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Samoa Joe Rejects William Regal's GM Proposal in Return to WWE NXT

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 16, 2021

Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Two months after being released by WWE, Samoa Joe made his return to NXT on Tuesday night.

The Samoan Submission Machine briefly confronted NXT champion Karrion Kross before resisting William Regal's overtures to take over as the promotion's next general manager.

WWE @WWE

.@WWEKarrionKross was having a word with @RealKingRegal when @SamoaJoe showed up! #WWENXT pic.twitter.com/JmgarCiuaD

WWE NXT @WWENXT

"Joe, I want you to be the new General Manager of #WWENXT." - @RealKingRegal <br><br>"I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, ABSOLUTELY NOT." - @SamoaJoe <br><br>The plot thickens. pic.twitter.com/EA5vjefsFK

For the time being, Joe is serving as a general enforcer for Regal to bring a little more order backstage. He can't make contact with an NXT talent unless provoked, but when provoked, he isn't afraid to dish out punishment.

WWE NXT @WWENXT

10 minutes on the job, and someone has already provoked @SamoaJoe.<br><br>Unruly behavior will not be tolerated in @RealKingRegal &amp; @SamoaJoe's #WWENXT! @AdamColePro @KORcombat pic.twitter.com/mPMK9V09V8

Joe wasn't the only in-ring competitor let go shortly after WrestleMania 37, but his exit was one of the more surprising at the time.

The 42-year-old had an excellent run in NXT upon first signing with WWE in 2015. He and Finn Balor won the first Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, which was adeptly transitioned into a heated feud between the two.

Throughout 2016, Joe was one of the most dominant talents across any WWE brand.

Upon moving to the main roster, he became another in the long line of NXT stars to get lost in the shuffle. Still, his feuds with AJ Styles and Roman Reigns showed how he could deliver when provided the opportunity.

Just as Balor thrived upon returning to NXT, Joe should hit his stride once again inside the Capitol Wrestling Center. 

Kross' title defense at NXT TakeOver: In Your House on Sunday was geared around the fact he was welcoming all challengers. Beating Kyle O'Reilly, Adam Cole, Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano in a Fatal 5-Way match was an impressive feat and left him without a clear path for NXT's next big show.

It looks as if Kross vs. Joe is now looming on the horizon.

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