NXT North American Championship
|NXT North American Championship|
|Date established||March 7, 2018|
|Current champion(s)||Cameron Grimes|
|Date won||April 2, 2022|
The NXT North American Championship is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, defended on their NXT brand division. The current champion is Cameron Grimes, who is in his first reign.
The championship was introduced during the March 7, 2018, tapings of NXT (aired March 28) and the inaugural champion was Adam Cole. At the time, NXT was still regarded as a developmental territory for WWE. In September 2019, the company began promoting NXT as its “third brand” when the NXT television program was moved to the USA Network. However, NXT was rebranded two years later, which returned it to its original function as WWE’s developmental brand. Shortly after, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship was unified into the North American Championship.
The title is distinct from the WWF North American Heavyweight Championship, as it does not carry the lineage of the former title, which was contested from 1979 to 1980.
In June 2012, WWE established NXT as their developmental territory, replacing Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). It was not until 2018, however, that a secondary championship was established for the brand. During the March 7, 2018, tapings of NXT (aired March 28), NXT General Manager William Regal announced a ladder match for TakeOver: New Orleans to determine the inaugural NXT North American Champion. Later that night, EC3, Killian Dain, Adam Cole, Ricochet, Lars Sullivan, and Velveteen Dream were announced as the participants in the match. At the event, Cole won the match to become the inaugural champion.
While NXT had originally been established as WWE’s developmental territory, the NXT North American Championship was introduced in the midst of NXT establishing itself as WWE’s third major brand. This became official when NXT was moved to the USA Network in September 2019, thus making the NXT North American Championship a third secondary title for WWE, along with the WWE Intercontinental Championship and WWE United States Championship. In September 2021, however, NXT reverted to being WWE’s developmental brand.
In January 2022, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship was unified into the North American Championship. At the special New Year’s Evil episode of NXT 2.0 on January 4, 2022, reigning North American Champion Carmelo Hayes defeated Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong. The Cruiserweight Championship was retired with Hayes going forward as North American Champion.
The championship belt was unveiled by WWE executive and NXT head Triple H on April 3, 2018. Featuring three gold plates on a thick brown leather strap, the rounded center plate features a globe that only shows the continent of North America. The banner above the globe reads “North American” and above the banner is the NXT logo. The lower banner at the bottom of the globe reads “Champion”. In what has become a prominent feature of WWE’s championship belts, the two side plates feature a removable center section which can be customized with the champion’s logos; the default side plates feature a vertical NXT logo on a globe. This was WWE’s first secondary title to feature customizable side plates. It was the only NXT championship to feature the NXT logo for the default side plates until the introduction of the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship in 2021; the other NXT championships feature the WWE logo.
As of April 2, 2022, there have been 14 reigns between 12 champions and one vacancy. The inaugural champion was Adam Cole. Velveteen Dream has the longest reign as champion at 231 days (209 days as recognized by WWE due to tape delay, but still the longest). Johnny Gargano has the most reigns at three, with his first reign being the shortest at 4 days (due to tape delay, however, WWE recognizes that Gargano’s first reign lasted 25 days, thus recognizing his second reign as the shortest at 14 days). Dream is the youngest champion at 23 years old while Damian Priest is the oldest at 37.
Cameron Grimes is the current champion in his first reign. He won the title by defeating previous champion Carmelo Hayes, Santos Escobar, Solo Sikoa, and Grayson Waller on the April 2, 2022 at Stand & Deliver in Dallas, Texas.
Johnson, Mike (March 7, 2018). “SPOILER: NEW WWE CHAMPIONSHIP CONFIRMED, HOW FIRST CHAMPION WILL BE CROWNED”. PWInsider. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- Powell, Jason (March 7, 2018). “NXT introducing new title belt during WrestleMania weekend (non match result TV taping spoiler)”. Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- WWE.com Staff (March 7, 2018). “Breaking news: NXT to debut a new championship (CAUTION: SPOILER)”. WWE. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- Moore, John. “4/7 Moore’s NXT Takeover: New Orleans live review – Andrade Almas vs. Aleister Black for the NXT Title, Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship, Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa in an unsanctioned match, ladder match for the new North American Championship”. Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on April 8, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
- “Triple H Discusses NXT as a Third Brand, Putting Talent in a Position to Succeed, More – 411MANIA”. www.411mania.com.
- Wrestlenomics Staff (October 4, 2021). “The future of WWE NXT 2.0 on the USA Network”. Wrestlenomics. Archived from the original on November 10, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
- Currier, Joseph (December 21, 2021). “TITLE UNIFICATION MATCH ADDED TO NXT NEW YEAR’S EVIL”. Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
- Holder, James (December 29, 2021). “NXT Cruiserweight Championship Set To Be Retired”. Inside the Ropes. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
- Moore, John (January 4, 2022). “1/4 NXT 2.0 results: Moore’s review of Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Title, Walter, Fabian Aichner, and Marcel Barthel vs. Riddle and MSK, Mandy Rose vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade for the NXT Women’s Title, Carmelo Hayes vs. Roderick Strong in a title unification match, AJ Styles confronts Grayson Waller”. Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
- Currier, Joseph (January 4, 2022). “WWE UNIFIES NXT NORTH AMERICAN AND CRUISERWEIGHT TITLES”. Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
- WWE.com Staff (April 3, 2018). “Triple H unveils new NXT North American Championship”. WWE.com. Archived from the original on April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.