The third NXT Title reign of Samoa Joe is over “due to certain injuries” that will cause Joe to relinquish the title that he won just three weeks ago.
Joe posted a video on Twitter on Sunday evening explaining that WWE’s medical team has advised him to step away from the ring for “a brief, yet still indeterminate, amount of time.” Due to whatever the injury is, Joe will no longer be the NXT Champion. Joe did make it clear that plans to “recollect what’s mine” when he can wrestle again.
Here’s what Joe said in his video message on Twitter.
“Hello, I am NXT champion Samoa Joe. As part of my recent return, my goals were very simple. I sought to ensure the respect and integrity due to both NXT and its championship. I sought to ensure that everybody understood that the needs of one individual will never outstrip the sum of the brand.”
“Today, I find myself having to stand on those principles. Recently, WWE medical has informed me that due to certain injuries, they would like to have me step away for the ring for a brief, yet still indeterminate, amount of time. I realized that this week we are on the cusp of a new NXT, we are on the brink of a new era in our history and I realized that that era deserves a fighting champion.”
“That’s why it makes this a very difficult decision very easy to make. Effective immediately, I relinquish the NXT championship. Best of luck to those who will vie for it. My sincerest condolences to whoever wins because I will be along shortly to recollect what’s mine.”
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) September 12, 2021
While there is a WWE.com posting about Joe’s injury news, there are no further details about WWE’s plans for the NXT Title. The next episode of NXT is a live show this Tuesday 8pm ET/7pm ET on USA Network and elsewhere. This week’s NXT is also the beginning of the new era of NXT with a more colorful logo and set.
Samoa Joe won the NXT Championship three weeks ago at NXT Takeover 36 when he defeated Karrion Kross, who has since become a regular member of the Raw roster. Joe is the only three-time NXT Champion in WWE history.
Last week on NXT, Joe took part in an interview with Wade Barrett where he made it clear he wanted younger NXT talent to step up to “seize their opportunity” in trying to take the NXT Title from him.
Prior to NXT Takeover 36 three weeks ago, the 42-year-old Samoa Joe hadn’t wrestled a match since February 2020. An issue with concussions kept him out of action for about 18 months while Joe worked on Raw as a commentator, then he was released by WWE after WrestleMania and returned as part of the NXT brand. In addition to wrestling for NXT, Joe also works as a talent scout for WWE’s developmental brand.
This Tuesday’s edition of NXT was going to have a Fatal 4-Way #1 Contender’s match between Pete Dunne, Kyle O’Reilly, LA Knight and Tommaso Ciampa with the winner of that match getting an NXT Title match against Joe. Now that the NXT Title has been vacated by Joe, it’s possible that the Fatal 4-Way match will become a match where a new champion has been crowned. No announcement has been made by WWE yet.