Samoa Joe Beats Karrion Kross, Wins NXT Title at WWE NXT TakeOver 36

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2021

Credit: WWE.com

Samoa Joe beat Karrion Kross at NXT TakeOver 36 on Sunday night to become the first three-time NXT champion in history.

Kross joins the long list of stars who has fallen victim to the Muscle Buster.


JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! The first-ever 3x @WWENXT Champion in history: @SamoaJoe! #NXTTakeOver https://t.co/K8KLhgpvFX

The bout marked Joe's first match since February 2020, as he missed a year-and-a-half of in-ring action while recovering from multiple concussions.

During his absence from the ring, Joe became a commentator on Raw, but he was released from his contract in April. Rather than signing elsewhere, however, the 42-year-old veteran was brought back and given a new role in NXT.

Joe made his NXT return in June and was announced as the special enforcer for NXT general manager William Regal. NXT had grown chaotic in the previous weeks and months, and Joe was brought in to restore order.

One of the biggest culprits of the chaos was Kross, who was running roughshod over the black-and-yellow brand, leaving a path of destruction in his wake.

Since Kross was able to do essentially anything he wanted before Joe showed up, he wasn't happy about The Samoan Submission Machine's arrival. That led to some tense moments between Kross and Joe in the early going.

Things came to a head after the NXT Championship match between Kross and Johnny Gargano, which saw Joe serve as the special guest referee. After the match, Kross choked out Joe in an effort to show his superiority.

An incensed Joe called for Regal to allow him to fight Kross, but Regal initially refused, noting that Joe had to be provoked in order to get physical.

The tune changed when Kross left Regal lying in the parking lot at the end of an episode of NXT, leading to Regal signing the contract for Kross vs. Joe at TakeOver 36.

Entering TakeOver, Kross had essentially been an unstoppable force with no singles losses during his time in NXT. Joe was dominant in his own right during his NXT heyday, but it had been well over a year since his last match.

Even so, Joe prevailed Sunday and became NXT champion once again, which likely means Kross is up on the main roster for good as part of Raw.


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