It has been the worst kept secret in wrestling over the last week but on the 15th June 2021 episode of NXT, Samoa Joe officially made his return to NXT for the first time since 2017 in a brand new role as William Regal’s enforcer.
At the end of Sunday’s NXT TakeOver: In Your House, NXT General Manager Regal denounced the chaos that was taking hold backstage in NXT and said it was time for change.
That change came in the opening segment of this week’s show. Regal took to the ring with a microphone to resign as GM after seven years. Midway through an emotional speech that detailed his history with the brand, he was interrupted by NXT Champion Karrion Kross and his herald Scarlett who proceeded to verbally lay waste to the Brit until the sound of Samoa Joe’s familiar theme music played through the Capitol Wrestling Center to the clear joy of the fans in attendance.
Once he hit the ring, Regal offered the former two-time NXT Champion his GM position only for Joe to decline based on his respect for Regal and his accomplishments with the brand. He instead offered his services as Regal’s enforcer to ensure the talent on the roster respected the boundaries of the company and Regal’s position.
Joe’s offer was quickly accepted on the proviso that he could not compete himself in the ring and nor could he physically interject himself unless provoked. These were similar rules that were followed by ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin in his role as Raw ‘Sheriff’ in 2003.
Joe’s first actions were to break apart a backstage brawl between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly by putting Cole to sleep with the Coquina Clutch.
Joe was released in April alongside a raft of other talent after serving a stint as the colour commentator on WWE Raw. He has not stepped into the ring to compete since February 2020.