Ranking All NXT Champions

NXT has become one of the best wrestling experiences for fans everywhere, but how do their champions stack up when pitted against each other. Today, I will be ranking every single NXT champion so let’s get started.

16.) Sami Zayn

62 Days

Won From: Adrian Neville

Lost To: Kevin Owens

I would have gotten behind Zayn a lot more if they didn’t treat his title reign like a complete waste of time. Literally minutes after he finally won the championship and people were celebrating with him, he was blindsided by former best friend Kevin Owens. Owens continued to attack him leading up to their match which was called off by a referee and awarded Owens the title so he wouldn’t literally kill him anymore. What an awful way to have your title reign.

15.) Drew McIntyre

91 Days

Won From: Bobby Roode

Lost To: Andrade Cien Almas

There is nothing I hate more than putting McIntyre this low on the list, but to be honest his title reign was not very good. When he came back to WWE and NXT, Drew was destined for big things. That explains why he won the NXT championship so quickly. Once he got it however, there wasn’t much more Drew could have done in NXT so the call up came and he dropped the title to Almas, and spent days on the shelf with a shoulder injury.

14.) Big E Langston

168 Days

Won From: Seth Rollins

Lost To: Bo Dallas

Big E had a big task on following up Seth Rollins who was the original NXT champion. Being number two at anything is never easy and it was a lot of pressure, but overall this reign didn’t mean much because soon after Rollins debuted with the Shield on WWE programming, Big E also made his debut which meant he was giving up the championship very soon. Sure enough Bo Dallas took it off of him in the blink of an eye.

13.) Johnny Gargano

57 Days

Won From: No One (Vacated)

Lost To: Adam Cole

It is very weird to put Johnny Wrestling this low on the list, but hear me out on this one. Number one, Johnny only held the belt for 57 days which is really low for an NXT champion. Number two, he was supposed to face Tommaso Ciampa for the belt, but he ended up getting hurt so the story wasn’t as great as it could have been when they threw Adam Cole in the mix. So while having him win the belt was a great pop it wasn’t NXT’s long term plan so they took it just as quick having Cole win.

12.) Aleister Black

102 Days

Won From: Andrade Cien Almas

Lost To: Tommaso Ciampa

Aleister Black was incredible when he burst on the scene of NXT. A somewhat metal-infused anti-hero quiet character with a deadly finisher that knocked your lights out. However, when he finally won his title reign was almost on the back burner with the whole Gargano and Ciampa feud going on. When it finally came time for him to lose the belt, they did it in incredible fashion having Gargano interfere and accidentally cost Black the title.

11.) Seth Rollins

133 Days

Won From: *First Champion*

Lost To: Big E Langston

The man that started it all sadly doesn’t crack the top ten, but it really wasn’t his fault. He was the first champion to grace the new era of NXT and he wanted to be a fighting champion. While it was a nice reign, we knew that Rollins was destined for better things. So it wasn’t a surprise that he dropped the belt to Big E when he debuted with the Shield. Still, he deserves a lot of credit as the first champion, but he didn’t have to defend that often honestly.

10.) Shinsuke Nakamura

147 Combined Days

Won From: Samoa Joe (X2)

Lost To: Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode

Nakamura was such a big name being signed by NXT that people were assuming he would get a shot at the NXT Championship. Sure enough he faced Samoa Joe for the title at Takeover Brooklyn II and won. The chemistry was so good that they decided to have more matches trading the title back and forth and both men were the first and second to hold the title more than once. I really would have thought just one reign would have been the best for both men, but setting records is kind of a thing for WWE and NXT.

9.) Bobby Roode

203 Days

Won From: Shinsuke Nakamura

Lost To: Drew McInytre

The Glorious Bobby Roode makes his debut on this list at the number nine spot. I wish it could have been higher, but honestly, his feuds just weren’t that great. Roode in my mind made those feuds interesting with his heel character of being the “man” so to speak on NXT. The matches he had were great, but the storylines and build up honestly could have been better which makes him fall here.

8.) Bo Dallas

280 Days

Won From: Big E Langston

Lost To: Adrian Neville

Bo Dallas is a weird one to put a little higher than the rest, but overall it was his gimmick that made him a star in NXT. The once baby face quickly turned heel and his Bo-Lieve catchphrase went from cheering on a face to wanting his face stomped in by every competitor that faced him. This diluted character was well-received as he played his heel role amazingly. Doing this he was able to hold onto the gold for 280 days before finally being dethroned in the first Ladder Match for the NXT Championship by Adrian Neville.

