Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe’s feud has completely upped the ante in the NXT. Last week on NXT, Samoa Joe was on commentary during Shinsuke Nakamura’s match with Steve Cutler. Surprisingly, during the time, Samoa Joe appeared to be extremely humbled and accepting of his loss at Takeover: Brooklyn II. Even in this week’s opening segment, he cut an intense promo which featured a mix of the humble yet aggressive side of himself.
Joe called out the NXT Champion Nakamura, who came out and accepted Joe’s challenge for a rematch for when he was medically cleared, and offered his hand to Nakamura. Nakamura accepted his challenge and shook hands, thus seemingly burying the hatchet. Joe walked off and Nakamura was in the ring and walking out for an extensive period of time, which made it clear that it is pro-wrestling. Humbled villains rarely make for a good story.
Joe then came out and viciously attacked Nakamura, giving him a beating like never before, and exposing the NXT Champion’s weakness for the first time since his arrival at NXT. Joe shouted proudly “I did this to you” before leaving. NXT General Manager William Regal was beyond upset, and commentator Corey Graves even came on to check on the condition of Nakamura.
The angle was so well done. In fact, the entire episode of NXT was dedicated to updating Nakamura’s “medical condition”, and the commentators sold the attacking as if it sucked the wind out of the room for real. Regal was furiously searching for Joe later on, who then zipped by him in his car, escaping.
It will be interesting to see how this angle plays out. It looks like it will most likely culminate at NXT Takeover: Toronto this November, and it may very well be Joe’s swan song in NXT before getting his long overdue call-up to the main roster. One thing is for sure, the intensity of this angle just reached a whole new level. What is amazing about it all is that Joe is actually one of the most justified heels in kayfabe when you look at it.
His heel turn back in November last year, when you look at it in hindsight, would be an extremely logical thing to do if it were real life. Even his frustration towards Regal over not being consulted when Nakamura was declared the Number One Contender for the NXT Championship leading up to Brooklyn while Asuka was consulted when Bayley was declared Asuka’s challenger is an extremely justified one. That is part of what makes Joe such a unique wrestler.
You can see the video of the NXT Champion being stretchered out of Full Sail University below: