WWE NXT (TV series)

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WWE NXT
NXT Wrestling.png
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Reality television (2010 (2010)–2011 (2011))
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring WWE/WWE NXT roster
Opening theme "Roar of the Crowd" by CFO$
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 236 (as of August 28, 2014 (2014-08-28))
Production
Camera setup Multicamera setup
Running time 60 minutes (including commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel Syfy (February 23, 2010 (2010-02-23))-(September 28, 2010 (2010-09-28))
WWE.com (October 5, 2010 (2010-10-05)–June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13))
WWE Network (2014 (2014) – present)
Internationally syndicated (2010 (2010) – present)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run February 23, 2010 (2010-02-23) – present
Chronology
Related shows WWE Raw
WWE SmackDown
WWE Main Event
WWE Superstars
External links
Website

WWE NXT is a professional wrestling television program that is produced by WWE and is broadcast on the WWE Network. Five seasons of NXT were broadcast from February 23, 2010[1]-June 13, 2012,[2] in which NXT was presented as a hybrid between reality television and WWE's scripted live event shows, the premise of the show followed select talent contracted to WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in a competition to become WWE's next breakout star with the help of mentors from WWE's Raw and SmackDown brands.[1][3] The first four seasons saw Wade Barrett, Kaval, Kaitlyn and Johnny Curtis winning NXT.

In the later stages of season five, the all-rookie competition was abandoned with no winner being officially named, although Derrick Bateman was the final remaining rookie on NXT Redemption after both Titus O'Neil and Darren Young were signed to the SmackDown brand. Following the end of the fifth season, WWE ended the seasonal competition format of the show and renamed its developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling to WWE NXT. This article focuses on the five seasons and not the later developmental territory.

The show originally made its debut on Syfy on February 23, 2010, replacing ECW, which concluded the previous week. Less than a month after its premiere, it was announced that WWE SmackDown would move from MyNetworkTV to Syfy in October.[4][5] NXT aired its final episode on Syfy on September 28, 2010 to make way for SmackDown and began airing as a webcast at WWE.com for visitors from the United States from October 5, 2010-June 13, 2012.[6]

Format[edit]

Original format (2010–2011)[edit]

WWE NXT paired up wrestlers from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (dubbed "Rookies") with wrestlers from WWE's existing Raw and SmackDown brands (dubbed "Pros"). Each episode featured the rookies being mentored by the pros as they develop their characters and performance skills in front of a live audience. The pairings also enabled the show to crossover into WWE's Raw and SmackDown programs.[1][3] As the length of each season differed, features of the competition occur at different times accordingly.

In addition to matches, weekly challenges were held during the competition to further test the Rookies' physical and mental skills.[7] Past physical challenges include a keg carrying contest, an assault course contest and a "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em" tournament.[7][8][9] Past non-physical challenges include making 30-second promos on a given topic and selling programs within a time limit.[10][11]

During seasons 1 and 2, the winner of the weekly challenge receives a special prize such as a main event match, a talk show segment or a feature on WWE's official website.[7][10][11] One of the more frequent prizes given out to the winner is an "Immunity Pass", which gives the holder immunity from elimination in the next round of polls.[12][13]

From season 3 onwards, a greater emphasis on challenges was placed on the show. Instead of awarding prizes to the winner of the challenges, points are instead awarded to the winner with a cumulative tally of points recorded before each of the first three polls. The Rookie with the most points before the next upcoming poll is awarded immunity.[14] In season 3, one point is awarded for winning the challenge.[14] In season 4, the number of points vary on the difficulty of the challenge.[15][16] In the result of a tie-break, the audience is then asked to vote for the Rookie they want to get immunity.[17]

Season 4 also saw the introduction of challenge matches involving the entire roster of Pros or Rookies where the winner would be given the chance to swap their respective Rookie or Pro for another.[18][19]

In various weeks, polls were held to evaluate the success of each Rookie and determine the winner of the competition.[20] The poll rankings are entirely determined by votes from the Pros and starting from season 2, votes from fans via WWE's official website.[21] In the Pros' votes, each of the Pros vote for their favorite Rookie, but cannot vote for their own Rookie.[20] Their votes are based on the following four criteria:[22]

  • Win-loss record within the show
  • Strength of opponents
  • Work ethic
  • "It" factor

Initially in seasons 1 and 2, the full results and rankings from the poll were revealed.[23] However since Week 11 in season 2, only the elimination is revealed.[24] The first poll, usually held a third of the way through the competition, determines the Rookies' rankings. Subsequent polls are held several weeks later near the end of the season, where the lowest ranked Rookie without immunity is eliminated.[23] Season 2 was set to use this format, but was changed to have the first poll an elimination poll.[13][25] Season 3 will also use the second season's format.[14]

The show continued until the season finale, where final two or three Rookies appear. One or two final polls were then held to determine the winner of the competition.[23][26] The prize for the winner is a WWE contract as well as a championship match at any pay-per-view.[23][27]

Outside of the polls, Rookies could still be eliminated via an executive decision from WWE management. Season 1 saw Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan eliminated by management for a lack of self-confidence.[28]

Starting in 2012, the all-rookie competition was abandoned with the show now featuring past and present rookies alongside lower card members of the main WWE roster. William Regal would also take over as the authority figure and match coordinator, with Striker being retained as the show's host.

