NXT (WWE brand)

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Template:Infobox brand NXT is a brand of the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, introduced on February 23, 2010. For its first two years, NXT was a reality-based television show in which rookies competed to become a star in WWE. NXT re-branded in 2012 and replaced Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) as WWE's farm system (developmental territory) for their main roster (Raw and SmackDown). However, over time wrestling experts and fans came to view it as its own distinct entity.

Originally holding its shows primarily in the Orlando, Florida area, NXT expanded its reach over time, having embarked on national and international tours, being praised for its high quality of wrestling[1][2] and for captivating storylines.[3][4] NXT's status was elevated when its eponymous TV series moved to the cable network USA in September 2019, and when it became included at that year's Survivor Series event.

WWE now promotes NXT as their third main brand, but some independent journalists still refer to and view NXT as developmental with Raw and SmackDown as the "main roster".

History

Beginning

NXT was formed in 2010, following the dissolution of the ECW brand. Initially, the NXT trademark was disputed between WWE and Scotland's Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA), whose developmental division was also called NXT.[5] WWE worked with SWA to secure the NXT trademark for their new series with SWA's developmental branch being renamed "SWA: Source."[6] In February 2010, WWE debuted the NXT television program, the program featured rookies from WWE's Tampa, Florida-based developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) competing to become members of WWE's main roster. In June 2012, WWE ceased operating FCW, instead running all of its developmental events and operations at Full Sail University under the WWE NXT banner.[7] The television show would also be revamped the same month to focus exclusively on developmental talent.

Expansion

WWE chairman Vince McMahon (left) with son-in-law and NXT founder/executive director Paul "Triple H" Levesque

On February 27, 2014, NXT held a live, two-hour event, NXT Arrival, serving as the first live wrestling event for the newly launched WWE Network service.[8][9] After the second live event in May 2014, NXT TakeOver, the "TakeOver" name would be used for future live NXT events airing on WWE Network. In March 2015, NXT promoted its first live event outside of Florida with an event in Columbus, Ohio.[10] On August 22, 2015, NXT held its first TakeOver event outside of Full Sail University, with NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn at New York City's Barclays Center—acting as a support event for SummerSlam. In December of the same year, NXT held its first TakeOver event outside of the United States with NXT TakeOver: London. By 2016, NXT was running approximately 200 shows per year between the United States and overseas.[11]

On August 20, 2019, it was announced that the NXT television series would move to USA Network—the current broadcaster of WWE's flagship Monday Night Raw—and expand into a two-hour, live broadcast on Wednesday nights beginning September 18, 2019. The timing of the premiere coincided with SmackDown's move to FOX in October. As a result of the move, the show would compete with All Elite Wrestling (AEW)'s weekly show, Dynamite, on TNT; marking the beginning of the "Wednesday Night Wars".[12][13][14][15][16]

On October 18, 2019, Drake Maverick – who himself was drafted to SmackDown but remained the General Manager of the 205 Live brand – announced that following the 2019 WWE Draft, he had made a talent exchange agreement with NXT General Manager William Regal, whereby NXT wrestlers (who are within the 205 pound weight limit) could also wrestle on 205 Live.[17][18] NXT founder and executive producer Paul "Triple H" Levesque would then confirm that both 205 Live and NXT UK would essentially be subsidiary brands of NXT, considering wrestlers from those brands all as being under the NXT banner.[19]

On October 31, 2019, during the Crown Jewel pay-per-view, it was announced that at Survivor Series, NXT would be included, competing directly with Raw and SmackDown as part of that event's traditional brand competition theme, confirming NXT's place as WWE's third main brand.[20] In 2020, after winning that year's women's Royal Rumble match, Charlotte Flair chose to challenge Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women's Championship at WrestleMania 36, establishing that NXT Championships are now also options for Rumble winners to choose as they are guaranteed a championship match of their choice at WrestleMania. Although WWE now promotes NXT as their third main brand,[21][22] some independent journalists still refer to and view NXT as developmental with Raw and SmackDown as the "main roster."[23][24][25][26]

The Wednesday Night Wars came to an end in April 2021, when NXT was moved to Tuesday nights.[27] After 12 NXT wrestlers were released from their contracts that August, Dave Scherer and Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider reported there had been internal talks of major changes to the brand, such as: "a new logo, new lighting, a focus on younger talents and a different format to the TV shows."[28] Dave Meltzer reported that, after having lost the ratings war with AEW, NXT will likely go back to their developmental roots, with "talent that are younger, bigger and that could someday main event at WrestleMania."[29]

