Samoa Joe has received many positive reviews on his work with the WWE RAW announce team, but WWE officials see him as too valuable to keep out of the ring.
As noted, Joe will continue to work RAW commentary with Vic Joseph and WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler until he is cleared to return to the ring from a thumb injury. Joe was originally brought on to replace Dio Maddin after the attack by WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, but Maddin is officially off the red brand announce team, and is returning to in-ring training at the WWE Performance Center as he wants to resume his career as a WWE NXT Superstar.
In an update on Joe, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that in response to whether or not Joe would become a permanent member of the RAW announce team because he has been so strong in the role, the reaction was that WWE considers him too valuable as an in-ring talent right now. Despite how strong Joe is on commentary, he is only on the announce team until his injury heals.
Joe missed one recent RAW episode because he was already booked for WWE Backstage in Los Angeles the next night, but he's expected to work RAW commentary every week until he's medically cleared. Joe, who is reportedly being evaluated by WWE doctors on December 30 before RAW in Hartford, Connecticut, has also received positive feedback for his role as an analyst on FS1's Backstage.
Joe has been out of the ring since early September. Stay tuned for updates on his WWE status.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
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