During his Writing With Russo podcast, former TNA/Impact Wrestling writer Vince Russo explained why Samoa Joe wasn’t pushed harder by the company:
“When somebody asks me ‘why didn’t you do this with Samoa Joe? Why didn’t you do that?’ Well, you really want to know why we didn’t do anything creatively? Well, I’m going to tell you why we didn’t. The problem we always had with Samoa Joe, always revolved around weight. It was never that he was a pain in the ass or he wasn’t talented or he couldn’t do this… it was always weight.
If you remember, because of the budgeting at TNA, because TNA did not have a lot of money, sometimes we have to shoot six weeks worth of TV or eight weeks worth of TV, so sometimes you’re shooting for two months, which means that after one of those tapings, you may not be seeing the talent for one month or two months. So what would happen, and this always happened, it was like a yoyo… Samoa Joe would come to TV looking great so now we’re all excited because physically Samoa Joe could look really good or look really bad. He would come to work looking really great so now we’re booking for ‘Joe was off, Joe lost some weight, Joe is in shape…’, now we’re booking for that guy. So we’ll book six to eight weeks of TV, then we’ll go home, we’re all excited about Joe, we’re writing the next set of TVs and he comes back and he’s out of shape and you could tell in the ring. We had these talks with him all the time. We were all upfront with this. This is my POV. There’s a huge difference in Samoa Joe when he’s in shape and when he’s not in shape and you saw it. This happened so many times.”
(quotes courtesy of Sportskeeda.com)