The championship was first introduced on the July 1, 2012 edition of NXT when NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes announced a "Gold Rush" tournament, featuring 4 developmental roster NXT Superstars and 4 main roster WWE Superstars competing to be crowned as the inaugural NXT Champion in a knockout system format. The first NXT Champion was crowned on July 26, 2012, with Seth Rollins defeating Jinder Mahal in the tournament finals.
- Seth Rollins won the title on July 26, 2012.
- Big E Langston took the strap on December 6, 2012.
- Bo Dallas won the belt on May 23, 2013.
- Adrian Neville retrieved the belt on February 27, 2014.
- Sami Zayn won the title on December 11, 2014.
- Kevin Owens won the gold on February 11, 2015.
- Finn Balor won the title on July 4, 2015.