WWE NXT (seasons 1–5)

WWE NXT initially debuted in 2010 as a seasonal show which was presented as a hybrid between WWE's scripted live event shows and reality television, in which talent from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) participated in a competition to become WWE's next "breakout star", with the help of mentors from WWE's Raw and SmackDown brands.[1] Five seasons of this iteration were broadcast, with Wade Barrett, Kaval, Kaitlyn, and Johnny Curtis being announced as winners.

Season 1Edit

WWE NXT
Season 5
Hosted byMatt Striker
WinnerWade Barrett
Winning mentorChris Jericho
Runner-upDavid Otunga
No. of episodes15
Release
Original networkSyfy
Original releaseFebruary 23 –
June 1, 2010 (2010-06-01)

The first season of NXT began airing on Syfy on February 23, 2010 and ended on June 1, 2010.[2][3] The majority of the season one cast was revealed a week before the premiere on the series finale of ECW. However, before the season's premiere aired Skip Sheffield's Pro was changed with William Regal replacing the announced Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP).[4][5] Near the end of the season, several changes were made to the original plan of the format. The season was shortened from the planned 17 episodes to 15 episodes.[2][6] In the first elimination episode that aired on May 11, both Daniel Bryan and Michael Tarver were eliminated by WWE management and removed from that night's Pros' Poll after both made comments about wanting to be voted off. The show ended with three eliminations, with Sheffield ranked last in the Poll.[7] Carlito was released on May 21 for refusing rehab after violating WWE's Wellness Program. Subsequent Pros' Polls were held without him for the rest of the season.[8] The winner of season one was Wade Barrett.[9] Immediately after the conclusion of season one, the Rookies were used in a storyline that had them forming an alliance called The Nexus.[10][11] Led by Barrett, the group invaded the first Raw following the conclusion of season one in an attempt to gain WWE contracts for the losers of NXT. The invasion consisted of the group attacking John Cena as well as other wrestlers and WWE personnel.[10][12] Barrett announced that he would invoke his title shot at Night of Champions for the WWE Championship in a six-pack challenge.[13] At the event on September 19, Barrett lost in his title match to Randy Orton.[14]

ContestantsEdit

Rookie[5] Pro[5] Wins[15] Losses[15] Status
Wade Barrett Chris Jericho 8 5 Winner
David Otunga R-Truth 6 5 Eliminated (Week 15)
Justin Gabriel Matt Hardy 7 4 Eliminated (Week 15)
Heath Slater Christian 5 6 Eliminated (Week 14)
Darren Young CM Punk 7 4 Eliminated (Week 13)
Skip Sheffield William Regal 2 5 Eliminated (Week 12)
Daniel Bryan The Miz 0 10 Eliminated (Week 12)
Michael Tarver Carlito 1 7 Eliminated (Week 12)

Poll resultsEdit

  – Winner of competition
  – Safe in competition
  – Eliminated from competition by Pros' Poll
  – Eliminated from competition by WWE management
  – Won immunity prior to that particular poll and is ineligible to be eliminated
Rookie Week 6
(March 30)[16]
Week 12
(May 11)[17][7]
Week 13
(May 18)[9]
Week 14
(May 25)[2]
Week 15
(June 1)
Round 1[18]
Week 15
(June 1)
Round 2[18]
Wade Barrett 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
David Otunga 5th 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd
Justin Gabriel 3rd 3rd 4th 3rd 3rd
Heath Slater 4th 4th 3rd 4th
Darren Young 8th 5th 5th
Skip Sheffield 6th 6th
Daniel Bryan 1st Eliminated by management
Michael Tarver 7th Eliminated by management
Eliminated N/A Tarver, Bryan and Sheffield Young Slater Gabriel Otunga

Season 2Edit

WWE NXT
Season 5
Hosted byMatt Striker
Ashley Valence (June 22 – August 31, 2010)
WinnerKaval
Winning mentorLayCool
(Layla and Michelle McCool)
Runner-upMichael McGillicutty
No. of episodes13
Release
Original networkSyfy
Original releaseJune 8 –
August 31, 2010 (2010-08-31)

