WWE NXT: All 26 Champions in Brand’s History, Ranked

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13. Sami Zayn

For a while, Sami Zayn had the shortest NXT Championship reign by far at 63 days. This carried from February 2015 to December 2016, when Samoa Joe lost the belt.

Given how this list has transpired, Zayn’s reign would have probably gone near of the end of the line, only because of his lack of title defenses and how short he held the NXT Championship. However, the match and buildup to this were arguably the best in NXT history.

Zayn went through the ultimate underdog story to get to the NXT Championship, losing for months along the way. He failed in every title opportunity, including losing to Adrian Neville after being so close to getting his moment under the sun at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way.

Well, everything came to fruition for the former ROH star at TakeOver: R Evolution, as he mustered up the ability to overcome his championship-less demons and defeat Neville. It made for an all-time great celebration, and legendary turn by Kevin Owens, who beat down his former best friend on the entrance ramp.

Just two months later, Zayn lost the NXT Championship to Owens at TakeOver: Rival. It fit the storyline well, but still felt like an abrupt end to what had been an incredible climb to the top.