WWE NXT Championship

The NXT Championship can be considered as one of the most important titles in professional wrestling. NXT brand has grown immensely in the past few years with its loyal fan-base and this championship signifies who sits on the top of the mountain of this brand. This championship has also served as an introduction for many upcoming stars who have no made their way to the main roster and are thriving in that environment.

History of the NXT Championship

The NXT Championship was introduced in 2012 during the early days of NXT as a reality show competition. Seth Rollins became the inaugural champion by winning an eight-man tournament. Initially seen as a secondary title, it quickly gained prestige and is now one of the most coveted titles in wrestling.

In 2013, NXT changed it's reality show format to turn into a developmental brand and pushing top talents to refine their skills and go after the top title of the brand. Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura are some of the main roster stars that started their journey by winning this prestigious title. It has been defended at NXT TakeOver events and main roster shows like SummerSlam and Survivor Series. The NXT Championship serves as a stepping stone for rising stars in NXT. At Worlds Collide 2022, the NXT UK Championship was unified with the NXT Championship, further enhancing its prestige as the unified NXT Championship.

Ilja Dragunov Names Three Dream Opponents On WWE's Main Roster -  eWrestlingNews.com

Current NXT Champion: Ilja Dragunov defeated Carmelo Hayes on September 30th, 2023 at NXT No Mercy to become the new NXT Champion.

List of NXT Champions

ChampionDateDays Recog.
Seth RollinsJuly 26, 2012133
Big EDecember 6, 2012153
Bo DallasMay 23, 2013260
NevilleFebruary 27, 2014286
Sami ZaynDecember 11, 201462
Kevin OwensFebruary 11, 2015142
Finn BalorJuly 4, 2015292
Samoa JoeApril 21, 2016121
Shinshuke NakamuraAugust 20, 201691
Samoa JoeNovember 19, 201613
Shinsuke Nakamura December 3, 201656
Robert RoodeJanuary 28, 2017202
Drew McIntyreAugust 19, 201791
AndradeNovember 18, 2017139
Aleister BlackApril 7, 2018108
Tommaso CiampaJuly 18, 2018237
Johnny GarganoApril 5, 201957
Adam ColeJune 1, 2019403
Keith LeeJuly 8, 202044
Karrion KrossAugust 22, 20203
VacatedAugust 26, 2020-
Finn BalorSeptemeber 8, 2020212
Karrion KrossApril 8, 2021136
Samoa JoeAugust 22, 202120
Tommaso CiampaSeptember 14, 2021111
Bron Breakker November 22, 202163
Dolph Ziggler March 8, 202227
Bron Breakker April 4, 2022362
Carmelo HayesApril 1, 2023182
Ilja DragunovSeptember 30, 20231+

NXT Championship and WWE's Main Roster

The NXT Championship is undeniably the most prestigious title within NXT, and it holds immense significance in shaping the careers of rising talents. It serves as a springboard for these young stars to reach new heights and achieve remarkable success on WWE's main roster. The history speaks for itself: Drew McIntyre toppling the beast and claiming the coveted WWE Championship, Seth Rollins ascending to the pinnacle by capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and Kevin Owens making a resounding impact by defeating John Cena and clinching the U.S Championship. These triumphs highlight the pivotal role that the NXT Championship plays in the industry. It propels budding talents, hones their skills, and propels them to the forefront of the wrestling world. Its ongoing mission is to continue fostering the growth of exceptional talents, ensuring that WWE possesses a world-class roster capable of captivating audiences worldwide.


Who was the first NXT Champion?

Seth Rollins is the first-ever NXT Champion. He won the title in 2012 after defeating Jinder Mahal in the tournament fianls.

Who is the current NXT Champion?

Ilja Dragunov is the current NXT Champion in his first reign.

Who is the longest-reigning NXT Champion?

Adam Cole held the NXT Championship for 396 days, the most by any superstar in one single reign. Overall, Finn Balor has been the NXT Champion for a combined 503 days.