Despite always being an impressive wrestler, Samoa Joe didn’t join WWE until 16 years in his career at the age of 36. Former WWE executive Bruce Prichard, who spent 22 years working alongside Vince McMahon — from 1986 through 2008 — explained why.
“I’ll tell you why he wasn’t considered. [It] was because they thought he was a fat Samoan. He looked out of shape, he wasn’t the body type that Vince liked and they felt that it wouldn’t work,” Prichard revealed this past week on his podcast.
When asked why WWE employed Umaga, who had a similar body type as Joe, he said Umaga was considered “one of the family.” By that he means Umaga is a member of the Anoa’i family wrestling dynasty, which has ties to McMahon and WWE dating back decades.
Prichard said that he liked that Joe didn’t look and work like everybody else in WWE, but it wasn’t up to him as it was McMahon’s call not to sign him. Prichard hopes that Joe succeeds in WWE.
Prichard also said that McMahon had a similar opinion on Mick Foley, who did not want to sign him at first. According to Prichard, McMahon once said that Foley “looked like a fat bum.”