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

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5. Adrian Neville

Starting our top five is Adrian Neville, who had been the longest reigning NXT Championship. He didn’t get usurped until Finn Balor hit Day 288 in 2016, allowing the Man That Gravity Forgot to keep his place in history during NXT’s hottest period.

Neville was never known as a guy with personality — not until he turned heel almost two years after joining the main roster. His NXT promos were flat and the crowd stayed quiet for him, even as the NXT Champion. The in-ring work the British star put on wasn’t subpar, though, as his Red Arrow-highlighted bouts created some special title matches.

It also helped how good of a storyline wrestler Neville was as a face in WWE NXT. This went on full display during his feud with Sami Zayn, especially their match at TakeOver: R Evolution. Neville walked a thin line between face and heel in this, but stayed on the good side after winning Zayn’s respect. This flashed the personality he had in him, which didn’t get seen until December 2016.

Neville never quite became the Face of NXT during this reign, but he looked like a credible champion all the way through. He brought the singles stars into the red-hot era of NXT TV, and gave us Zayn’s historic victory. Not too much we can fault him for on that.