This has been in the cards for a while, but NXT put it in canon at the end of their newest episode tonight (Dec. 7) after they aired Shinsuke Nakamura’s victory over Samoa Joe from Osaka, Japan. Joe has requested a rematch against NXT champion Nakamura, and General Manager William Regal booked the bout to go down in a steel cage.
While the match will actually occur in a matter of hours - it’s already the afternoon of Dec. 8 in Melbourne, and it will take place at the Thursday night house show in that Australian city - it will air on next week’s episode of NXT, debuting on Dec. 14 on WWE Network.
BREAKING: @SamoaJoe will get his rematch against #NXTChampion @ShinsukeN inside a STEEL CAGE at #NXTMelbourne! #WWENXT pic.twitter.com/LFW8mWV3ME— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) December 8, 2016
The pair have faced off in three high-profile title matches and traded the NXT championship in each of them. As you can see in this video of Regal informing Shinsuke of the match, it sounds like this is the end of their feud.
EXCLUSIVE: #NXTChampion @ShinsukeN learns that he'll defend his title once more against @SamoaJoe inside a STEEL CAGE at #NXTMelbourne! pic.twitter.com/vthfye5mCx— WWE (@WWE) December 8, 2016
Joe thinks this another case of Regal stacking things against him, but he’s unphased:
Regal also announced a #1 contender tournament on tonight’s show, so presumably whoever wins in Melbourne will face whoever emerges from that field (Tye Dillinger, Eric Young, Roderick Strong, Elias Samson, Oney Lorcan, Bobby Roode, No Way Jose or Andrade “Cien” Almas) at TakeOver: San Antonio the night before Royal Rumble.
#1 Contender Qualifying Matches for the #NXTChampionship will commence NEXT WEEK! #WWENXT pic.twitter.com/Z2VuXXQcty— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) December 8, 2016
But a lot can happen between now and Jan. 28, 2017. We’ll know more tomorrow morning (or you can check our spoiler report from the last taping, if you want to put a few of the pieces together right now).