7.) Samoa Joe

135 Combined Days

Won From: Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura

Lost To: Shinsuke Nakamura (X2)

Joe proved himself worthy of being known for NXT when he became the first-ever two-time NXT champion. However, like I said with Shinsuke, he probably should have just had one title run and not two. His second run lasted until 14 days for god sakes. Anyway, he still went on to do great things as the champion having battles with Nakamura and Balor and cementing his legacy as a great NXT champion. There was a time where he even got cut open against Balor and got frustrated with the refs because they kept interfering with the match to seal his wound. Awesome.

6.) Andrade Cien Almas

140 Days

Won From: Drew McIntyre

Lost To: Aleister Black

Almas’s character development was quite possibly the best transformation in the history of NXT. He went from a party boy that lost all the time to a brutish and cheating heel with the help of his new manager Zelina Vega. Together, the two reached the mountain top when Almas picked up a victory over Drew McIntyre for the belt. Overall, this was a great reign that produced a five-star match with Johnny Gargano and a solid match with Aleister Black to which he dropped the belt. His hateful attitude, spiteful nature and cheating ways won over the crowd as he was just simply an incredible NXT champion.

5.) Adrian Neville

287 Days

Won From: Bo Dallas

Lost To: Sami Zayn

Now I get it. Neville might be a bit low on my rankings, but that’s the point it’s my ranking so deal with it. Neville’s title run was an amazing one after beating Bo Dallas in the first-ever ladder match for the NXT championship. After that, he went on to have great matches with the likes of Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd. The opponents in my mind weren’t up to standard with Neville in my mind, but that is why it started off as a developmental brand. Neville and his very successful and long title reign started to break the boundaries of that though which made NXT where it is today.

4.) Adam Cole

263 Days and Counting

Won From: Johnny Gargano

Lost To: *Still Current Champion*

Adam Cole is amazing. Bay-Bay has risen to the top of the NXT mountain since he arrived on the scene with the Undisputed Era. Ever since he won the title from Gargano, he has made a true name for himself in NXT as one of the best champions to date. He has yet to lose the belt and is its current holder. How long will he be able to keep it now that most stars are hungry for a shot that will be the case? The Undisputed Era won’t be able to protect him for much longer.

3.) Kevin Owens

143 Days

Won From: Sami Zayn

Lost To: Finn Balor

While Owens might not have the number of days to back up his title reign at number three, he has one thing. He put the NXT Title on the map when he took it to the main roster and confronted John Cena. This made all the more people pay attention to NXT and to give it the respect it so rightfully deserved. Not only that, but he beat John Cena clean in his first WWE PPV match. He also took on the likes of Sami Zayn and Finn Balor who he had great matches with as well. The point being is that Owens made NXT a huge deal to watch.

2.) Finn Balor

292 Days

Won From: Kevin Owens

Lost To: Samoa Joe

The flagship for NXT at one point, Finn Balor was an incredible NXT champion and still holds the record for the longest title reign at 292 days. Whether it was himself or the Demon, Finn intensified the game with his unique style of offense and pushed boundaries to make NXT amazing to watch. He faced the likes of Kevin Owens, Apollo Crews, and Samoa Joe before Joe eventually won the belt off of him. After that Balor was quickly drafted to RAW and pushed hard and became the first ever Universal Champion, but an injury saw that stripped away from him. Now that he is back in NXT as a heel, the Prince can finally claim his right to the throne once again.

1.) Tommaso Ciampa

238 Days

Won From: Aleister Black

Lost To: *Vacated Due To Injury*

Daddy’s home! Damn, I love Tommaso Ciampa. The guy literally is the greatest thing I have ever seen in NXT and that is saying something. His reign began when Johnny Gargano accidentally clocked Aleister Black with the championship allowing for Ciampa to make the pinfall. After that, Ciampa had an excellent title match with Gargano in a last man standing match which he won. He then went on to have great title matches with the Velveteen Dream and Aleister Black. Sadly, before he and Gargano could go at it again Ciampa went down with an injury and had to vacate the title. He is the first to ever do that in NXT, and he will have it again very soon. The guy even talks to the title calling it “Goldie” and has done everything in his power and has taken every chance to get to the top. The guy is by far the greatest NXT Champion I have seen.

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