Bill DeMott controversy

In late February and March 2015, several former NXT trainees previously working within WWE developmental system alleged misconduct by head trainer Bill DeMott, with Judas Devlin and Brandon Traven publicizing complaints which they claimed they had submitted to WWE management about DeMott back in March 2013 when they were still employed with WWE.[30][31] Meanwhile, other ex trainees like Briley Pierce, Derrick Bateman and independent wrestler Terra Calaway also made allegations in 2015,[30][31][32][33] while previous allegations made in 2013 by Chad Baxter and Chase Donovan were also noted.[34] They accused DeMott of making trainees perform dangerous drills,[30] physically assaulting and bullying trainees,[30][31] using homophobic and racial slurs amongst other derogatory terms[31][34] and condoning sexual harassment.[32] WWE released statements regarding some of the claims that came to light in 2013 and 2015, saying that investigations were done and no wrongdoing was found.[30][34] On March 6, 2015, DeMott denied the allegations, but resigned from WWE.[32]

Championships and accomplishments

Current championships

NXT
Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes
NXT Championship Karrion Kross 2 April 8, 2021 233 Orlando, Florida Defeated Finn Bálor at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 2
NXT North American Championship Shane Strickland 2017 (cropped).jpg Isaiah "Swerve" Scott 1 June 29, 2021 151 Orlando, Florida Defeated Bronson Reed on NXT
Million Dollar Championship Eli Drake Nov17 crop.jpg LA Knight 1 June 13, 2021 167 Orlando, Florida Defeated Cameron Grimes in a ladder match for the revived title at NXT TakeOver: In Your House
NXT Tag Team Championship Zachary Wentz at Final Act X.jpg
Dezmond Xavier at Alpha-1.jpg
MSK
(Nash Carter and Wes Lee)
1 April 7, 2021 234 Orlando, Florida Defeated Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) and Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde) in a Triple Threat Tag Team match for the vacant titles at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 1
NXT Women's Championship Victoria González 2016.jpg Raquel González 1 April 7, 2021 234 Orlando, Florida Defeated Io Shirai at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 1
NXT Women's Tag Team Championship Io Shirai - 2019-04-25 - 01 (cropped).jpg Io Shirai (pictured) and Zoey Stark 1 July 6, 2021 144 Orlando, Florida Defeated The Way (Candice LaRae and Indi Hartwell) at The Great American Bash
  • Notes
The WWE 24/7 Championship can also be defended on NXT as they are shared among the brands.[35][36]
The NXT Cruiserweight Championship is shared between NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live

Other accomplishment(s)

Championship Latest winner(s) Date won Location Notes
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic MSK
(Nash Carter and Wes Lee)
February 14, 2021 Orlando, Florida Defeated Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) in the tournament final at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day to win
Women's Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Dakota Kai and Raquel González February 14, 2021 Orlando, Florida Defeated Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart in the tournament final at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day to win

Television show

The WWE Network was the main broadcaster of NXT's eponymous television program in the United States from 2014 to 2019. Regular episodes ran for one-hour and aired on tape delay, while live NXT TakeOver events were produced periodically. Beginning on May 17, 2012, WWE began filming NXT at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, with the venue being billed on air as "Full Sail Live".[37] Tickets are available free for Full Sail students; general admission for non-students costs $10.[38]

In its original format from 2010 to 2012, the series was a seasonally-broadcast competition series that was filmed in large venues during the SmackDown tapings. The series saw "NXT Rookies" paired with "WWE Pros", with the pairs competing in challenges until one sole winner remained. As with WWE's main programming, the series followed scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters that built tension and culminated in a series of matches or challenges. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers, while storylines were produced on the weekly series.[39][40] Over the course of its five-season run, the winners of each season were Wade Barrett (Season 1), Kaval (Season 2), Kaitlyn (Season 3) and Johnny Curtis (Season 4). After NXT Redemption, the show's seasonal format was dropped.

