Before NXT was rebranded as WWE’s developmental territory in Season 6, and before the redundant 67-week NXT Redemption in Season 5, NXT was actually a competition.
From its inception in 2010 to early 2011—when NXT Redemption became just another version of Superstars—NXT managed to produce four seasons of apparent “reality” programming. Well, as close as the industry really comes to reality.
Just like WWE Tough Enough or TNA’s Gut Check, the prize for winning the first four seasons of NXT was a contract.
Looking through the list of NXT alumni, it hasn’t necessarily been the winners whose careers have truly taken off. In Season 1, Daniel Bryan was the first contestant eliminated; however, he remains the only former NXT competitor to have claimed a World Championship.
In the all-female Season 3 of NXT, AJ came in third place; however today, as the Raw General Manager, she sees more TV time than any other female within the company.
Just because someone won NXT there are no guarantees that they’ll ever amount to anything within the WWE. Some haven’t and others continue to work their way up the ranks.
Let’s see who you remember and who you’ve forgotten, as we rank the careers of the four NXT winners to date.