Samoa Joe is already the NXT Champion. He’ll face Shinsuke Nakamura in the main event of NXT’s biggest show of the year, TakeOver: Brooklyn II, on Saturday.
As a sports entertainer, Joe has all the intangibles you’d ask for. He’s phenomenal in the ring, cuts vicious promos and has a legitimate monster heel look.
On Wednesday, Joe did the majority of talking during his sit down interview with Nakamura and Byron Saxton. In a predetermined sport, the “Samoan Submission Machine” managed to give his main event match a big-fight feel and convey believable anger.
The match itself should meet high expectations. Joe has delivered in each of the past three TakeOver main events and Saturday should be no exception. Both Superstars are stiff workers and two of the best in-ring competitors in all of WWE, not just NXT.
If Joe wins, he’ll continue a dominant reign as NXT Champion. If he loses, he’s still the brand’s top heel.
There is nothing left for the former TNA and ROH World Champion to prove in NXT, which is why his main roster callup shouldn’t be delayed any longer. Regardless of what WWE says, the brand is still a developmental show.
There’s absolutely nothing else Joe needs to learn as a professional wrestler or “sports entertainer.” Like AJ Styles, Joe has the experience of being on a weekly television program prior to joining WWE, but has also had 15 months of learning the company’s style in NXT.
At this point, Joe is as ready as he’ll ever be. But there is an argument against calling him up without the ideal scenario.
Joe’s debut needs to be special, therefore it should be handled properly. Take Finn Bálor for example. Fans complained that he was being kept in NXT too long while others were promoted to the main roster. But after just a few weeks on Raw, he’s set to challenge for a major title at SummerSlam this weekend.
That’s the kind of impact Joe needs to make once he’s called up. He needs to be booked as a legitimate threat, otherwise he’ll get lost in the shuffle. He can’t just make a random appearance, rather needs to debut on a big enough stage to become familiar with the mainstream audience.
With SummerSlam taking place one night after TakeOver, there’s a chance for Joe to debut two days later on Raw. Many expect Nakamura to win given his current winning streak and similarly impressive credentials.
If anyone is going to end Joe’s title reign, it’s the “King of Strong Style.” Saturday is the perfect opportunity to give Nakamura his first NXT title reign, while also preparing the “Samoan Submission Machine” for a main roster run.
Joe is arguably Bálor’s biggest rival in WWE, so having him debut on Raw in front of a smarky audience would be perfect. With Bálor already established on the main roster, a feud would give Joe instant credibility, while providing both Superstars with the ideal opponent.
The timing is also perfect because Joe won’t have to share the spotlight with another debuting superstar. Aside from Bayley, there isn’t another NXT competitor on the cusp of being called up. If both should debut on Monday, it would be in two separate divisions, so neither would outweigh the other.
In this scenario, Joe would make his first Raw appearance in front of a familiar crowd. He’ll demand a huge reaction and be recognized as a potential top-tier heel.
The 37-year-old deserves a run on WWE’s main roster while he’s still in the prime of his career. He has all the intangibles to succeed on the company’s flagship show and would add to Raw’s roster.
There is nothing left for Joe to prove in NXT and hopefully WWE will promote him to the main roster sooner rather than later.