On Saturday at NXT Takeover: Toronto, Samoa Joe defeated the then-undefeated Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, to regain the title and become the first-ever two-time NXT Champion.
What made the title change so shocking was that practically everyone, was under the belief that The King Of Strong Style would prevail and retain the NXT Championship, thereby sending Samoa Joe up to the main roster.
In an interview with Cathy Kelly on Facebook Live after NXT Takeover: Toronto, Triple H had the following to say regarding the shock title change:
"People thought this was Nakamura's era, that his win was a forgone conclusion and that's why you see the shock on people's faces."
People assumed that Nakamura would retain the title because when a champion usually loses his or her title on NXT, they have a rematch which they always lose (until now) and then pack their bags to the main roster. Ever since Kevin Owens and Sasha Banks, Triple H has seemingly decided not to let the holding champions go on to the main roster.
Samoa Joe was involved in another shocker, earlier this year, when he defeated the longest-reigning NXT Champion Finn Balor for the title at a house show in Lowell, Massachusetts. Many believed that the purpose of the untelevised title change was to show that “anything can happen at house shows”.
It appears that Triple H and NXT love to pull sudden surprises out of thin air when least expected, and this is one of them.
The immediate thought regarding Nakamura’s title drop was that he was being called up to the main roster soon. Nakamura was being positioned as the face of NXT, the box office draw. Usually, in such circumstances, it is to facilitate a call-up.
American Alpha, for example, was continuously built and defeated The Revival to become the NXT Tag Team Champions, only to drop the title to The Revival in two months, similar to Nakamura’s situation. They then got the call-up to the main roster a month and a half later in the brand split.
This leaves a high possibility for Nakamura to be called up soon. However, it may not be as soon as people anticipate. It could take months for the King Of Strong Style to come up to the main roster. It is likely that he will have a rematch for the NXT Championship with Joe at the Takeover before Royal Rumble.
However, it is also possible that the title change was used to cause shock, and that the storyline may continue for a while longer.
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