List of NXT Champions
The NXT Championship is a professional wrestling world championship competed for exclusively on the NXT brand. The championship was first introduced on the July 1, 2012 episode of NXT when NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes announced a Gold Rush tournament, involving four developmental roster wrestlers and four main roster wrestlers competing to be crowned as the inaugural NXT Champion in a single elimination tournament. Seth Rollins became the first NXT Champion by defeating Jinder Mahal in the tournament finals on July 26, 2012 (aired August 29). The current champion is Johnny Gargano, who is in his first reign. He defeated Adam Cole in a two out of three falls match at NXT TakeOver: New York on April 5, 2019 to win the vacant championship, which also made Gargano the first Triple Crown (professional wrestling) champion in NXT history. Previous champion Tommaso Ciampa vacated the title on the March 13, 2019 tapings of NXT (aired March 20) due to requiring neck surgery.
As of May 16, 2019, there have been 17 championship reigns with 15 different champions and one vacancy. Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura have the most reigns with two. Finn Bálor's reign as champion is the longest at 292 days while Samoa Joe's second reign is the shortest at 14 days (WWE recognizes it as 13). Bo Dallas holds the record as the youngest champion, winning the title two days before his 23rd birthday, while Bobby Roode is the oldest champion, winning the title at 39.
The championship is contested in professional wrestling matches in which participants execute scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. Some reigns were held by champions using a ring name while others used their real name.
|No.||Overall reign number|
|Reign||Reign number for the specific champion|
|Days||Number of days held|
|Number of days held recognized by the promotion|
|+||Current reign is changing daily|
|No.||Champion||Championship change||Reign statistics||Notes||Ref.|
|1||Seth Rollins||July 26, 2012||NXT||Winter Park, Florida||1||133||133||The title was established on July 1, 2012. Seth Rollins defeated Jinder Mahal in the tournament final to become the inaugural champion. WWE recognizes Rollins' reign as beginning on August 29, 2012, and ending on January 9, 2013, both episodes of which aired on tape delay.|||
|2||Big E Langston||December 6, 2012||NXT||Winter Park, Florida||1||168||153||This was a no disqualification match.
WWE recognizes Big E's reign as beginning on January 9, 2013 and ending on June 12, 2013, both episodes of which aired on tape delay.
|3||Bo Dallas||May 23, 2013||NXT||Winter Park, Florida||1||280||260||WWE recognizes Dallas' reign as beginning on June 12, 2013, when the episode aired on tape delay.|||
|4||Adrian Neville||February 27, 2014||NXT Arrival||Winter Park, Florida||1||287||286||This was a ladder match.|||
|5||Sami Zayn||December 11, 2014||NXT TakeOver: R Evolution||Winter Park, Florida||1||62||62||This was a title vs. career match. Had Zayn lost, he would have voluntarily quit NXT.|||
|6||Kevin Owens||February 11, 2015||NXT TakeOver: Rival||Winter Park, Florida||1||143||142||Owens won when the referee decided that Sami Zayn was unable to continue.|||
|7||Finn Bálor||July 4, 2015||The Beast in the East||Tokyo, Japan||1||292||292|||
|8||Samoa Joe||April 21, 2016||House show||Lowell, Massachusetts||1||121||121|||
|9||Shinsuke Nakamura||August 20, 2016||NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II||Brooklyn, New York||1||91||91|||
|10||Samoa Joe||November 19, 2016||NXT TakeOver: Toronto||Toronto, Ontario||2||14||13|||
|11||Shinsuke Nakamura||December 3, 2016||NXT||Osaka, Japan||2||56||56||Aired on tape delay on December 28, 2016.|||
|12||Bobby Roode||January 28, 2017||NXT TakeOver: San Antonio||San Antonio, Texas||1||203||202|||
|13||Drew McIntyre||August 19, 2017||NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III||Brooklyn, New York||1||91||91||The championship became recognized as a world championship.|||
|14||Andrade "Cien" Almas||November 18, 2017||NXT TakeOver: WarGames||Houston, Texas||1||140||139|||
|15||Aleister Black||April 7, 2018||NXT TakeOver: New Orleans||New Orleans, Louisiana||1||102||108||WWE recognizes Black's reign as ending on July 25, 2018, when the following episode aired on tape delay.|||
|16||Tommaso Ciampa||July 18, 2018||NXT||Winter Park, Florida||1||238||237||WWE recognizes Ciampa's reign as beginning on July 25, 2018 and ending on March 20, 2019, when the episodes aired on tape delay.|||
|—||Vacated||March 13, 2019||NXT||Winter Park, Florida||—||—||—||The title was vacated due to Tommaso Ciampa requiring neck surgery. Aired on tape delay on March 20, 2019.|||
|17||Johnny Gargano||April 5, 2019||NXT TakeOver: New York||Brooklyn, New York||1||41+||41+||Gargano defeated Adam Cole in a two out of three falls match to win the vacant title.|||
As of May 16, 2019.
