Since becoming the first-ever two-time NXT Champion — and subsequently dropping that title back to Shinsuke Nakamura a little while ago — there hasn’t been much else left for Samoa Joe to accomplish by remaining in NXT … if anything. Since he feud with Nakamura came to an end, he has been expected and occasionally outright reported to be moving up to the main roster.
On Saturday night, Joe appeared in the crowd at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, watching the event as a fan, more or less. On Sunday, a not-insignificant number of wrestling fans expected Joe to make his long-awaited main roster debut as a participant in the 30-man Royal Rumble match. In perhaps the most shocking development of all, however, there was only one TRUE surprise entrant: Tye Dillinger at No. 10, who made HIS main roster debut.
So the debut was delayed, but only for one day. On Monday, Joe finally, FINALLY appeared on the main roster, debuting on Raw. After Stephanie McMahon warned Seth Rollins that Triple H was coming for him, the other half of the Authority showed up near the end of the episode and made his way to the ring, where he ran down Rollins at length. Rollins and Triple H finally came face-to-face, which is when Samoa Joe appeared.
Joe beat down Rollins while Triple H departed, then choked him out in the Coquina Clutch and left Rollins laying as the show went off the air.
There have been rumors that WWE is planning a big high-profile feud or two for Joe, and this would certainly seem to fit the bill. WWE may also have him earmarked for a featured match at WrestleMania 33. It’s been a good long time since the main roster has had a truly threatening heel on the roster other than Brock Lesnar (and possibly with Braun Strowman, although it’s too soon to say definitively. Here’s hoping he gets to look as good as he’s looked in NXT over the past year. He certainly deserves it.