Samoa Joe has opened up about the backstage reaction after Seth Rollins suffered a knee injury during their brawl on WWE RAW in 2017.

Rollins was ambushed by the debuting Joe on the January 30 episode of RAW after the Royal Rumble. The former Shield member sustained an MCL tear in his right knee during the attack, prompting concerns that he was going to miss WrestleMania 33.

Speaking on Ryan Satin’s Out of Character podcast, Joe clarified that he did not get into trouble backstage after Rollins’ injury.

“It was generally just that [no blame on him], one of those things that happen,” Joe said. “There was no heat or anger or upset about it. It was just really a freak thing. Foot gets planted, just perfect the right way, pressure’s going back and I’m falling on my back. The knee gets caught up and there it goes.

“Seth, I’ve known for a very, very long time. I wanna say since pretty close to when he started. I even told him back then, ‘You’re gonna be a star.’ Seeing him this early, maybe three or four months into his career. To see that [injury], it broke my heart.”

Seth Rollins recovered from the injury in time to defeat Triple H in one of the marquee matches at WrestleMania 33.

Samoa Joe discusses his WWE RAW debut

Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe’s debut did not go as planned

After a successful two years in NXT, Samoa Joe debuted on RAW as a “heavy” who Triple H hired to take out Rollins.

Discussing his debut, the two-time NXT Champion admitted it was difficult to look back on that night with fond memories due to Rollins’ injury.

“For sure [enjoyed working with Rollins and Triple H], but Seth’s knee getting destroyed right off the get was definitely not cool,” Joe said. “That was kind of like, ‘Urgh.’ You felt terrible for Seth. Seth was like, ‘Hey, man, it’s one of those things that happen.’ Like I said, my career path has definitely not been par for the course when it comes to twists and turns, and that was definitely one of the bad twists.”

Samoa Joe recently returned to NXT after receiving his release from WWE in April. He revealed in the same interview that Triple H contacted him on the day of his release and asked him to return to NXT.

Please credit Out of Character and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

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