In a message posted on his Twitter page, Joe announced that WWE’s medical team has requested him to step away from the ring for an indefinite period of time, so he’s vacating the championship.
“Prior to my recent return, my goals were very simple,” said Joe. “I sought to restore the respect and integrity to both NXT and its championship. I sought to ensure that everybody understood that the needs of one individual will never outstretch the sum of the brand.
“Recently WWE medical has informed me that due to certain injuries, they would like to have me step away from the ring for a brief, but still indeterminate, amount of time. I realize that this week we are on the cusp of a new NXT, we are on the brink of a new era of our history and I realize that that era deserves a fighting champion. And that’s what made this very difficult decision very easy to make. Effectively immediately, I relinquish the NXT Championship. Best of luck to those who will vie for it. And my sincerest condolences to whoever wins. Because I will be along shortly to recollect what’s mine.”
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) September 12, 2021
WWE’s website then confirmed the announcement but didn’t provide additional details.
Joe won the title at NXT TakeOver 36 when he defeated Karrion Kross; this bout marked his first in-ring contest since February 2020, as he had struggled to get medically cleared due to concussion-related issues.
WrestleZone will provide more details as they become available.