Revised format (2012)[edit]

In May 2012, the show's format was revamped. The show began using more talent from FCW, as well as talent from the main roster. The first four episodes under the new format were taped at Full Sail University on May 17. WWE continued to air NXT Redemption, hoping a new television deal for NXT could be made.

WWE.com revealed on Wednesday, June 13 that the new version of NXT would be made available online via WWE.com and YouTube beginning on Wednesday, June 20 when WWE would begin airing the episodes they taped at Full Sail University on May 17. On June 19, however, WWE removed all of the NXT material from their website.[29] NXT no longer airs in the United States, but continues to be broadcast internationally. NXT is currently airing on Hulu and Hulu Plus in the US.[30][31]

NXT began airing on the WWE Network on February 27, 2014 with a live event called NXT Arrival.

Seasons[edit]

Season 1[edit]

WWE NXT
Season 1
Broadcast from  () – June 1, 2010 (2010-06-01)
Host(s) Matt Striker
Broadcaster Syfy
No. of episodes 15
Winner
Wade Barrett, winner of season 1.
Wade Barrett, winner of season 1.
Name Wade Barrett
Hometown Manchester, England
Pro(s) Chris Jericho
Runner-up
David Otunga

The first season of NXT began airing on Syfy on February 23, 2010 and ended on June 1, 2010.[26][27] The majority of the season 1 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).[32][33]

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.[26][34] In the first elimination episode on May 11, both Michael Tarver and Daniel Bryan 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.[28] 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.[35]

The winner of season 1 was Wade Barrett, who began performing on the Raw brand.[36] Immediately after the conclusion of season 1, the Rookies were used in a storyline that had them forming an alliance called The Nexus.[37][38] Led by Barrett, the group invaded the Raw show in an attempt to gain WWE contracts for the losers of NXT season 1. The invasion consisted of the group attacking John Cena as well as other wrestlers and WWE personnel.[37][39] Barrett announced that he would invoke his title shot at Night of Champions for the WWE Championship in a Six-Pack Challenge.[40] At the event, Barrett lost in his title match to Randy Orton.[41]

Contestants[edit]

Rookie[33] Pro[33] Wins[42] Losses[42] Status
Barrett, WadeWade Barrett Jericho, ChrisChris Jericho 8 5 Winner
Otunga, DavidDavid Otunga R-Truth 6 5 Eliminated (Week 15)
Gabriel, JustinJustin Gabriel Hardy, MattMatt Hardy 7 4 Eliminated (Week 15)
Slater, HeathHeath Slater Christian, Christian 5 6 Eliminated (Week 14)
Young, DarrenDarren Young Punk, CMCM Punk 7 4 Eliminated (Week 13)
Sheffield, SkipSkip Sheffield Regal, WilliamWilliam Regal 2 5 Eliminated (Week 12)
Bryan, DanielDaniel Bryan Miz, TheThe Miz 0 10 Eliminated (Week 12)
Tarver, MichaelMichael Tarver Carlito, Carlito 1 7 Eliminated (Week 12)

Poll results[edit]

     – 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)[23]
Week 12
(May 11)[12][28]
Week 13
(May 18)[36]
Week 14
(May 25)[26]
Week 15
(June 1)
Round 1[21]
Week 15
(June 1)
Round 2[21]
Barrett, WadeWade Barrett 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Otunga, DavidDavid Otunga 5th 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd
Gabriel, JustinJustin Gabriel 3rd 3rd 4th 3rd 3rd
Slater, HeathHeath Slater 4th 4th 3rd 4th
Young, DarrenDarren Young 8th 5th 5th
Sheffield, SkipSkip Sheffield 6th 6th
Bryan, DanielDaniel Bryan 1st Eliminated by management
Tarver, MichaelMichael Tarver 7th Eliminated by management
Eliminated N/A Tarver, Bryan, & Sheffield Young Slater Gabriel Otunga

Season 2[edit]

WWE NXT
Season 2
Broadcast from June 8, 2010 (2010-06-08) – August 31, 2010 (2010-08-31)
Host(s) Matt Striker
Ashley Valence (June 22, 2010-August 31, 2010)
Broadcaster Syfy
No. of episodes 13
Winner
Kaval, winner of season 2.
Kaval, winner of season 2.
Name Kaval
Hometown Brooklyn, New York
Pro(s) LayCool
(Layla & Michelle McCool)
Runner-up
Michael McGillicutty

