When WWE rebranded FCW into NXT, Langston made his NXT debut on August 1, 2012, defeating Adam Mercer. This marked the start of a winning streak for Langston, who from September started repeatedly performing his finisher on his opponents and demanding that referees count to five (rather than the usual three) before awarding him pinfalls. After Langston rejected Vickie Guerrero's managerial services, Guerrero promised a $5,000 bounty to anyone who could put Langston "on the shelf"; but attempts to claim the bounty by Chad Baxter and Camacho were firmly squashed by Langston. The bounty was ultimately declared void by NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes. Langston then began to feud with The Shield, and on the January 9, 2013 episode of NXT, Langston defeated Shield member Seth Rollins in a No Disqualification match to win the NXT Championship. After successful titles defenses against Conor O'Brian, Corey Graves, Brad Maddox, and Damien Sandow, Langston eventually lost the NXT Championship to Bo Dallas on the June 12 episode of NXT.