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Added by jordanwiles94 on 11 Mar 2021 10:45
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WWE NXT Women's Championship History

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The NXT Women's Championship is a women's professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, defended on their NXT brand division. It is one of the top singles championships for women among WWE's three main brands, along with the WWE Raw Women's Championship on Raw and the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship on SmackDown. The current champion is Io Shirai, who is in her first reign.

Introduced on April 5, 2013, the title was established as the women's championship for NXT, which at the time was a developmental territory for WWE. The inaugural champion was Paige. Over the years, NXT grew to become WWE's third major brand, which became official in September 2019 when NXT was moved to the USA Network.

In June 2012, WWE established NXT as their developmental territory, replacing Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). The following year on April 5, the NXT Women's Championship was introduced during WrestleMania Axxess. On the May 30 tapings of NXT (aired June 5), WWE's Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon announced that there would be an eight-woman single-elimination tournament, featuring four women from NXT and four from WWE's main roster competing to be crowned the first NXT Women's Champion.[1][2][3] During the June 20 tapings of NXT (aired July 24), Paige defeated Emma in the tournament final to become the inaugural champion.[4]

Paige successfully defended her title at Arrival against Emma, however, then-NXT General Manager John "Bradshaw" Layfield stripped Paige of the title on the April 24, 2014 episode of NXT, as Paige had recently won the WWE Divas Championship, and was in turn promoted to WWE's main roster. A new tournament began the following week. The finals occurred at TakeOver where Charlotte defeated Natalya to win the vacant NXT Women's Championship. On the September 16, 2015 episode of NXT, now NXT General Manager William Regal announced that Bayley would defend her title against Sasha Banks in the main event at TakeOver: Respect on October 7 in the first-ever 30-minute Iron Woman match in WWE history.[5] At the event, Bayley defeated Banks to retain the championship, scoring the win with 3 falls to 2.[6][7]

Although NXT had been established as WWE's developmental territory, over the years it grew to establish itself as WWE's third major brand. This would become official in September 2019 when NXT was moved to the USA Network. This also made the NXT Women's Championship one of the top three singles titles for women in WWE, along with the WWE Raw Women's Championship—which had replaced the Divas title in 2016—and WWE SmackDown Women's Championship.[8] This was validated in 2020; first, Charlotte Flair (previously known as just Charlotte) won the 2020 Women's Royal Rumble and chose to challenge for the NXT Women's Championship at WrestleMania 36, becoming the first Rumble winner to challenge for an NXT title, and secondly, the title became the first NXT championship to be defended at a WrestleMania where during WrestleMania 36 Part 2, Flair defeated defending champion Rhea Ripley to win her record-tying second NXT Women's Championship.[9]

In January 2020, WWE briefly began referring to the women's championship as the "NXT Championship" to bring it on an equal level as the men's title,[10] though reverted back to calling it the NXT Women's Championship soon after; it remained as NXT Women's Championship on the official title history during this time.

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