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How NXT will crown Samoa Joe’s successor

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When Samoa Joe announced yesterday (Sept. 12) that he would be vacating the NXT championship he just won at TakeOver 36 due to an undisclosed injury, you didn’t need to be wearing a tinfoil hat to sense a potential conspiracy.

The NXT revamp we’re supposed to get our first look at tomorrow night is said to be focused on younger wrestlers. The 42 year old Joe was hired to place a behind-the-scenes role in WWE developmental as much if not more than he was brought back to appear on screen. Vince McMahon and team, the thinking went, could just be pulling the plug on Joe’s reign to get the belt on someone who fits their bigger, younger, flashier vision.

And in that scenario, the previously announced #1 contenders match between LA Knight, Tommaso Ciampa, Pete Dunne & Kyle O’Reilly could have gone away. Dunne is the only one from that group under the age of 30, and Knight is the only one over six feet tall.

Well, put the tin foil hats away (but maybe keep them handy). One of those men will be the first champion of the rebranded NXT. General Manager William Regal made the announcement this afternoon.

“Good afternoon. By now you may have heard the unfortunate news that Samoa Joe has had to relinquish his NXT championship due to injury. That leaves us without an NXT champion, but not for long. Because tomorrow night on the relaunch of NXT 2.0 the Fatal 4Way between Pete Dunne, Kyle O’Reilly, LA Knight & Tommaso Ciampa will now be a Fatal 4Way match to determine the new NXT champion. Thank you.”

Like this plan? Does it quell your conspiracy theories? Who do you think leaves tomorrow night as NXT champion?