The NXT Championship belt with default side plates
|Date established||July 1, 2012|
|Current champion(s)||Drew McIntyre|
|Date won||August 19, 2017|
The NXT Championship is a professional wrestling world championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE on their developmental brand NXT. Introduced on July 1, 2012, it is the top championship of NXT. Seth Rollins was the inaugural champion. The current champion is Drew McIntyre, who is in his first reign.
Although its original status within the WWE championship hierarchy was unclear, WWE officially recognized the NXT Championship as a world championship on August 19, 2017, upon McIntyre's win at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, as per the match description on WWE.com.
The championship was first introduced on the July 1, 2012 edition of NXT when NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes announced a "Gold Rush" tournament, featuring four developmental roster NXT Superstars and four main roster WWE Superstars competing to be crowned as the inaugural NXT Champion in a knockout system format, replacing the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship that was retired in the same month after merger of FCW. 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 April 1, 2017 at WrestleMania Axxess, NXT General Manager William Regal announced that all of the NXT title belts would be 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 features removable side plates with the WWE logo as default plates, which are customized with the current champion's logos as a similarity of the name plate feature.
As of October 23, 2017, there have been 13 championship reigns with 11 different champions. 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 (WWE recognizes it at 293), while Samoa Joe's second reign is the shortest at 14 days. 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.
Drew McIntyre is the current champion in his first reign. He won the title by defeating Bobby Roode at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III in Brooklyn, New York on August 19, 2017. McIntyre is the first wrestler to have won the title after having already been on the main roster as well as winning a main roster title. With McIntyre's win, the title became recognized as a world championship as per WWE's match description on WWE.com.
|Reign||The reign number for the wrestler listed|
|Location||The city in which the title was won|
|Event||The event in which the title was won|
|+||Indicates the current reign is changing daily|
|1||Seth Rollins||1||July 26, 2012||133||Winter Park, FL||NXT||Defeated Jinder Mahal in the tournament final to become the inaugural champion.
WWE recognizes Rollins' reign as lasting 134 days, beginning on August 29, 2012 and ending on January 9, 2013, both episodes of which aired on tape delay.
|2||Big E Langston||1||December 6, 2012||168||Winter Park, FL||NXT||This was a no disqualification match.
WWE recognizes Big E's reign as lasting 154 days, beginning on January 9, 2013 and ending on June 12, 2013, both episodes of which aired on tape delay.
|3||Bo Dallas||1||May 23, 2013||280||Winter Park, FL||NXT||WWE recognizes Dallas' reign as lasting 261 days, beginning on June 12, 2013, when the episode aired on tape delay.|||
|4||Adrian Neville||1||February 27, 2014||287||Winter Park, FL||NXT Arrival||This was a ladder match.|||
|5||Sami Zayn||1||December 11, 2014||62||Winter Park, FL||NXT TakeOver: R Evolution||This was a title vs. career match. If Zayn had lost, he would have voluntarily quit NXT.
WWE recognizes Zayn's reign as lasting 63 days.
|6||Kevin Owens||1||February 11, 2015||143||Winter Park, FL||NXT TakeOver: Rival||Owens won when the referee decided that Sami Zayn was unable to continue.|||
|7||Finn Bálor||1||July 4, 2015||292||Tokyo, Japan||The Beast in the East||WWE recognizes Bálor's reign as lasting 293 days.|||
|8||Samoa Joe||1||April 21, 2016||121||Lowell, MA||Live event||WWE recognizes Joe's reign as lasting 122 days.|||
|9||Shinsuke Nakamura||1||August 20, 2016||91||Brooklyn, NY||NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II||WWE recognizes Nakamura's reign as lasting 92 days.|||
|10||Samoa Joe||2||November 19, 2016||14||Toronto, ON||NXT TakeOver: Toronto|||
|11||Shinsuke Nakamura||2||December 3, 2016||56||Osaka, Japan||NXT||An edited version of this match aired on the December 7, 2016 episode.
The full match aired on the December 28, 2016 episode.
WWE recognizes Nakamura's reign as lasting 57 days.
|12||Bobby Roode||1||January 28, 2017||203||San Antonio, TX||NXT TakeOver: San Antonio|||
|13||Drew McIntyre||1||August 19, 2017||65+||Brooklyn, NY||NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III||The title became recognized as a world championship, according to this match's description on WWE.com.|||
As of October 23, 2017.
|†||Indicates the current champion|
|Combined days||Combined days
recognized by WWE
|1||Bálor, FinnFinn Bálor||1||292||293|
|2||Neville, AdrianAdrian Neville||1||287|
|3||Dallas, BoBo Dallas||1||280||261|
|4||Roode, BobbyBobby Roode||1||203|
|5||Langston, Big EBig E Langston||1||168||154|
|6||Nakamura, ShinsukeShinsuke Nakamura||2||147||149|
|7||Owens, KevinKevin Owens||1||143|
|8||Joe, SamoaSamoa Joe||2||135||136|
|9||Rollins, SethSeth Rollins||1||133||134|
|10||McIntyre, DrewDrew McIntyre †||1||65+|
|11||Zayn, SamiSami Zayn||1||62||63|
- WWE officially recognizes it as 293 days
- "NXT Championship". WWE. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
[...] Drew McIntyre captured a world championship in a WWE ring
- 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.
- "Seth Rollins' first reign". NXT Wrestling. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- "NXT spoilers: New champion, The Shield involved, Nash's role, Hall of Famer at next TV taping". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- Santiago, Andres. "5/23 NXT spoilers from Full Sail University". PWInsider. Retrieved 24 May 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.
- 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.