Samoa Joe has asserted his dominance over NXT Champion Finn Bálor in recent weeks in hopes of getting the title match he’s been in search of. The submission specialist gets his much-desired opportunity when he challenges Bálor at NXT TakeOver: London on Dec. 16.
Things weren’t always so heated between the two. In fact, they seemed to share a great respect for each other. The NXT Champion and Samoa Joe joined forces in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and ran roughshod, defeating The Lucha Dragons, Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady, Dash & Dawson and Baron Corbin & Rhyno on their way to victory.
After celebrating their historic victory, Joe asked for an NXT Championship Match, which Bálor was more than happy to grant his friend. However, NXT General Manager William Regal stepped in to inform Joe that, instead, he would have to earn the title opportunity by winning a No. 1 Contender’s Battle Royal. After Tyler Breeze yanked him out of the running, Joe went on a rampage, destroying Prince Pretty in a one-on-one battle before setting his sights back on the NXT Title.
Samoa Joe looked to be helping out Bálor when he ran off Baron Corbin after The Lone Wolf ruined Bálor’s defense against Apollo Crews, only to shock the world when he viciously attacked the NXT Champion, leaving him out cold in the middle of the ring after a Muscle Buster. Joe explained his actions the following week, stating he believed he was owed an NXT Championship Match, and that since Bálor didn’t stand up to Regal and give Joe the title match, he had to do what he did. A furious Bálor charged to the ring and confronted Joe, only to be put to sleep when the wily veteran locked him in the Coquina Clutch.
Joe has gotten the upper hand on Bálor now. Will it be the same when they square off for the NXT Championship? Find out at NXT TakeOver: London, live on WWE Network, Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT!