List of NXT Champions
The NXT Championship is a world championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, defended as the top championship of their NXT brand division. 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).
As of February 24, 2021, there have been 21 reigns among 18 different champions and two vacancies. The inaugural champion was Seth Rollins. Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Finn Bálor are tied with the most reigns at two, with Bálor having the longest combined reign at 461+ days. Adam Cole's reign is the longest singular reign at 396 days (403 days as recognized by WWE due to tape delay), while Karrion Kross' reign is the shortest at 4 days (3 days as recognized by WWE) as he had to relinquish the title due to a legitimate injury he suffered in winning it. Bo Dallas holds the record as the youngest champion, winning the title two days before his 23rd birthday (although WWE recognizes it was 18 days after his 23rd birthday due to tape delay), while Bobby Roode is the oldest champion, winning the title at 39 years, 262 days old.
The current champion is Finn Bálor, who is in his record-tying second reign. He won the title by defeating Adam Cole in a sudden death match for the vacant championship (after the two had tied the previous week in a 60-minute fatal four-way iron man match that was originally for the vacant title and had also involved Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano) at NXT Super Tuesday II on September 8, 2020 in Winter Park, Florida; previous champion Karrion Kross had relinquished the title due to suffering a legitimate injury.
As of February 24, 2021
|No.||Overall reign number|
|Reign||Reign number for the specific champion|
|Days||Number of days held|
|Days recog.||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, FL||1||133||133||Title was established on July 1, 2012, for WWE's developmental brand NXT. Rollins defeated Jinder Mahal in the tournament final to become the inaugural champion. WWE recognizes his reign as beginning on August 29, 2012, when the match aired on tape delay.|||
|2||Big E Langston||December 6, 2012||NXT||Winter Park, FL||1||168||153||This was a no disqualification match.
WWE recognizes Big E's reign as beginning on January 9, 2013, when the match aired on tape delay.
|3||Bo Dallas||May 23, 2013||NXT||Winter Park, FL||1||280||260||WWE recognizes Dallas' reign as beginning on June 12, 2013, when the match aired on tape delay.|||
|4||Adrian Neville||February 27, 2014||Arrival||Winter Park, FL||1||287||286||This was a ladder match.|||
|5||Sami Zayn||December 11, 2014||TakeOver: R Evolution||Winter Park, FL||1||62||62||This was a title vs. career match where if Zayn had lost, he would have voluntarily quit NXT.|||
|6||Kevin Owens||February 11, 2015||TakeOver: Rival||Winter Park, FL||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||NXT Live||Lowell, MA||1||121||121|||
|9||Shinsuke Nakamura||August 20, 2016||TakeOver: Brooklyn II||Brooklyn, NY||1||91||91|||
|10||Samoa Joe||November 19, 2016||TakeOver: Toronto||Toronto, ON, Canada||2||14||13|||
|11||Shinsuke Nakamura||December 3, 2016||NXT||Osaka, Japan||2||56||56|||
|12||Bobby Roode||January 28, 2017||TakeOver: San Antonio||San Antonio, TX||1||203||202|||
|13||Drew McIntyre||August 19, 2017||TakeOver: Brooklyn III||Brooklyn, NY||1||91||91|||
|14||Andrade "Cien" Almas||November 18, 2017||TakeOver: WarGames||Houston, TX||1||140||139|||
|15||Aleister Black||April 7, 2018||TakeOver: New Orleans||New Orleans, LA||1||102||108|||
|16||Tommaso Ciampa||July 18, 2018||NXT||Winter Park, FL||1||238||237||WWE recognizes Ciampa's reign as beginning on July 25, 2018 and ending on March 20, 2019 due to both episodes airing on tape delay.|||
|—||Vacated||March 13, 2019||NXT||Winter Park, FL||—||—||—||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||TakeOver: New York||Brooklyn, NY||1||57||57||Defeated Adam Cole in a two out of three falls match to win the vacant title.|||
|18||Adam Cole||June 1, 2019||TakeOver: XXV||Bridgeport, CT||1||396||403||In September 2019, the NXT brand became one of WWE's three main brands along with Raw and SmackDown.
WWE recognizes Cole's reign as ending on July 8, 2020, when the following match aired on tape delay.
|19||Keith Lee||July 1, 2020||The Great American Bash
|Winter Park, FL||1||52||44||This was a Winner Takes All match, in which Lee also defended the NXT North American Championship.
WWE recognizes Lee's reign as beginning on July 8, 2020, when the match aired on tape delay.
|20||Karrion Kross||August 22, 2020||TakeOver XXX||Winter Park, FL||1||4||3|||
|—||Vacated||August 26, 2020||NXT||Winter Park, FL||—||—||—||Karrion Kross relinquished the title due to suffering a separated shoulder during his match at TakeOver XXX.|||
|21||Finn Bálor||September 8, 2020||NXT Super Tuesday II||Winter Park, FL||2||169+||169+||A 60-minute fatal four-way iron man match for the vacant championship took place on the September 1 episode of NXT Super Tuesday between Finn Bálor, Adam Cole, Tommaso Ciampa, and Johnny Gargano, but the match ended in a tie between Bálor and Cole. NXT General Manager William Regal then scheduled a match between the two for the following week, in which Bálor defeated Cole to win the vacant title.
During this reign, the title became recognized as a world championship.
As of February 24, 2021.
|+||Indicates the current champion|
rec. by WWE
|1||Finn Bálor †||2||461+|
|7||Big E Langston||168||153|
|10||Andrade "Cien" Almas||140||139|
- 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.
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- Moore, John (September 8, 2020). "9/8 NXT TV results: Moore's review of Super Tuesday II featuring Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole for the vacant NXT Championship, Rhea Ripley vs. Mercedes Martinez in a cage match, Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory, Killian Dain vs. Roderick Strong". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
- "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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
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- "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.
- Powell, Jason (June 1, 2019). "6/1 Powell's NXT Takeover: XXV live review – Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship, Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai for the NXT Women's Championship, Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Breeze for the NXT North American Title, four-way ladder match for the vacant NXT Tag Titles, Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
- Moore, John (July 8, 2020). "7/8 NXT TV results: Moore's review of the Great American Bash night two with NXT Champion Adam Cole vs. NXT North American Champion Keith Lee for both titles, Mia Yim vs. Candice LeRae in a Street Fight, Legado Del Fantasma vs. Drake Maverick, Tyler Breeze, and Fandango, Johnny Gargano vs. Isaiah Scott". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
- Moore, John (August 22, 2020). "NXT Takeover: XXX results – Moore's live review of Keith Lee vs. Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship, Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee, Io Shirai vs. Dakota Kai for the NXT Women's Championship, a ladder match for the vacant NXT North American Title, Finn Balor vs. Timothy Thatcher". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
- Moore, John (August 26, 2020). "8/26 NXT TV results: Moore's review of new NXT Champion Karrion Kross and Scarlett, Tommaso Ciampa returns, Santos Escobar vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel vs. Tyler Breeze and Fandango for the NXT Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved August 27, 2020.