The second season of NXT started on June 8, 2010 and ended on August 31, 2010.[25][43] The season 2 cast was revealed on the first season finale on June 1, 2010.[44] The season was originally planned to last twelve weeks. However, it was later extended to thirteen weeks.[25][43] 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.[25]

The first poll was shown in Week 4.[13] Originally, the polls format was set to match season 1, with a non-elimination poll followed by weekly elimination polls three weeks later.[13] However, the first poll was made a surprise elimination round on the night with a second elimination poll held four weeks later instead.[13][25][45] In addition, a double elimination stipulation was added to the fourth NXT poll in Week 11.[46]

The winner of the season was Kaval, who began performing on the SmackDown brand.[47] Along with Kaval, Alex Riley was immediately promoted to a WWE brand, aiding his Pro, The Miz, on Raw.[48][49] Kaval invoked his title shot at Survivor Series for the WWE Intercontinental Championship against the reigning champion Dolph Ziggler where he was defeated.[50] Kaval was released from his contract in December 2010.[51]

Contestants[edit]

Rookie[52] Pro(s)[52] Wins[53] Losses[53] Status
Kaval, Kaval LayCool
(Layla & Michelle McCool)
3 6 Winner
McGillicutty, MichaelMichael McGillicutty Kingston, KofiKofi Kingston 6 4 Eliminated (Week 13)
Riley, AlexAlex Riley Miz, TheThe Miz 5 4 Eliminated (Week 13)
Harris, HuskyHusky Harris Rhodes, CodyCody Rhodes 4 4 Eliminated (Week 11)
Watson, PercyPercy Watson Porter, Montel VontaviousMontel Vontavious Porter
(M.V.P.)
3 4 Eliminated (Week 11)
Cannon, LuckyLucky Cannon Henry, MarkMark Henry 3 5 Eliminated (Week 10)
Eli Cottonwood Morrison, JohnJohn Morrison 2 2 Eliminated (Week 8)
O'Neil, TitusTitus O'Neil Ryder, ZackZack Ryder 0 3 Eliminated (Week 4)

Poll results[edit]

     – 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)[13]
Week 8
(July 27)[8][45]
Week 10
(August 10)[43]
Week 11
(August 17)[46]
Week 13
(August 31)[47]
Kaval, Kaval 1st 2nd 1st Safe 1st
McGillicutty, MichaelMichael McGillicutty 3rd 1st 2nd Safe 2nd
Riley, AlexAlex Riley 4th 3rd 5th Safe 3rd
Harris, HuskyHusky Harris 7th 6th 4th 4th
Watson, PercyPercy Watson 2nd 4th 3rd 5th
Cannon, LuckyLucky Cannon 5th 5th 6th
Cottonwood, EliEli Cottonwood 6th 7th
O'Neil, TitusTitus O'Neil 8th
Eliminated O'Neil Cottonwood Cannon Watson & Harris Riley & McGillicutty

Season 3[edit]

WWE NXT
Season 3
Broadcast from September 7, 2010 (2010-09-07) – November 30, 2010 (2010-11-30)
Host(s) Matt Striker
Broadcaster Syfy (September 7, 2010 (2010-09-07)–September 28, 2010 (2010-09-28))
Webcast (October 5, 2010 (2010-10-05)–November 30, 2010 (2010-11-30))
No. of episodes 13
Winner
Kaitlyn, winner of season 3.
Kaitlyn, winner of season 3.
Name Kaitlyn
Hometown Houston, Texas
Pro(s) Vickie Guerrero
Runner-up
Naomi

The third season of NXT started on September 7, 2010 and ended on November 30, 2010.[14][54] The season is Diva-exclusive and is the second different contest produced by WWE to find a new Diva, the first being the WWE Diva Searches held between 2003 and 2007.[47] The first four episodes of season three were aired on Syfy. Due to the debut of SmackDown on Syfy on October 1, 2010, NXT left the channel and became a webcast at WWE.com for visitors from the United States from the fifth episode onwards.[6] A new interactive website for NXT was also launched at the beginning of the season to accommodate the move.[14] The reward to the victor was changed in contrast to the previous seasons. Unlike the first two male victors, the female victor of season 3 would not get a shot at a title of her choice (the only title being the WWE 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.[14]

The majority of the season three cast was revealed on the second season finale on August 31, 2010.[47] However, before the season's premiere aired, prospective rookie diva 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.[55] In real life, it was reported that Aloisia was allegedly dropped from the show after Amazon fetish photos of her were leaked onto the Internet. However in an interview, Aloisia herself is unsure whether this was the reason for her exit or not.[56] Guerrero later revealed her new rookie in the season three premiere to be Kaitlyn, who would ultimately win the season and started performing on the SmackDown brand.[14][57][58]

