The main event of NXT TakeOver 36 saw Karrion Kross defend the NXT Championship against Samoa Joe. Since Joe’s return to the NXT brand this past June, as an enforcer, “The Samoan Submission Machine” repeatedly found himself in the crosshairs of “The Tollman” and his mysterious accomplice, Scarlett. Matters intensified in the weeks that followed, as Kross not only attacked Joe but left NXT General Manager William Regal laying to boot. These encounters ultimately led to Joe being reinstated as an active wrestler. In his first match since February of 2020, Joe challenged Kross for his prized NXT title. By the end of the night, Samoa Joe made history at TakeOver 36, becoming the first 3x NXT Champion in the title’s history.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 23, 2021
Samoa Joe Becomes NXT Champion at TakeOver 36
As stated earlier, Samoa Joe emerging victorious at TakeOver 36 makes him the first man to hold the NXT Championship on 3 occasions. Prior to this, he shared the distinction of being a 2x Champion alongside 3 other men: Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Bálor, and the now-former NXT titleholder, Karrion Kross. Furthermore, Joe won the title in his first official match since February 10, 2020. On an episode of Monday Night Raw, Joe teamed with Kevin Owens and The Viking Raiders in a losing effort against Murphy, The Authors of Pain, and Seth Rollins. Later that month, Joe suffered a head injury while filming a commercial. As he wasn’t cleared to compete, Joe was moved to commentary, lending his voice to Raw until his initial release from WWE this past April.
Now that Samoa Joe is the new NXT Champion, one must wonder what awaits the new titleholder. While it may be fair to say that Karrion Kross is among the list of initial challengers, this may not be a certainty. This past summer, Kross began making appearances on the main roster, specifically Raw. In his debut match on the red brand, Kross infamously lost to Jeff Hardy, who had his feet on the ropes to pick up the victory. This loss shattered Kross’s undefeated streak, though he has since rebounded with recent victories over Hardy and Keith Lee. Does this loss at NXT TakeOver 36 signify a permanent move to the main roster for “The Tollman?”
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