feud for the time being, though it could be resurrected at a later date. The angle was the first time Joe had shown any signs of getting physical again since February. It's possible that the promotion wanted to let fans know that he hasn't retired.
As highlighted by Meltzer, Joe is also highly regarded by officials. He's a former United States Champion who has been involved in several main event feuds. While the world title has eluded him on the main roster, he was used in programs for it prior to his in-ring hiatus.
It's not uncommon for popular competitors to quietly hang up their boots. Christian is a prime example of that. However, it's highly likely that Joe or WWE would have confirmed his retirement if that were the case.
The Inquisitr previously reported that the situation could be more permanent. Joe was brought in this year to replace Jerry Lawler after the veteran attracted controversy for making a racially insensitive joke. He also took time off for the pandemic.
There has been speculation that Lawler will return to the announcing booth after COVID-19 has settled down. If he does, Joe might be free to enter the squared circle again.