NXT taped next week's episode at the Capitol Wrestling Center on Wednesday night, and the spoilers from the show have revealed what WWE has planned for NXT TakeOver 36 during SummerSlam weekend. The episode followed up on the show-closing angle this week when Karrion Kross attacked NXT General Manager William Regal in the parking lot and ran off before Samoa Joe could reach him. Joe announced that he was officially transitioning from his managerial role into a full-time wrestler again, and announced he'd be challenging Kross for the NXT Championship at TakeOver. If Joe wins, he'll become the first three-time NXT Champion in company history.
Joe was injured back in February 2020 and had been kept on the Monday Night Raw commentary team for over a full year before getting released on April 15. But, as Joe confirmed in an Out of Character Podcast interview recently, Triple H called him about returning to NXT within hours of his release.
BREAKING NEWS: Samoa Joe has been cleared to compete at NXT TAKEOVER!
Let's go! pic.twitter.com/Eq4GdJg7QR— Just Alyx (@JustAlyxCentral) July 22, 2021
"[John Laurinaitis] called me, and I thought it was a rare call from Johnny. 'Hey, what's up, Johnny? How you doing?' He told me, 'Hey, listen. We're going to have to release you from your contract.' And I said, 'OK.' You know, like '... cool.' And 'Joe, we think the world of you, we'd love to work with you again.' I was like, 'All right. No, absolutely, Johnny.' And, honestly, I did have a bit of an understanding," Joe said.
"Obviously, at the time, dealing with injuries, coming back, getting ready to get my rehabilitation going and all that stuff, we're in a pandemic, all this other stuff, so I got it," he continued. "It wasn't unexpected. But at the same time, I was relatively calm about it. I've kinda been in this situation before. A younger me probably would've been really, really freaked out. But at this point, you just roll pivot. That's really all there is to it when it comes to life in general. That's kind of the mantra I've kept. So at that point, I think I was already kind of in the works on setting up the next framework for whatever else I was gonna do. A few hours later, I get a call from Hunter, and that all pretty much kinda changed."
The show also featured Dakota Kai finally betraying Raquel Gonzalez — making it clear she wants the NXT Women's Championship — and the return of Ridge Holland following the injury he suffered in late 2020.