clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Finn Bálor is the longest reigning 'developmental' champ in WWE history

WWE Network

As Wikipedia and redditor Hypthekid tell us, Finn Bálor has tied Adrian Neville as the longest reigning NXT champion, effective tomorrow (Sunday, April 17, 2016).

It may be a tad presumptuous to discuss this honor before he officially has held the title for 288 days, but it's unlikely he's losing it a house show - and he hasn't been working live events for either the main roster or NXT this weekend, anyway.

More interesting than even the NXT record, is that this will give him the longest run with a top strap for any promotion/territory WWE used for "developmental purposes - including Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), Deep South Wrestling (DSW) and Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA).

Times have obviously changed, and NXT is the most widely promoted and likely lucrative of any of those entities. Plus, the presence of guys like Austin Aries, Samoa Joe and, some would argue, Bálor himself make it clear "developmental" isn't the only thing NXT is tasked with by the parent company.

Worth thinking about if being the champ of a farm system - even one as historically successful as NXT - is a bit of a dubious distinction.

Or, if you don't believe that to be the case, at least wonder if the 34 year old isn't spending more of his prime working gyms and rec centers than he should, when he conceivably could be working 10,000 seat venues multiple times a week with WWE.

Thoughts, Cagesiders?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats