Samoa Joe Relinquishes NXT Championship Prior To The Brand's Relaunch Citing An Undisclosed "Injury"
Samoa Joe recently defeated Karrion Kross to become NXT Champion, but with the brand about to be relaunched, The Destroyer has now announced that he's relinquishing the title due to an undisclosed injury...
Well, the timing of this is a little suspect!
With Vince McMahon preparing to relaunch NXT to put the focus on younger wrestlers, Samoa Joe has just announced that he's relinquishing the NXT Championship. He was brought back to the brand by Triple H after being released by WWE earlier this year, but now claims to have suffered an undisclosed injury that's set to keep him on the sidelines for an undisclosed period of time.
While Joe has had issues with concussions in the past (which led to him joining the RAW commentary team), it's still a little hard to believe this is unrelated to Vince's plans to relaunch NXT.
"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," Joe says in the video below. "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 these principles. Recently, WWE medical has informed me that due to certain injuries they would like to have me step away from the ring for a brief yet still undetermined amount of time."
"I realize that this week we are on the cusp of a new NXT. We are on the brink of a new era in our history. I realize that that era deserves a fighting champion. That’s why it makes this 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 re-collect what’s mine."
Since this video was released, WWE has confirmed that Pete Dunne, Tommaso Ciampa, Kyle O’Reilly and LA Knight will compete in a #1 contender's match for the title on tomorrow night's episode of NXT. It's unclear how the new champion will be chosen from there, though, so it looks like the developmental brand is already suffering from RAW and SmackDown's lack of logic.