WWE News

Finn Balor Becomes Longest Reigning NXT Champion

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Finn Balor has this week become the longest reigning NXT Champion in history, with his combined reigns surpassing 400 days.

Balor, who currently holds the championship in his second reign, surpassed previous record holder Adam Cole, who held the gold for a total of 396 days, before losing it to Keith Lee at The Great American Bash in July of this year.

Finn Balor initially debuted for NXT back in 2014. He would defeat Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd alongside partner Hideo Itami in his debut match, and would go on to capture the NXT Championship after defeating Kevin Owens at Beast in the East in Tokyo, Japan.

Balor made his main roster debut in July 2016, performing on Raw. Notably, ‘The Demon King’ would become the inaugural WWE Universal Champion. However, a shoulder injury suffered in a match against Seth Rollins would force Balor to relinquish the championship.

In October 2019, after a two month absence from WWE television, Balor made a shock return to NXT, officially returning to the brand. Speaking on NXT in 2020, Balor would credit his defeat against Brock Lesnar at the 2019 Royal Rumble for his return:

“Finn Balor, the best wrestler in the world, versus ‘The Beast’ Brock Lesnar. And there it is, that feeling. That feeling I hadn’t felt since NXT, that fight feeling. And you are in the fight for your life. And yes, Brock beat me that night [but] Brock made me realise what I’d been missing. That feeling I had against Samoa Joe, that feeling I had against Kevin Owens. That feeling I had in NXT.”

Balor would eventually capture the NXT Championship for the second time at NXT: Super Tuesday II, defeating Adam Cole for the vacant Championship. Balor’s next defence is at NXT: New Year’s Evil, where he will face Kyle O’Reilly, on January 6th.