Samoa Joe has returned to NXT as an enforcer-like authority figure working alongside general manager William Regal.
Joe made his return to NXT on tonight's TakeOver: In Your House fallout edition of the show, appearing on WWE television for the first time since being released by the company this April. In storyline, Regal wanted Joe to take over for him as general manager. But Joe declined that offer and said he would instead be happy to work with Regal and ensure that Regal receives the respect that he deserves.
Sunday's TakeOver: In Your House event had ended with Regal saying that he thinks it's time for a change. Regal said he's been NXT GM for seven years and has never seen this much bedlam. NXT Champion Karrion Kross had accused Regal of losing control of NXT leading into TakeOver. There were also multiple brawls that took place on the day of the event..
Regal opened tonight's NXT and emotionally detailed his history with the brand. Regal said that with the chaos that's been going on, he doesn't think he's capable of giving the fans, competitors, and staff what they deserve.
Regal was then interrupted by Kross and Scarlett. Kross called Regal pathetic and asked if he was crying. Kross wanted Regal to tell everyone that he was right. He also wanted Regal to say that he was leaving NXT and never coming back. Kross said that he could control NXT through chaos and violence.
Joe then made his return. He declined Regal's offer to become general manager and praised the work Regal has done in the job. After saying that he would work with Regal instead, Regal called it an interesting idea. But Regal had two conditions. The first was that Joe wouldn't be able to be a competitor in NXT. The second was that Joe wouldn't be able to lay a hand on anyone -- unless he's provoked.
Joe accepted those conditions and asked Kross what he was still doing in the ring. Joe and Kross then went face-to-face. "Tick tock, young champ," Joe said to Kross.
Later on tonight's show, Joe helped break up a brawl between Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly. When Cole pushed Joe and kept going after O'Reilly, Joe choked out Cole with the Coquina Clutch.
Before being released in April, Joe had been a color commentator on Raw. He hasn't wrestled since February 2020 due to concussion issues.
Dave Meltzer reported after TakeOver: In Your House that Joe was back in NXT and could be taking on an authority figure role.
Joe was originally in NXT as a wrestler from 2015-2017. He held the NXT Championship twice during that time.