NXT North American Championship

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NXT North American Championship
The NXT North American Championship belt with default side plates
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandNXT
Date establishedMarch 7, 2018
Current champion(s)Oba Femi
Date wonJanuary 9, 2024
Statistics
First champion(s)Adam Cole
Most reignsJohnny Gargano
(3 reigns)
Longest reignWes Lee
(269 days)
Shortest reignTrick Williams
(3 days)
Oldest championDamian Priest
(37 years, 331 days)
Youngest championVelveteen Dream
(23 years, 164 days)
Heaviest championBronson Reed
(330 lb (150 kg))
Lightest championLeon Ruff
(157 lb (71 kg))

The NXT North American Championship is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE. It is defended as the secondary men's championship of NXT, the promotion's developmental brand. The current champion is Oba Femi, who is in his first reign. He won the title by defeating SmackDown's Dragon Lee in his NXT Breakout Tournament contract cash-in match on the January 9, 2024, episode of NXT.

The championship was introduced during the March 7, 2018, tapings of NXT (aired March 28) and the inaugural champion was Adam Cole. In September 2019, the company began promoting NXT as its "third brand" when the NXT television program was moved to the USA Network. Two years later, however, NXT reverted to its original function as WWE's developmental brand. In January 2022, 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 1981. At Stand & Deliver on April 6, 2024, a women's equivalent to the title was announced by NXT General Manager Ava.

History[edit]

Inaugural champion Adam Cole after winning the inaugural championship ladder match at TakeOver: New Orleans

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.[1][2][3] At the event, Cole won the match to become the inaugural champion.[4]

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.[5] In September 2021, however, NXT reverted to being WWE's developmental brand.[6]

In January 2022, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship was unified into the North American Championship. At the special New Year's Evil episode of NXT 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.[7][8][9][10]

Whenever the title is held by a main roster wrestler, it occasionally gets defended on main roster shows, such as when SmackDown wrestler Solo Sikoa defended it on SmackDown in September 2022.[11] Raw wrestler "Dirty" Dominik Mysterio also defended it on Raw during his first reign in 2023.[12][13][14]

Belt design[edit]

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 North American Championship in 2024;the other NXT championships feature the WWE logo.[15]

Reigns[edit]

As of April 16, 2024, there have been 22 reigns between 18 champions and two vacancies. The inaugural champion was Adam Cole. Johnny Gargano has the most reigns at three. Wes Lee's reign is the longest at 269 days, while Trick Williams' reign is the shortest reign at 3 days. Carmelo Hayes has the longest combined reign at 273 days across his two reigns. Velveteen Dream is the youngest champion, winning the title at 23 years old, while Damian Priest is the oldest, winning the title at 37.

Oba Femi is the current champion in his first reign. He won the title by defeating SmackDown's Dragon Lee in his NXT Breakout Tournament contract cash-in match on the January 9, 2024, episode of NXT in Orlando, Florida.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Breaking news: NXT to debut a new championship (CAUTION: SPOILER)". WWE. March 7, 2018. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Moore, John (7 April 2018). "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.
  5. ^ Csonka, Larry (May 10, 2016). "Triple H Discusses NXT as a Third Brand, Putting Talent in a Position to Succeed, More". 411Mania.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Currier, Joseph (December 21, 2021). "Title Unification Match Added to Nxt New Year's Evil". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  8. ^ Holder, James (December 29, 2021). "NXT Cruiserweight Championship Set To Be Retired". Inside the Ropes. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Currier, Joseph (January 4, 2022). "WWE Unifies Nxt North American and Cruiserweight Titles". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  11. ^ "SmackDown results, Sept. 16, 2022: Brawling Brutes win the right the challenge The Usos in chaotic Fatal 4-Way Match". WWE. September 16, 2022. Retrieved September 16, 2022.
  12. ^ Barnett, Jake (July 21, 2023). "WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (7/21): Barnett's review of Roman Reigns and Jey Uso set the rules of engagement, LA Knight vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Sheamus vs. Cameron Grimes in a U.S. Title Invitational four-way". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved July 22, 2023.
  13. ^ Bhat, Varun Anand (July 22, 2023). "Did Dominik Mysterio accidentally create history following SmackDown appearance? What you might have missed!". Sportskeeda. Retrieved July 22, 2023.
  14. ^ Keller, Wade (July 24, 2023). "WWE Raw Results (7/24): Keller's report on Seth-Balor contract signing, Logan Paul-Ricochet face-to-face, Stark vs. Lynch, Drew-Gunther face-to-face". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  15. ^ WWE.com Staff (April 3, 2018). "Triple H unveils new NXT North American Championship". WWE. Archived from the original on April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Moore, John (January 9, 2024). "NXT TV results (1/9): Moore's review of Tony D'Angelo and Channing Lorenzo vs. OTM for the NXT Tag Titles, Gigi Dolin vs. Cora Jade, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament begins". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 11, 2024.

External links[edit]