The second season of NXT started on June 8, 2010 and ended on August 31, 2010.[19][20] The season 2 cast was revealed on the first season finale on June 1.[21] The season was originally planned to last 12 weeks. However, it was later extended to 13 weeks.[19][20] In this season, the polls were different as rankings were based half on Pro votes and half on votes from fans via WWE's official website.[19] The first poll was shown on July 6.[22] Originally, the polls format was set to match the previous season, with a non-elimination poll followed by weekly elimination polls on July 27.[22] However, the first poll was made a surprise elimination round on the night with a second elimination poll held on August 3 instead.[22][19][23] In addition, a double elimination stipulation was added to the fourth NXT poll on August 17.[24] The winner of the season was Kaval.[25] Along with Kaval, Alex Riley was immediately promoted to aid his Pro The Miz on the Raw brand.[26][27] On November 21, Kaval invoked his title shot at Survivor Series for the Intercontinental Championship against the reigning champion Dolph Ziggler, but he was defeated.[28] Kaval was released from his contract in December 2010.[29]

ContestantsEdit

Rookie[30] Pro(s)[30] Wins[31] Losses[31] Status
Kaval LayCool
(Layla and Michelle McCool)
3 6 Winner
Michael McGillicutty Kofi Kingston 6 4 Eliminated (Week 13)
Alex Riley The Miz 5 4 Eliminated (Week 13)
Husky Harris Cody Rhodes 4 4 Eliminated (Week 11)
Percy Watson Montel Vontavious Porter 3 4 Eliminated (Week 11)
Lucky Cannon Mark Henry 3 5 Eliminated (Week 10)
Eli Cottonwood John Morrison 2 2 Eliminated (Week 8)
Titus O'Neil Zack Ryder 0 3 Eliminated (Week 4)

Poll resultsEdit

  – Winner of competition
  – Safe in competition
  – Eliminated from competition by NXT Poll
  – Won immunity prior to that particular poll and is ineligible to be eliminated
Rookie Week 4
(June 29)[22]
Week 8
(July 27)[32][23]
Week 10
(August 10)[20]
Week 11
(August 17)[24]
Week 13
(August 31)[25]
Kaval 1st 2nd 1st Safe 1st
Michael McGillicutty 3rd 1st 2nd Safe 2nd
Alex Riley 4th 3rd 5th Safe 3rd
Husky Harris 7th 6th 4th 4th
Percy Watson 2nd 4th 3rd 5th
Lucky Cannon 5th 5th 6th
Eli Cottonwood 6th 7th
Titus O'Neil 8th
Eliminated O'Neil Cottonwood Cannon Watson and Harris Riley and McGillicutty

Season 3Edit

WWE NXT
Season 5
Hosted byMatt Striker
WinnerKaitlyn
Winning mentorVickie Guerrero
Runner-upNaomi
No. of episodes13
Release
Original networkSyfy (September 7 – September 28, 2010 (2010-09-28))
Webcast (October 5 – November 30, 2010 (2010-11-30))
Original releaseSeptember 7 –
November 30, 2010 (2010-11-30)

The third season of NXT started on September 7, 2010 and ended on November 30, 2010.[33][34] The season was exclusive to female wrestlers and was the second different contest produced by WWE to find new female wrestlers, the first being the Divas Searches held from 2003–2007.[25] The first four episodes of season three were aired on Syfy. Due to the debut of SmackDown on Syfy on October 1, NXT left the channel and became a webcast at WWE.com for visitors from the United States from October 5 onwards.[35] A new interactive website for NXT was also launched at the beginning of the season to accommodate the move.[33] The reward to the victor was changed in contrast to the previous seasons. Unlike the first two male victors, the female victor of season three would not get a shot at a title of her choice (the only title being the Divas Championship), but rather a WWE contract. Other changes in the third season include a greater emphasis on challenges for the first three polls where the winner of the most challenges before the next upcoming poll would be awarded immunity. The first elimination poll took place five weeks into the competition.[33] The majority of the season three cast was revealed on the second-season finale on August 31.[25] However, before the season's premiere aired prospective rookie wrestler Aloisia was dropped from the show. On screen, Aloisia's exit stemmed from an argument between Aloisia and her Pro Vickie Guerrero, forcing Guerrero to fire her.[36] In reality, it was reported that Aloisia was allegedly dropped from the show after pornographic photos of her were leaked onto the Internet. However, in an interview Aloisia herself was unsure whether this was the reason for her exit or not.[37] Guerrero later revealed her new rookie in the season three premiere to be Kaitlyn, who would ultimately win the season.[33][38][39]

ContestantsEdit

Rookie[40] Pro(s)[40] Wins Losses Status
Kaitlyn Vickie Guerrero 3 4 Winner
Naomi Kelly Kelly 5 4 Eliminated (Week 13)
AJ Primo 6 2 Eliminated (Week 12)
Aksana Goldust 2 5 Eliminated (Week 11)
Maxine Alicia Fox 1 4 Eliminated (Week 9)
Jamie The Bella Twins
(Brie and Nikki Bella)
2 0 Eliminated (Week 5)

Originally slated to be Lindsay Kay Hayward as Aloisia, who had previously wrestled as Isis the Amazon.

