A new report has shed light on former NXT Champion Samoa Joe and the state of mind of the NXT roster ahead of the NXT 2.0 debut.
Samoa Joe was forced to relinquish the NXT Championship just three weeks into his third reign, days before the brand’s first episode following a major revamp.
Announcing his intent to vacate the title via Twitter, Joe revealed that he had suffered an injury and that WWE’s medical team had advised him to step away from the ring for an as-yet-unknown amount of time. Therefore, he has voluntarily relinquished the title but vowed that he would be back to “recollect what’s mine” soon:
“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 realised 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 realised 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.”
Now Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com has reported that Joe is not expected to be out of the ring for an extended period but there is also no word yet as to when The Samoan Submission Machine is expected to be cleared for combat. Johnson also confirms that stripping Joe of the NXT Title was not a creative decision and instead WWE’s medical team fundamentally made the call with the decision taken to crown a new champion of the NXT 2.0 debut.
The report also delves into the supposed feeling behind the scenes ahead of NXT 2.0. There is said to be a lot of “trepidation” among talent after the recent releases from the company. There is said to be a feeling that some of the names released “did everything they were supposed to” and were “great talents” and despite that, were still let go. Some talents are reported to be feeling “on thin ice,” especially as what was once thought of as “the protective cocoon” of Paul Levesque [Triple H] is no longer there. It was reported that Levesque had found out about the most recent NXT releases when the news was made public.
Paul Levesque will not be at the rebirth of NXT due to his own recent medical procedure. Some talents are said to be unsure whether it will be Levesque’s usual team running production or if others from within the company will be stepping in.
The report finishes by confirming that all through the rest of September and October, NXT is planning to air their Tuesday night show live.