|†||Indicates the current champion|
|Combined days||Combined days|
recognized by WWE
|6||Big E Langston||1||168||153|
|9||Andrade "Cien" Almas||1||140||139|
|15||Johnny Gargano †||1||41+|
- Parry, Josh (July 26, 2012). "NXT spoiler - first champion crowned". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 8/29 - Week 11: First NXT champion crowned in big-match setting". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
- "Seth Rollins' first reign". NXT Wrestling. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- "NXT spoilers: New champion, The Shield involved, Nash's role, Hall of Famer at next TV taping". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Santiago, Andres. "5/23 NXT spoilers from Full Sail University". PWInsider. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "James' WWE NXT "Arrival" report 2/27 - Week 87: Live Network show coverage, plus Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- Caldwell, James (December 11, 2014). "Caldwell's WWE NXT Takeover Results 12/11". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- James, Justin (February 11, 2015). "James' WWE NXT TakeOver Report 2/11". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- Caldwell, James (July 4, 2015). "Caldwell's WWE Network special report 7/4: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of "Beast in the East" - Lesnar's in-ring return, Owens vs. Balor for NXT Title, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- Caldwell, James (April 21, 2016). "Breaking News – Samoa Joe wins NXT Title Thursday night (w/Pics)". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- "Samoa Joe captures NXT Championship at Live Event in Lowell, Mass". WWE. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
- James, Justin. "8/20 "WWE NXT Takeover: Brooklyn" Results – CALDWELL'S Complete Live Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- James, Justin. "JAMES' NXT TAKEOVER: TORONTO REVIEW 11/19: Nakamura vs. Joe, Asuka vs. James, #DIY vs. The Revival, and more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- Martin, Adam. "Shinsuke Nakamura becomes the new NXT Champion capturing the title in Osaka, Japan at NXT live event". WrestleView. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- Witner, Arya. "WWE NXT results: Matches from Osaka, Japan". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- Powell, Jason. "1/28 Powell's NXT Takeover: San Antonio Live Review – Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bobby Roode for the NXT Title, DIY vs. Authors of Pain for the NXT Tag Titles, Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay vs. Peyton Royce for the NXT Women's Title". Pro Wreslting Dot Net. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- Zimmerman, Zack. "8/19 Zim's NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III live review – Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre for the NXT Title, Asuka vs. Ember Moon for the NXT Women's Title, Authors of Pain vs. Sanity for the NXT Tag Titles, homecoming". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
- Moore, John. "11/18 Moore's NXT Takeover: WarGames live review – The Undisputed Era vs. Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong vs. Sanity in a WarGames match, Ember Moon vs. Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce for the NXT Women's Title, Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade Almas for the NXT Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
- Moore, John. "4/7 Moore's NXT Takeover: New Orleans live review – Andrade Almas vs. Aleister Black for the NXT Title, Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women's Championship, Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa in an unsanctioned match, ladder match for the new North American Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
- "Major news from Wednesday night's NXT tapings (CAUTION: SPOILERS)". WWE. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
- James, Justin (July 25, 2018). "7/25 NXT TV REPORT: Aleister Black vs. Tomasso Ciampa for the NXT Title, Cole vs. Maluta, Evans vs. Price, Ricochet, War Raiders, William Regal". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "New NXT Champion to be crowned at TakeOver: New York". WON/F4W - WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, UFC News, UFC results. March 13, 2019. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- Powell, Jason. "4/5 Powell's NXT Takeover: New York live review – Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole in a best of three falls match for the vacant NXT Championship, Pete Dunne vs. Walter for the WWE UK Championship, Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle for the NXT North American Title, NXT Women's Title four-way, NXT Tag Title match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 5, 2019.