WWE: 10 best NXT superstars in history

NXT is a huge part WWE Under several different guises since arriving on the scene in 2010.

The show was originally a reality TV show similar to Tough Enough with Wade Barrett, Husky Harris (now-).Bray Voight), Ryback and Heath Slater were rookies who graduated to the main roster.

The show later became a pure development brand Seth Rollins First NXT Champion. His reign was followed by Big E, both of whom later became WWE Champions.

From 2013/14, the show became a mix of WWE and indies wrestling, with Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Neville (now-PAC), Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and more becoming staples and champions of the brand. All was later moved to Raw and SmackDown to mixed success.

Simple storytelling with its takeover pay-per-views and generally excellent in-ring work and leadership Triple HNXT was largely viewed as the third brand, with the so-called “golden” era of 2017-19, with the black and gold facing off with Raw and SmackDown at Survivor Series 2019.

The show has been rebooted yet again, with Brawn Breaker being the current breakout star, with more development. It has moved from NXT to NXT 2.0 and back again in the past year.

With all these changes over the last 10 years, who are the best and biggest NXT stars? GiveMeSport WWE takes you through the 10 best NXT Superstars in history…


10. Sami Zain

Now- “Honorary Us” joined WWE in late 2013, making his initial mark in NXT. Back then, he was the ultimate underdog babyface and put his career on the line in his final shot at the NXT title. He won the title against Neville in one of the best moments in NXT history. He really helped lay the foundation for the success of the brand.


Sami Zayn Kevin Owens

9. Kevin Owens

Sami’s reign was short-lived, only two months in total, as it was ended by his on-off best friend KO. Owens announced his arrival in NXT with a brutal powerbomb on Zayn, but he fake celebrated his title with him. Owens was only gold and on the brand for six months, but it was around this time that NXT really started to get noticed, when he appeared on Raw to face John Cena.


8. Shayna Bassler

The “Queen of Spades” was the perfect dominant heel champion in the 2017-2019 era, becoming the first two-time NXT Women’s Champion and taking on all comers, especially Ember Moon, Rhea Ripley and Bianca Bellaire. She competed in the first women’s wargames. Her NXT excellence has yet to be foolishly replicated on the main roster.


7. Four horse women

NXT
NXT

A little cheating here, but it’s impossible to separate Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Bayley. The backbone of the women’s revolution in WWE that began in NXT in the mid-2010s. Here women debuted in main event shows, especially Takeovers, and were recognized on the same level as their male counterparts.


6. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura was a serious coup for NXT when he arrived in 2016 – one of the biggest stars not working in WWE. During his 15 months on the black and gold brand he was a two-time NXT Champion and held wrestling clinics with Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode and others. His debut match with the returning Sami Zayn was a definite treat and an example of just how good he is.


5. Asuka

Asuka
Asuka

Another Japanese megastar who was primed for the main roster when he arrived in NXT, the show outshone both Raw and SmackDown during this time. She has been the NXT Women’s Champion for 522 days and only vacated the belt due to injury. To crystallize her importance and influence, in 2016 Triple H labeled her the “anchor” of the brand and “the one person NXT can’t miss”.


4. Finn Balor

Hailing from Japan, Balor was formerly known as Fergal Devitt, the original leader of the Bullet Club. He had two spells on either side of a main roster run with NXT that saw him become Universal Champion for the first time. He dominated the Black and Gold brand, becoming NXT Champion twice, both reigns lasting over 200 days.


3. Tommaso Ciampa

“Blackheart” debuted in NXT alongside real-life friend Johnny Gargano, the two eventually won the tag titles as part of #DIY against The Revival (now-FTR) in an all-time two out of three falls match. After a long injury, Ciampa returned as a villain, attacking his former tag partner in what was arguably the show’s best rivalry. He became a two-time NXT Champion.


NXT
NXT

2. Johnny Gargano

Johnny Wrestling. Possession of Johnny. The heart and soul of NXT. This tells you everything you need to know about Gargano’s time in NXT. He is the first NXT Triple Crown Champion, winning the NXT title, three North American titles and the tag titles with Ciampa. As mentioned, his on-off feud with “Blackheart” was legendary, as were his matches with Adam Cole, cementing NXT as the best wrestling show in the world for a time.


1. Adam Cole

It seems a little unfair that Cole spent less time in NXT than Gargano and Ciampa, but his impact and influence was staggering. He was already a star in Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla but here he became extraordinary. If Triple H had his way, he would still be in WWE.

He was the leader of the best faction in NXT history, the Undisputed Era, with whom he competed in four WarGames matches. He is the longest reigning NXT Champion at 403 days. He was the inaugural North American Champion, Tag Champion, and Triple Crown Champion for the second time. He represented NXT best on the main roster, defeating Daniel Bryan in the lead-up to Survivor Series 2019. Best NXT Superstar? That’s undeniable, bye-bye!



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