The championship was first introduced on April 5, 2013, at WrestleMania Axxess. It was announced at the May 30, 2013, tapings (broadcast on the June 5 episode) of NXT, by Stephanie McMahon that there would be a tournament, featuring four developmental Divas and four Divas from the main roster competing to be crowned as the inaugural NXT Women's Champion in a knockout system format. The first NXT Women's Champion was crowned on June 20, 2013 (aired on tape delay on July 24, 2013), with Paige defeating Emma in the tournament finals.
Paige successfully defended her title at NXT Arrival against Emma using her new Scorpion Cross-Lock, but John "Bradshaw" Layfield stripped Paige of the title on the April 24 episode of NXT in order to give the Divas on NXT a chance, as Paige had been brought up to the main roster upon defeating AJ Lee for the Divas Championship.
A new tournament was started the following week. The finals occurred at NXT TakeOver and Charlotte defeated Natalya to win the vacant NXT Women's Championship. On the September 16 episode of NXT, General Manager William Regal announced that Bayley would defend her title against Sasha Banks in the main event at NXT TakeOver: Respect on October 7 in the first ever 30-minute Iron Woman match in WWE history. At the event, Bayley defeated Banks to retain the championship, scoring the win with 3 falls to 2.
On April 1, 2017, at WrestleMania Axxess, NXT General Manager William Regal announced that all of the NXT titles would be redesigned. The new titles were unveiled at NXT TakeOver: Orlando that same night and given to the winners of their respective matches.