Poll resultsEdit

  – Winner of competition
  – Safe in competition
  – Eliminated from competition by NXT Poll
  – Won immunity prior to that particular poll and is ineligible to be eliminated
Rookie Week 5
(October 5)[41]
Week 9
(November 2)[34]
Week 11
(November 16)[42]
Week 12
(November 23)[43]
Week 13
(November 30)[38]
Kaitlyn Immune
(3 challenge wins)
1
Safe
(2 challenge wins)
Safe
(1 challenge win)
Safe Winner
Naomi Safe
(2 challenge wins)
Immune
(3 challenge wins)
Safe
(1 challenge win)
Safe Eliminated
AJ Safe
(3 challenge wins)
Safe
(2 challenge wins)
Immune
(2 challenge wins)
Eliminated
Aksana Safe
(1 challenge win)
Safe
(0 challenge wins)
Eliminated
(0 challenge wins)
Maxine Safe
(0 challenge wins)
Eliminated
(1 challenge win)
Jamie Eliminated
(1 challenge win)

1 As the result of a tie break between AJ and Kaitlyn before the poll, Kaitlyn won immunity through a crowd reaction vote.[41]

Season 4Edit

WWE NXT
Season 5
Hosted byMatt Striker
WinnerJohnny Curtis
Winning mentorR-Truth
Runner-upBrodus Clay
No. of episodes13
Release
Original networkWebcast
Original releaseDecember 7, 2010 (2010-12-07) –
March 1, 2011 (2011-03-01)

The fourth season of NXT started on December 7, 2010 and ended on March 1, 2011.[38][44] Returning to the male-orientated format of the first two seasons, the season four cast was revealed on the third-season finale on November 30.[38] In a change from the third season, "immunity points" were now rewarded to the winner of each challenge, which vary depending on the challenge's difficulty. The person with the most points before the next upcoming poll is then awarded immunity from that poll.[45] On the January 4, episode of NXT, it was announced that the winner would earn a WWE Tag Team Championship match with their respective Pro as their partner. That same night, Dolph Ziggler won a battle royal consisting of each of the Pros and as a result was able to trade off his Rookie Jacob Novak for Byron Saxton, who was originally mentored by Chris Masters.[46] Similarly on the February 1 episode of NXT, a fatal four-way elimination match was held between the remaining four Rookies. Brodus Clay won and as a result was able to trade off his Pros The Million Dollar Couple (Ted DiBiase and Maryse) for Alberto Del Rio, who was originally mentoring Conor O'Brian before O'Brian's elimination on January 25.[47] The winner of the season was Johnny Curtis, earning himself and his Pro R-Truth a shot at the tag team titles.[44] On April 18, R-Truth turned into a villain by attacking John Morrison and subsequently R-Truth and Curtis never invoked their shot at the titles. Curtis would eventually debut on the main roster in June when he stated that he would not be challenging for the tag team titles with R-Truth and instead used his title shot with season two runner-up Michael McGillicutty on the October 11, 2012 episode of NXT against Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Championship, but was defeated.

ContestantsEdit

Rookie[48] Final Pro(s)[48] Initial Pro(s)[48] Wins Losses Status
Johnny Curtis R-Truth and JTG 3 7 Winner
Brodus Clay Alberto Del Rio
and Ricardo Rodriguez
Ted DiBiase, Jr.
and Maryse
7 3 Eliminated (Week 13)
Derrick Bateman Daniel Bryan 3 6 Eliminated (Week 12)
Byron Saxton Dolph Ziggler
and Vickie Guerrero
Chris Masters 3 6 Eliminated (Week 10)
Conor O'Brian Ted DiBiase Jr. and Maryse Alberto Del Rio
and Ricardo Rodriguez
3 1 Eliminated (Week 7)
Jacob Novak Chris Masters Dolph Ziggler
and Vickie Guerrero
1 2 Eliminated (Week 5)

