TOP FIVE NXT CHAMPIONS
Article written by Dylan Devine (8/1/20)
1) Adam Cole
The “Panama City Playboy” Adam Cole currently holds the record for longest reign as NXT champion as he held the prestigious title for 403 days before losing it to Keith Lee. He defended the championship against the likes of Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, Daniel Bryan, Matt Riddle, Pete Dunne, Velveteen Dream, and Finn Balor. All title defenses were fantastic matches with the best one without a doubt being Cole vs. Gargano at NXT Takeover XXV.
2) Tomasso Ciampa
Ciampa held the NXT Championship for 237 days before having to relinquish it due to a neck injury. The matches he put on as champion were great, but the stories that went with those matches were even better. He was built up to be a real threat as champion.
3) Finn Balor
Balor won the championship off of Kevin Owens in a special WWE event in Japan in 2015. He went on to hold the title for 292 days defending against guys like Samoa Joe, Baron Corbin, and Tyler Breeze. During his time as NXT Champion he was near unstoppable.
4) Kevin Owens
Owens held the NXT Championship for five months and put on two classic matches with John Cena on the main roster. He defeated Cena at Elimination Chamber 2015 and solidified NXT as a real competitor for Raw and SmackDown. During his time as NXT Champion he was one of the hottest heels in WWE.
5) Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura is one of a few wrestlers who can say they held the NXT Championship twice. He held the championship for a combined total of 120 days. His matches with Samoa Joe were always very enjoyable.