Pay-per-view and WWE Network events

Event Date Venue Location Main event Ref.
Arrival February 27, 2014 Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship [41]
TakeOver May 29, 2014 Adrian Neville (c) vs. Tyson Kidd for the NXT Championship [42]
TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way September 11, 2014 Adrian Neville (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Tyson Kidd for the NXT Championship [43]
TakeOver: R Evolution December 11, 2014 Adrian Neville (c) vs. Sami Zayn in a Title vs. Career match for the NXT Championship [44]
TakeOver: Rival February 11, 2015 Sami Zayn (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship [45]
TakeOver: Unstoppable May 20, 2015 Kevin Owens (c) vs. Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship [46]
TakeOver: Brooklyn August 22, 2015 Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York Finn Bálor (c) vs. Kevin Owens in a Ladder match for the NXT Championship [47]
TakeOver: Respect October 7, 2015 Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks in a 30-minute Iron Man match for the NXT Women's Championship [48]
TakeOver: London December 16, 2015 SSE Arena Wembley, London, England Finn Bálor (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship [49]
TakeOver: Dallas April 1, 2016 Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, Texas Finn Bálor (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship [50]
TakeOver: The End June 8, 2016 Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida Samoa Joe (c) vs. Finn Bálor in a Steel Cage match for the NXT Championship [51]
TakeOver: Brooklyn II August 20, 2016 Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York Samoa Joe (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship [52]
TakeOver: Toronto November 19, 2016 Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship [53]
TakeOver: San Antonio January 28, 2017 Freeman Coliseum San Antonio, Texas Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship [54]
TakeOver: Orlando April 1, 2017 Amway Center Orlando, Florida Bobby Roode (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NXT Championship [55][56]
TakeOver: Chicago May 20, 2017 Allstate Arena Rosemont, Illinois The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) (c) vs. DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) in a Ladder match for the NXT Tag Team Championship [57]
TakeOver: Brooklyn III August 19, 2017 Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York Bobby Roode (c) vs. Drew McIntyre for the NXT Championship [52][58]
TakeOver: WarGames November 18, 2017 Toyota Center Houston, Texas Sanity (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young, and Killian Dain) vs. The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) and Roderick Strong vs. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O'Reilly) in a WarGames match [59][60]
TakeOver: Philadelphia January 27, 2018 Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Andrade "Cien" Almas (c) vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship [61][62][63]
TakeOver: New Orleans April 7, 2018 Smoothie King Center New Orleans, Louisiana Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa in an unsanctioned match [64][65]
TakeOver: Chicago II June 16, 2018 Allstate Arena Rosemont, Illinois Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa in a Chicago Street Fight [66][67]
U.K. Championship June 26, 2018 Royal Albert Hall Kensington, London, England Pete Dunne (c) vs. Zack Gibson for the WWE United Kingdom Championship [68]
TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 August 18, 2018 Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Johnny Gargano in a Last Man Standing match for the NXT Championship [69][70]
TakeOver: WarGames November 17, 2018 Staples Center Los Angeles, California Pete Dunne, Ricochet, and War Raiders (Hanson and Rowe) vs. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong) in a WarGames match [71][72][73]
TakeOver: Phoenix January 26, 2019 Talking Stick Resort Arena Phoenix, Arizona Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Aleister Black for the NXT Championship [74][75]
Halftime Heat February 3, 2019 WWE Performance Center Orlando, Florida Aleister Black, Ricochet and Velveteen Dream vs. Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa [76]
TakeOver: New York April 5, 2019 Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole in a two-out-of-three falls match for the vacant NXT Championship [77]
TakeOver: XXV June 1, 2019 Webster Bank Arena Bridgeport, Connecticut Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship [78]
TakeOver: Toronto August 10, 2019 Scotiabank Arena Toronto, Ontario Adam Cole (c) vs. Johnny Gargano in a two-out-of-three falls match for the NXT Championship [79]
TakeOver: WarGames November 23, 2019 Allstate Arena Rosemont, Illinois Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, and Kevin Owens vs. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, and Roderick Strong) in a WarGames match [80][81]
TakeOver: Portland February 16, 2020 Moda Center Portland, Oregon Adam Cole (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Championship [82]
TakeOver: In Your House June 7, 2020 Full Sail University Winter Park, Florida Charlotte Flair (c) vs Rhea Ripley vs Io Shirai for the NXT Women's Championship [83]
TakeOver XXX August 22, 2020 Keith Lee (c) vs. Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship [84]
TakeOver 31 October 4, 2020 Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center Orlando, Florida Finn Bálor (c) vs. Kyle O'Reilly for the NXT Championship [85]
TakeOver: WarGames December 6, 2020 The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish) vs. Team McAfee (Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne, Danny Burch, and Oney Lorcan) in a WarGames match [86]
TakeOver: Vengeance Day February 14, 2021 Finn Bálor (c) vs. Pete Dunne for the NXT Championship [87]
TakeOver: Stand & Deliver April 7, 2021 Io Shirai (c) vs. Raquel González for the NXT Women's Championship [88]
April 8, 2021 Finn Bálor (c) vs. Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship
TakeOver: In Your House June 13, 2021 Karrion Kross (c) vs. Kyle O'Reilly vs. Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Pete Dunne in a Fatal 5-Way match for the NXT Championship [89]
NXT TakeOver 36 August 22, 2021 Capitol Wrestling Center at the WWE Performance Center Orlando, Florida

See also

References

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External links

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