Samoa Joe Achieves a Rare Feat at WWE NXT TakeOver 36

Published 08/23/2021, 1:43 AM EDT


WWE NXT superstar Samoa Joe made history at NXT TakeOver 36 on Sunday. He defeated NXT Champion Karrion Kross to capture the title for the third time in his career.

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TOKYO,JAPAN – JUNE 29: Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura compete during the WWE Live Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan on June 29, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

The match was the main event of the PPV and marked Joe’s in-ring return after a year. Kross fell prey to Joe’s notorious Muscle Buster finisher, which was banned for a time. But Joe brought it back and ascended to the throne as the next champion.

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With this victory, he became the first-ever three-time NXT Champion in WWE history. WWE has recognized the NXT Championship as a world championship, making Joe the first wrestler to be a world champion in WWE, TNA, and ROH.

Putting things into perspective, Joe’s victory is nothing less than a miracle. He was out of in-ring action since early 2020 because of several concussions and a broken thumb. While he recovered, Joe started commentating on RAW.

However, in early 2021, Joe was released, much to the pro wrestling world’s shock. Joe was one chief and reliable asset of WWE. Even when he was recovering from the injuries, he was great on commentary.

Turns out, former wrestler and WWE COO Triple H shared the same thought. Displeased with Joe’s release, ‘The Game’ offered him a contract on his brand, NXT. Joe made his return on the June 15 episode of the black and gold brand.

Watch this story:  John Cena, Edge, and More: WWE Superstars Who Destroyed Opponents with Steel Chairs

The rivalry between Samoa Joe and Karrion Kross

Joe’s and Kross’s rivalry evolved gradually. When Joe came back, he returned as the ‘Special enforcer’ of NXT General Manager William Regal. Joe could not compete in matches, and could not attack any superstar unless provoked.

Joe was determined to restore ‘order’ in the brand. Kross, on the other hand, was running wild with his NXT Championship, attacking whoever he wanted. Hence, Joe’s insistence on order did not sit right with him.

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Things escalated quickly when Kross attacked Joe following an NXT title match. In the match between Kross and Johnny Gargano, Joe was serving as the referee. Joe sought Regal’s permission to fight Kross, but was denied.

However, Kross attacked Regal in the NXT parking lot. This was the last straw, and Regal booked Kross vs Joe at TakeOver 36. Although Kross looked dominant at the beginning of the match, The Samoan Submission Machine proved his worth and claimed the title.

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As Joe reigns as the champion on NXT, it seems like Kross is going to the main roster and wrestle on RAW. Although we are not sure if Scarlett is also joining Kross, we will update as soon as the news breaks.

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Angana Roy

1266 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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