The NXT Championship is a professional wrestling world championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE for their NXT brand. Introduced on July 1, 2012, it is the top championship of NXT. Seth Rollins was the inaugural champion. The current champion is Johnny Gargano, who is in his first reign.
The current NXT Championship belt with default side plates
|Date established||July 1, 2012|
|Current champion(s)||Johnny Gargano|
|Date won||April 5, 2019|
The championship was first introduced on the July 1, 2012, edition of NXT when NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes announced a "Gold Rush" tournament, involving four wrestlers from the NXT roster and four wrestlers from the main roster competing to be crowned as the inaugural NXT Champion in a knockout tournament, replacing the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship that was retired in the same month. The first NXT Champion was crowned on the July 26, 2012 taping of NXT (aired August 29), with Seth Rollins defeating Jinder Mahal in the tournament final. On November 19, 2016, at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, Samoa Joe became the first performer to hold the championship on more than one occasion.
On WrestleMania weekend 2017, all NXT title belts were redesigned. The new title belts were unveiled at NXT TakeOver: Orlando that same night and given to the winners of their respective matches. Coming in line with the top championships of the main roster, the new design includes removable side plates with the WWE logo as default plates, which are customized to each champion. During Drew McIntyre's reign, the title became recognized as a world championship.
As of May 16, 2019, there have been 17 championship reigns with 15 different champions and one vacancy. The inaugural champion was Seth Rollins. 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 title is currently held by 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. Previous champion Tommaso Ciampa vacated the title on the March 13, 2019 tapings of NXT (aired March 20) due to requiring neck surgery.
- 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 8 September 2012.
- 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.
- WWE (April 1, 2017). "EXCLUSIVE: WWE NXT General William Regal arrives at WrestleMania Axxess with a HUGE announcement regarding NXT TakeOver: Orlando!". Facebook. Retrieved April 1, 2017.