Contestants[edit]

Rookie Diva[59] Pro(s)[59] Wins Losses Status
Kaitlyn Guerrero, VickieVickie Guerrero 3 4 Winner
Naomi Kelly, KellyKelly Kelly 5 4 Eliminated (Week 13)
AJ Primo, Primo 6 2 Eliminated (Week 12)
Aksana Goldust, Goldust 2 5 Eliminated (Week 11)
Maxine Fox, AliciaAlicia Fox 1 4 Eliminated (Week 9)
Jamie Bella Twins, TheThe Bella Twins
(Brie and Nikki Bella)
2 0 Eliminated (Week 5)

Poll results[edit]

     – 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 Diva Week 5
(October 5)[17]
Week 9
(November 2)[54]
Week 11
(November 16)[60]
Week 12
(November 23)[61]
Week 13
(November 30)[57]
Kaitlyn, 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
A.J., A.J. Safe
(3 challenge wins)
Safe
(2 challenge wins)
Immune
(2 challenge wins)
Eliminated
Aksana, Aksana Safe
(1 challenge win)
Safe
(0 challenge wins)
Eliminated
(0 challenge wins)
Maxine, Maxine Safe
(0 challenge wins)
Eliminated
(1 challenge win)
Jamie Eliminated
(1 challenge win)

1 As the result of a tie break between A.J. and Kaitlyn before the poll, Kaitlyn won immunity through a crowd reaction vote.[17]

Season 4[edit]

WWE NXT
Season 4
Broadcast from December 7, 2010 (2010-12-07) – March 1, 2011 (2011-03-01)
Host(s) Matt Striker
Broadcaster Webcast
No. of episodes 13
Winner
Johnny Curtis, winner of season 4.
Johnny Curtis, winner of season 4.
Name Johnny Curtis
Hometown Westbrook, Maine
Pro(s) R-Truth
Runner-up
Brodus Clay

The fourth season of NXT started on December 7, 2010 and ended on March 1, 2011.[57][62] Returning to the male-orientated format of the first two seasons, the season 4 cast was revealed on the third season finale on November 30, 2010.[57] In a change from the third season, "immunity points" are 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.[16]

During Week 5, it was announced the winner would earn a WWE Tag Team Championship match with their respective Pro as their partner. In the same show, Dolph Ziggler won a battle royal consisting of each of the Pros, and as a result of the win, Ziggler was able to trade off his Rookie Jacob Novak for Byron Saxton, who was originally mentored by Chris Masters.[18] Similarly during Week 8, 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 Week 7.[19]

The winner of the season was Johnny Curtis, earning himself and his pro R-Truth a shot at the WWE Tag Team titles.[62] As of April 18, when R-Truth turned heel by attacking John Morrison, R-Truth and his rookie Curtis still have not had that shot at the titles. Curtis would eventually debut on SmackDown in June when he stated that he won't be challenging for the Tag Team titles with R-Truth. He used his title shot with Michael McGillicutty on October 11, 2012, in NXT against Team Hell No for the Tag Team Championship, but he was defeated.

Contestants[edit]

Rookie[63] Final Pro(s)[63] Initial Pro(s)[63] Wins Losses Status
Curtis, JohnnyJohnny Curtis R-Truth and JTG 3 7 Winner
Clay, BrodusBrodus Clay Del Rio, AlbertoAlberto Del Rio
and Ricardo Rodriguez
DiBiase, Jr., TedTed DiBiase, Jr.
and Maryse
7 3 Eliminated (Week 13)
Bateman, DerrickDerrick Bateman Bryan, DanielDaniel Bryan
Bryan, DanielDaniel Bryan
3 6 Eliminated (Week 12)
Saxton, ByronByron Saxton Ziggler, DolphDolph Ziggler
and Vickie Guerrero
Chris Masters, Chris Masters 3 6 Eliminated (Week 10)
O'Brian, ConorConor O'Brian Del Rio, AlbertoAlberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez 3 1 Eliminated (Week 7)
Jacob Novak Masters, ChrisChris Masters Ziggler, DolphDolph Ziggler
and Vickie Guerrero
1 2 Eliminated (Week 5)

Poll results[edit]