Poll resultsEdit

  – Winner of competition
  – Safe in competition
  – Eliminated from competition by NXT Poll
  – Won immunity prior to that particular poll and is ineligible to be eliminated
Rookie Week 5
(January 4)[46]
Week 7
(January 18)[49]
Week 10
(February 8)[50]
Week 12
(February 22)[51]
Week 13
(March 1)[44]
Johnny Curtis Immune
(5 immunity points)
Safe
(0 immunity points)
Immune
(3 immunity points)
1
Safe
(3 immunity points)
Winner
Brodus Clay Safe
(0 immunity points)
Safe
(0 immunity points)
Safe
(3 immunity points)
Immune
(8 immunity points)
Eliminated
Derrick Bateman Safe
(3 immunity points)
Immune
(8 immunity points)
Safe
(2 immunity points)
Eliminated
(0 immunity points)
Byron Saxton Safe
(1 immunity point)
Safe
(0 immunity points)
Eliminated
(2 immunity points)
Conor O'Brian Safe
(4 immunity points)
Eliminated
(0 immunity points)
Jacob Novak Eliminated
(1 immunity point)

1 As the result of a tie break between Brodus Clay and Johnny Curtis before the poll, Curtis won immunity through a crowd reaction vote.

NXT Redemption (season 5)Edit

WWE NXT
Season 5
Hosted byMatt Striker
Maryse Ouellet (March 8 – August 20, 2011)
No. of episodes67
Release
Original networkWebcast
Original releaseMarch 8, 2011 (2011-03-08) –
June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13)

NXT Redemption, the fifth season of NXT, started on March 8, 2011.[44][52] The season consisted of seven rookies chosen from the previous male-only seasons and initially followed a similar format to the previous four seasons, with the winner of season 5 stated to win a spot in the planned sixth season of NXT alongside a WWE pro of their choice.[52][53] No eliminations took place for the first 10 weeks of the show and following the elimination of Conor O'Brian after 17 weeks Derrick Bateman replaced him as a new Rookie contestant. The show's competition format was then gradually and quietly forgotten about (although it was never officially dropped), the Pros ceased to appear and NXT Redemption subsequently morphed into its own entity, featuring self-contained storylines and matches involving long-tenured lower-card performers such as Tyson Kidd, Maxine, Yoshi Tatsu, JTG, Trent Baretta, Kaitlyn, Johnny Curtis, Percy Watson, Tyler Reks, AJ Lee, Curt Hawkins and Michael McGillicutty, among others.[54][55] After 59 weeks, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil were moved to the SmackDown roster on April 18, 2012, leaving Bateman as the sole remaining Rookie on the show, though he was not declared the winner and new episodes continued to be taped until June 12. The final episode of NXT Redemption aired on June 13, after which the show ended with no conclusion, with a "new NXT" advertised for the following week.[56] In total, NXT Redemption ran for over a year and 67 episodes were produced, exceeding the total number of episodes for all previous seasons combined. The first season was a distant second at 15 episodes.

ContestantsEdit

Rookie Pro Past season Wins Losses Status
Derrick Bateman Daniel Bryan Season 4 12 14 Never eliminated
Darren Young Chavo Guerrero/JTG((Week 25) Season 1 18 21 Never eliminated; moved to SmackDown
Titus O'Neil Hornswoggle Season 2 25 18 Never eliminated; moved to SmackDown
Conor O'Brian Vladimir Kozlov Season 4 6 6 Eliminated (Week 17)
Lucky Cannon Tyson Kidd Season 2 6 6 Eliminated (Week 15)
Byron Saxton Yoshi Tatsu Season 4 2 8 Eliminated (Week 13)
Jacob Novak JTG Season 4 2 5 Eliminated (Week 11)

Poll resultsEdit

Rookie Week 11
(May 17)
Week 13
(May 31)
Week 15
(June 14)
Week 17
(June 28)
Week 29
(October 5)
Week 35
(November 16)
Week 59
(April 18)
Derrick Bateman Joined Safe
(0 points)
Safe
(0 points)
Never eliminated
(0 points)
Titus O'Neil Safe
(19 points)
Safe
(19 points)
Safe
(22 points)
Safe
(22 points)
Safe
(30 points)
Safe
(45 points)
Never eliminated; moved to SmackDown
(45 points)
Darren Young Safe
(7 points)
Safe
(7 points)
Safe
(7 points)
Safe
(7 points)
Suspended
(7 points)
Returned from suspension
(7 points)
Never eliminated; moved to SmackDown
(7 points)
Conor O'Brian Safe
(0 points)
Safe
(3 points)
Safe
(3 points)
Eliminated
(3 points)
Lucky Cannon Safe
(0 points)
Safe
(0 points)
Eliminated
(0 points)
Byron Saxton Safe
(4 points)
Eliminated
(4 points)
Jacob Novak Eliminated
(6 points)

"Lost" seasonEdit

In May and June 2017, WWE published an article[57] and a video[58] detailing a planned and subsequently cancelled season of NXT which was to feature the following wrestlers:

ReferencesEdit

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