Samoa Joe won the WWE NXT Championship from Karrion Kross at TakeOver 36 not too long ago. The match marked Joe’s return to the ring after a year and a half. The Samoa Submission Machine struck gold in his first outing back in NXT.
After holding the title for three weeks, Joe relinquished it due to an undisclosed injury on September 12, 2021. The three-time NXT Champion posted a video on Twitter to announce his decision.
"Recently, WWE medicals informed me that due to certain injuries, they would like to have me step away from the ring for a brief, yet still indeterminate amount of time. I realize that this week, we are on the cusp of a new NXT. We are on the brink of a new era in our history, and I realize that era deserves a fighting champion. And that's why it makes this very difficult decision, very easy to make. Effective immediately, I relinquish the NXT Championship. Best of luck to those who will vie for it. My sincerest condolences to whoever wins because I will be along shortly to recollect what's mine," said Samoa Joe.
The NXT Championship has been relinquished three times in the past three years. WWE will look to crown a new champion soon, especially since the brand is going through a drastic change.
Let's take a look at five WWE Superstars who could become the next NXT Champion in the weeks to come.
#5. Kyle O’Reilly has been looking for his first WWE NXT Championship
Kyle O’Reilly has been one of the finest solo performers in WWE NXT over the past year. O’Reilly had been performing as a tag team wrestler, but became a solo competitor in September 2020 after the first-ever Gauntlet Eliminator match.
O’Reilly has since competed in several NXT Championship matches. Even though he has performed extremely well in each one of them, he has failed to win the title.
The NXT creative team seems to be high on KOR and will look to make him a top player after Adam Cole’s exit. That could help him reach the top of the NXT roster in the months to come.
The NXT Championship was held by the heel Karrion Kross for some time, and it was good to see Samoa Joe defeat him for the same. WWE could once again look to crown a babyface champion to give the heels something to look forward to.
O’Reilly is one of the biggest babyfaces in NXT today, and the company could put the title on him after a multi-man match. He has the talent and charisma to pull off excellent matches and increase the value of the NXT Championship.