     – 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)[18]
Week 7
(January 18)[64]
Week 10
(February 8)[65]
Week 12
(February 22)[66]
Week 13
(March 1)[62]
Curtis, JohnnyJohnny Curtis Immune
(5 immunity points)
Safe
(0 immunity points)
Immune
(3 immunity points)
1
Safe
(3 immunity points)
Winner
Clay, BrodusBrodus Clay Safe
(0 immunity points)
Safe
(0 immunity points)
Safe
(3 immunity points)
Immune
(8 immunity points)
Eliminated
Bateman, DerrickDerrick Bateman Safe
(3 immunity points)
Immune
(8 immunity points)
Safe
(2 immunity points)
Eliminated
(0 immunity points)
Saxton, ByronByron Saxton Safe
(1 immunity point)
Safe
(0 immunity points)
Eliminated
(2 immunity points)
O'Brian, ConorConor 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
NXT Redemption
Broadcast from March 8, 2011 (2011-03-08) – June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13)
Host(s) Matt Striker
Maryse Ouellet (March 8, 2011-August 20, 2011)
Broadcaster Webcast
No. of episodes 67

NXT Redemption, the fifth season of NXT, started on March 8, 2011.[62][67] The season consisted of six rookies chosen from all previous non-Diva seasons returning to compete for a spot in the sixth season of NXT alongside a WWE Superstar of their choice as their pro for that season.[67][68] Immunity and the immunity points system were replaced in this season with a "redemption point" system, where, in the result of a tie at the bottom place between the pros' poll and the fan vote, the person with the most redemption points would avoid elimination.[67] On June 25, 2011, Chavo Guerrero was granted a release from the WWE, leaving Darren Young without a pro, unlike Carlito of season one where he was released after his rookie, Michael Tarver, was already eliminated.

On June 28, after Conor O'Brian was eliminated, Derrick Bateman was brought back. Daniel Bryan also returned as Bateman's pro, but weeks after not appearing with Bateman after he turned heel, Bryan said he was disowning Bateman due to the rookie's actions. On August 5, Vladimir Kozlov was also released from the WWE but, similar to Carlito, his rookie was already eliminated. While no divas from season three were part of the competition, since the end of regular eliminations June 28 both AJ Lee & Maxine returned as the girlfriends of Hornswoggle and Bateman respectively.

In later episodes, NXT Redemption was devoid of the typical challenges and eliminations while pros have feuded with each other, Young (later joined by JTG) with host Matt Striker and announcer William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu with Tyson Kidd and Bateman/Maxine with O'Neil/Hornswoggle/AJ. On September 27, Hornswoggle delivered a letter to AJ and O'Neil claiming he was being anchored to the dead NXT ship and needing to set sail to Smackdown, leaving Titus (the last rookie being mentored) without a pro.[69] On October 5, NXT moved to its new day and time, Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST. NXT Redemption also featured lower card superstars signed to the Raw or SmackDown brands, competing as neither pros nor rookies, like Yoshi Tatsu, Trent Baretta, The Usos, Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins, as well as former NXT contestants Michael McGillicutty (who had previously been on the Raw roster), Percy Watson, Maxine as well as previous winners Kaitlyn and Johnny Curtis.

It was announced on October 6 that Darren Young was suspended by WWE for 30 days for violating of the company's wellness policy.[70] On the October 12 edition of NXT, O'Neil and Bateman were referred to as the final two rookies in the competition with no mention whatsoever of Young, implying that he was eliminated from the competition due to his suspension. However, Young's suspension ended on November 5, and despite speculation that he would he removed from the competition Young returned on the November 16th edition of NXT and was once again referred to as a rookie.[71] The following week, in his return match Young teamed with Tyler Reks to defeat the team of Titus O'Neil and Percy Watson. On January 11, 2012, NXT debuted a new intro which replaced the intro containing only the remaining finalists. The new intro features all the talent that was regularly featured on NXT Redemption, including WWE Superstars from Raw and Smackdown. This arguably marked the official end of the rookie competition format.

In the weeks leading up to the show's 100th episode, stars from Raw and Smackdown who got their start on NXT, including Justin Gabriel, Michael McGillicutty, Alex Riley and Heath Slater, made special appearances. NXT celebrated its 100th episode special on January 18 in Las Vegas with O'Neil decisively defeating Young in a No Disqualification Match, before going on an anger-fueled tirade in which he insulted his former pro Hornswoggle and berated the fans in attendance, turning heel in the process. Derrick Bateman interrupted the wedding between Maxine and Johnny Curtis with footage of Curtis hacking Bateman's iPad to send an email to SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long. The email, sent through Bateman's address, contained disparaging remarks about Maxine and ultimately drove her into Curtis' arms. Upon this revelation Maxine slapped Curtis in the face and kissed Bateman. The following week O'Neil furthered his heel turn by assaulting his former friend and tag team partner, Percy Watson after O'Neil defeated Watson. On the February 1 edition of NXT, O'Neil even further solidified his transformation by aligning himself with his former rival Darren Young as they competed in a tag team match against Percy Watson and Alex Riley.

