Samoa Joe has been part of two completely separate eras of NXT. Now, he has reflected on how the brand has changed.
“I think a lot of that change started when I did walk through that door and it’s kind of the impetuous of where it graduated to where it is today. Obviously NXT for most of its life was the developmental feeder system for RAW and SmackDown. As I got there, myself and Balor, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke, Asuka, Sasha, Bayley, Charlotte, the list goes on and on.
“As these superstars came to NXT, the brand began to build bigger and bigger and began to take on a fan base of its own and to see it transform into a 3rd brand, that’s just a major difference. It’s been legitimized, it is what it is and now it’s on television. I think it’s just different in the fact that NXT is a brand, it puts on these amazing shows every month in parallel with RAW and SmackDown’s pay per views, it’s become this whole other phenomenon.”
Samoa Joe became the first-ever two-time NXT Champion in 2016, defeating Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura. Now, he will face Karrion Kross to become the first-ever three-time champion at NXT Takeover 36.