Bengaluru, July 22: Samoa Joe is reportedly set to face Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver 36 on August 22, according to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The Samoan Submission Machine returned on the June 15 episode of NXT, where he was appointed to be the enforcer to the General Manager William Regal. That big return happened at the expense of the current NXT Champion Karrion Kross, who was confronting Regal about his mismanagement of the brand.
The program would escalate as Kross choked out Joe, last week following his successful title defense against Johnny Gargano. This week, Kross attacked Regal in the parking lot area, leaving Joe in a seething state and thereby planting the seeds for this upcoming TakeOver 36 matchup.
This would mark Joe’s first wrestling match on WWE TV, in over a year. The last time he participated in a match was on a February 10, 2020, episode of Monday Night Raw in a huge eight-man tag team match, allying with Kevin Owens and The Viking Raiders for a loss to Seth Rollins, the Authors Of Pain, and Murphy.
Samoa Joe has been kept out of physical capacity since then owing to a number of reasons. He had suffered a concussion while performing a suicide dive on a January 27, 2020 episode of Raw.
He would be cleared to return to action the following week, but while filming a commercial for Raw in early February, he would pick up another concussion in the same spot.
The former NXT Champion was then suspended in late February following his first violation of WWE’s Wellness Policy. He would eventually be reinstated on the Raw commentary team, where he made consistent appearances until his release from WWE, earlier this year.
Immediately after the release, Joe would speak with Triple H about a potential return to the company while reports also claimed that NXT officials made an internal push to have him brought back into the company.
Samoa Joe has stated in earlier interviews that his in-ring career was not over as the process of returning to active competition was always going on. It appears that he has been successful in that process as WWE officials have now medically cleared him to compete at TakeOver 36.
Speaking of the upcoming NXT PPV event, we have also received updates on who will challenge, next for the Women’s Title. Per Ringside News, the partnership between Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez is over. The two appeared for a promo segment during the bygone TV tapings (the episode will air on July 27).
Raquel, the reigning Women’s Champion asked whether anyone is ready to be the next challenger for her title. Suddenly, Raquel's tag team partner Dakota Kai turned on her by kicking her, and then she held the NXT Women’s Title over her head. With that happening, Raquel Gonzalez vs. Dakota Kai should be the lineup for TakeOver 36 as we expect to see the incident on the next episode of NXT, this coming Tuesday night.