On February 29, on the "one year anniversary" of season five (actually over a full week prior to its March 8 anniversary), Matt Striker announced that William Regal would take over as the authority figure and match coordinator, with Striker being retained as the show's host. On March 14, William Regal put together a special episode featuring "the lost art" of tag teaming, as the Usos defeated Young and O'Neil, Hawkins and Reks defeated Riley and Watson and Bateman and Kaitlyn defeated Curtis and Maxine in a mixed tag team match.

On April 18, it was announced that Darren Young and Titus O'Neil would also compete on the SmackDown brand under orders of the show's General Manager, John Laurinaitis. On April 25, it was announced by Matt Striker that new wrestlers will appear on NXT due to Titus O'Neil and Darren Young leaving the show to go compete on SmackDown.

On May 17, NXT began taping episodes from its new home, Full Sail University in Florida.[72] This roster of the new version of NXT was reported incorporate wrestlers from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling in a different manner from previous seasons.[73] Despite this, NXT Redemption continued to be taped on Tuesdays until the final episode of NXT Redemption, taped on June 12, aired on June 13.[74] The new version of NXT aired in NXT Redemption's place the next week on June 20;[75] and by August 2012, WWE had re-branded Florida Championship Wrestling to NXT Wrestling.[76] However, after the end of NXT Redemption, WWE removed all of the NXT material from their website and Season 6 would not be available on the site.[29] However, when WWE joined Hulu Plus, the program began to be streamed there.

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.

Contestants[edit]

Rookie Pro Past season Wins Losses Status
Bateman, DerrickDerrick Bateman Bryan, DanielDaniel Bryan Season 4 12 14 Never eliminated
Young, DarrenDarren Young Guerrero, ChavoChavo Guerrero Season 1 18 21 Never eliminated; moved to SmackDown
O'Neil, TitusTitus O'Neil , HornswoggleHornswoggle Season 2 25 18 Never eliminated; moved to SmackDown
O'Brian, ConorConor O'Brian Kozlov, VladimirVladimir Kozlov Season 4 6 6 Eliminated (Week 17)
Cannon, LuckyLucky Cannon Kidd, TysonTyson Kidd Season 2 6 6 Eliminated (Week 15)
Saxton, ByronByron Saxton Tatsu, YoshiYoshi Tatsu Season 4 2 8 Eliminated (Week 13)
Novak, JacobJacob Novak JTG Season 4 2 5 Eliminated (Week 11)

Poll results[edit]

Rookie Week 11
(May 16)
Week 13
(May 31)
Week 15
(June 14)
Week 17
(June 28)
Week 29
(October 5)
Week 35
(November 16)
Week 59
(April 18)
Bateman, DerrickDerrick Bateman Joined Safe
(0 points)
Safe
(0 points)
Never eliminated
(0 points)
OneilTitus 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)
Young, DarrenDarren 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)
ObrianConor O'Brian Safe
(0 points)
Safe
(3 points)
Safe
(3 points)
Eliminated
(3 points)
Cannon, LuckyLucky Cannon Safe
(0 points)
Safe
(0 points)
Eliminated
(0 points)
Saxton, ByronByron Saxton Safe
(4 points)
Eliminated
(4 points)
Novak, JacobJacob Novak Eliminated
(6 points)

Developmental territory[edit]

Main article: WWE NXT

After Season 5 ended, WWE's developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling, changed its name to NXT Wrestling and its various championships were replaced by the NXT Championship and NXT Tag Team Championship. NXT thus ceased to become a seasonal competition between Rookies and instead became a developmental territory.[76]

On-air personalities[edit]

Champions[edit]

WWE NXT
Championship Current champion(s) Date won Days Held Event Notes
NXT Championship Adrian Neville February 27, 2014 185+ NXT Arrival Defeated Bo Dallas in a ladder match.[77]
NXT Tag Team Championship The Ascension September 12, 2013 353+ WWE NXT Defeated Adrian Neville & Corey Graves
Aired on tape delay on October 3, 2013[78]
NXT Women's Championship Charlotte May 29, 2014 94+ NXT Takover Charlotte defeated Natalya.

Authority figures[edit]

Authority figure Dates Position
Matt Striker February 23, 2010 (2010-02-23)–June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13) Host
Ashley Valence June 22, 2010 (2010-06-22)–August 31, 2010 (2010-08-31) Co-Host
Maryse March 8, 2011 (2011-03-08)–July 26, 2011 (2011-07-26) Co-Host
William Regal February 29, 2012 (2012-02-29)–June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13) Match Coordinator
Dusty Rhodes June 20, 2012 (2012-06-20)–September 25, 2013 (2013-09-25) Interim General Manager
Commissioner
John "Bradshaw" Layfield September 25, 2013 (2013-09-25)–August 28, 2014 (2014-08-28) General Manager
William Regal August 28, 2014 (2014-08-28)-present General Manager

On August 24, Maryse underwent surgery for an abdominal hernia and was on medical leave from WWE, therefore Maryse's role as co-host ended. She would later be released from WWE on October 28, 2011 and would not return to NXT. As of November 2011, there is no official co-host.

