Samoa Joe has announced he has vacated the NXT title.
The 42 year old had only just returned to action after 18 months out with concussion issues, but now he finds himself on the shelf again.
The only match Joe had since his return was the NXT title match against Karrion Kross at TakeOver 36 where he won the belt.
WWE announced: “NXT Champion Samoa Joe revealed Sunday night on Twitter that he has sustained an injury, and is not able to compete at this time. As a result, he is relinquishing the NXT Championship.
“Stick with WWE Digital for more on this story as it develops, and be sure to tune into NXT, live this Tuesday at 8/7 C for more on the future of the NXT Championship.”
Of course, NXT is entering a new phase this week. It has seen the logo rebranded and the show is set to have a totally different feel to it this Tuesday.
The rebrand was Vince McMahon’s idea and it seems as though NXT 2.0 – as the adverts have called it – will have a new champion for its new era.
Joe posted a video on social media explaining his reasons for dropping the title.
“Hello, I’m NXT champion Samoa Joe. As part of my recent return, my goals were pretty simple. I sought to ensure the respect and integrity due to both NXT and its championship. I sought to ensure that everybody understood 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 medicals informed me that due to certain injuries, they would look to have me step away from the ring for a brief, yet still undetermined amount of time. I realise 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 realise that era deserves a fighting champion.
“That’s why this makes this very difficult decision easy to make. Effective immediately, I relinquish the NXT championship. Best of luck to those that will vie for it. My sincere condolences to whoever wins because I will be along shortly to collect what’s mine,” said Joe.
It’s a big blow for fans who relished Joe’s long-awaited return. Joe will continue working as a WWE scout, but he did say he expects to return to the ring. The injury at this time is undisclosed.
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) September 12, 2021