Dusty Rhodes was named Interim General Manager of NXT on June 20, 2012, which coincided with the rebranding of NXT into a full scale developmental promotion. On the August 29, 2012 episode (taped July 29, 2012) of NXT, Rhodes was noted as the NXT Commissioner.

On September 25, 2013, WWE COO Triple H relieved Dusty Rhodes of his duties and replaced him with John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

On August 28, 2014, Triple H announced that William Regal was named NXT General Manager.

Commentators[edit]

Commentators Dates
Michael Cole and Josh Mathews March 23, 2010 (2010-03-23)–September 14, 2010 (2010-09-14)
September 28, 2010 (2010-09-28)-November 30, 2010 (2010-11-30)
January 18, 2012 (2012-01-18)
Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and CM Punk September 21, 2010 (2010-09-21)
Todd Grisham and Josh Mathews December 7, 2010 (2010-12-07)–March 1, 2011 (2011-03-01)
Todd Grisham and William Regal March 8, 2011 (2011-03-08)–April 12, 2011 (2011-04-12)
April 26, 2011 (2011-04-26)
May 17, 2011 (2011-05-17)–May 24, 2011 (2011-05-24)
June 7, 2011 (2011-06-07)–August 23, 2011 (2011-08-23)
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker1 May 3, 2011 (2011-05-03)–May 10, 2011 (2011-05-10)
Todd Grisham and Michael Cole2 May 31, 2011 (2011-05-31)
Jack Korpela and William Regal September 6, 2011 (2011-09-06)–November 3, 2011 (2011-11-03)
Jack Korpela and Michael Cole2 September 13, 2011 (2011-09-13)
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker3 November 9, 2011 (2011-11-09)–December 28, 2011 (2011-12-28)
Matt Striker and William Regal4 November 23, 2011 (2011-11-23)
January 4, 2012 (2012-01-04)–January 11, 2012 (2012-01-11)
Josh Mathews and William Regal6 April 19, 2011 (2011-04-19)
November 16, 2011 (2011-11-16)
January 25, 2012 (2012-01-25)–June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13)
Matt Striker and Guest Commentators5 April 25, 2012 (2012-04-25)
Jim Ross and Byron Saxton June 27, 2012 (2012-06-27)–July 4, 2012 (2012-07-04)
Byron Saxton, William Regal and Jim Ross7 July 11, 2012 (2012-07-11)–October 17, 2012 (2012-10-17)
Jim Ross and William Regal June 20, 2012 (2012-06-20)
October 24, 2012 (2012-10-24)–October 31, 2012 (2012-10-31)
Tony Luftman and William Regal October 24, 2012 (2012-10-24)–October 31, 2012 (2012-10-31)
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Tony Dawson and Brad Maddox8 November 7, 2012 (2012-11-07)–July 31, 2013 (2013-07-31)
Tony Dawson, William Regal, Tom Phillips and Alex Riley8 August 7, 2013 (2013-08-07)–September 20, 2013 (2013-09-20)
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Byron Saxton, Alex Riley, Jason Albert and Renee Young September 20, 2013 (2013-09-20)–April 3, 2014 (2014-04-03)
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Byron Saxton, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley, Jason Albert and Renee Young April 10, 2014 (2014-04-10)–present
Notes
  1. ^ Matt Striker became the alternate color commentator on NXT beginning May 3, 2011 (2011-05-03) due to Regal's increased in-ring schedule (Regal would continue as commentator when he wasn't wrestling). This ended on the May 17, 2011 (2011-05-17) edition of NXT when Regal would return to the announce table as normal.
  2. ^ ^ Michael Cole served as special guest color commentator on NXT for the May 31, 2011 (2011-05-31) broadcast substituting for an absent William Regal. Cole would also substitute for Regal again on commentary on the September 13, 2011 (2011-09-13) broadcast due to Regal and Striker competing in a match that night.
  3. ^ Matt Striker and Josh Mathews were guest commentators on NXT for the November 9, 2011 (2011-11-09) broadcast substituting for the absent William Regal and Jack Korpela. Striker and Mathews returned to commentary the following 2 weeks because Jack Korpela's contract with the WWE had expired and he opted not to renew.
  4. ^ Matt Striker and William Regal commentated the November 23, 2011 (2011-11-23) edition of NXT, due to Mathews being absent.
  5. ^ Josh Mathews was absent from NXT after being attacked by Brock Lesnar on the April 23, 2012 (2012-04-23) episode of Raw.
  6. ^ On the April 19, 2011 (2011-04-19) edition of NXT, Josh Mathews was substituting for an absent Todd Grisham. This repeated on November 16, 2011 (2011-11-16), but, this time, he was substituting for an absent Jack Korpela, who would later be released from his WWE contract.
  7. ^ ^ Jim Ross only called the main event.

Ring announcers[edit]

Ring announcer Dates
Savannah February 23, 2010–June 1, 2010
Jamie Keyes June 8, 2010–August 24, 2010
Justin Roberts December 7, 2010
March 8, 2011
September 13, 2011
Tony Chimel* August 31, 2010–November 30, 2010
December 14, 2010–March 1, 2011
March 15 – November 30, 2011
December 28, 2011–January 11, 2012
January 26, 2012–June 13, 2012
Eden July 12, 2011
November 9, 2011
December 7, 2011–December 21, 2011
Lilian Garcia January 18, 2012
Caylee Turner, Summer Rae and Chris Russo June 20, 2012–October 17, 2012
Howard Finkel Main Event, July 29, 2012 (aired August 29, 2012)
Summer Rae and Byron Saxton October 24, 2012-February 14, 2013
Byron Saxton, Kendall Skye, Alexa Bliss, Eden and Veronica Lane February 14, 2013–present

(*) If Chimel was absent from the NXT/SmackDown tapings, he would have been substituted as ring announcer by Raw's Justin Roberts or WWE Superstars' Eden, who would also serve as SmackDown's ring announcer for that week's episode. Effective December 8, 2011, Chimel has been replaced by Lilian Garcia on SmackDown and Eden Stiles has picked up Chimel's NXT announcing duties until December 13, 2011. On December 21, prior to NXT to be uploaded on WWE.com, Stiles would announce that she asked for her release from WWE a day after her final Superstars and NXT appearances have been recorded.

Production[edit]

On February 2, 2010, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that a new weekly program would replace the canceled ECW in its time slot on Syfy. McMahon described the show as "the next evolution of WWE; the next evolution of television history."[79]

On the February 4, 2010 episode of WWE Superstars, the new show's name was announced as WWE NXT.[80] The name was later discovered to be trademarked already in the United Kingdom by National Wrestling Alliance affiliate Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA) which also used "NXT" as their brand for upcoming stars. Both parties ultimately reached an agreement that resulted in SWA releasing the "NXT" trademark in favor of a new one before the show's debut.[81][82]

The show's format was revealed in an article by Variety on February 16, with a press release from WWE made shortly later that day.[1][3] NXT is the second reality-based series produced by WWE, the first being WWE Tough Enough which aired between 2001 to 2004.[1] Due to WWE's nature of airing weekly shows without hiatus, the current plan for NXT is to split the year's set of episodes into multiple seasons.[1]

In March 2010, WWE announced that their show WWE SmackDown would move to Syfy in October, with NXT leaving the network at the same time.[4] The show aired its final episode on Syfy on September 28.[6][83] Shortly after their March announcement, WWE also stated their intent of looking for another channel to broadcast the show.[5] Despite their initial comments, WWE began to air the show as a webcast on their official website for American visitors as of October 2010.

The current opening theme song for the show is "Roar of the Crowd" by CFO$. "Welcome Home" by Coheed and Cambria was used from June 2012 - February 2014. The American Bang song "Wild and Young" had been used for each reality show season with the exception of the third season.[84] During season three, the show's opening theme song was "You Make the Rain Fall" by Kevin Rudolf.[85][86] Also promoting it as an "official theme song" for the show, WWE NXT used "Get Thru This" by Art of Dying as bumper music during the initial five seasons of the show.[87]

International broadcasters[edit]

Country Network Ref
Arab World OSN [88][89][90]
Australia Fox8 [91]
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka TEN Sports [92][93][94]
Cambodia Cambodian Television Network [95]
Canada WWE Network [96]
France Action [97]
Germany
Austria
Switzerland
Luxembourg
Liechtenstein
ProSieben Fun [98]
Italy Sky Italia [99]
Japan J Sports 1 [100]
Malaysia Astro SuperSport [101]
Mexico Viva Sports [102]
Philippines Fox [103]
Poland Extreme Sports Channel [104]
Portugal SportTV 3 [105]
Romania Sport.ro
Singapore SuperSports
South Africa e.tv [106]
Taiwan Videoland Max-TV [107]
Ukraine QTV
Mega
[108]
United Kingdom and Ireland Sky Sports 3
Sky Sports 3 HD
[109][110]

See also[edit]

  • WWE NXT, the promotion formerly known as Florida Championship Wrestling that now showcases its talent on WWE's NXT TV series.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]