We might be witnessing the breakup of one of NXT’s most popular factions.
For weeks now, we’ve started to see cracks forming in The Undisputed Era. What started as a simple misunderstanding has now turned into high tensions that could be spelling the end for Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong as a faction.
If this is the case and the stable disbands, what would be next for all four men?
The Undisputed Era debuted at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III on August 19, 2017. Fish and O’Reilly would go on to win the NXT Tag Team Championships that November, while Cole became the inaugural NXT North American Champion at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans on April 7, 2018.
They would add to their ranks later that night, when Strong turned on his partner, Pete Dunne, and helped Cole and O’Reilly retain the NXT Tag Team Championships. Since then, they have won the tag titles one other time, beating Moustache Mountain on an episode of NXT TV.
It’s hard to argue that they have been one of the more successful factions on the black-and-yellow brand. They are only the second team in NXT history to win the tag titles more than once, and as mentioned before, Cole was the first-ever NXT North American Champion.
But now we might be seeing the beginning of the end for The Undisputed Era. Based on what has happened over the past few weeks, especially between Strong and Cole, there are several different storylines that could take place if and when the group splits up.
First off, we could possibly see a feud that pits Strong & Fish against Cole & O’Reilly. This would be an interesting spin on things, especially since Fish & O’Reilly have been a tag team (formerly known as reDRagon) since 2012.
But remember the promo the group cut on the May 1st episode of NXT? When Cole made the comment about Strong dropping the ball, O’Reilly took his side while Fish sided with Strong. This could easily lead to tension between the former teammates and cause them to pick opposing sides.
Next, Strong and Cole could have a one-on-one feud with O’Reilly & Fish on the sidelines. Cole has another shot at Johnny Gargano and the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver XXV. Who’s to say his teammate will get fed up with him and cost him the gold? This seems like the most logical step to take next; while both men are at each other’s throats, O’Reilly & Fish can be torn on whose side to take.
They’re going to come to blows at some point, it’s just a matter of time.
Maybe they could even have Cole go on his own while Strong, O’Reilly & Fish remain a stable. They could act as if they’re still The Undisputed Era and Cole could try to prove that he made the team as successful as it was.
If anything, Strong can go back to being a singles competitor while O’Reilly & Fish can continue to be a tag team. But regardless of which creative direction all four men go, one thing absolutely must happen: Cole needs to stay in the main event picture.
I’ve been saying for the longest time that he should have been NXT Champion by now, and it’s a crying shame that it hasn’t happened yet. He’s been a top champion in every promotion he’s wrestled for and has remained one of the more popular wrestlers in the industry.
At some point, he needs to hold the top prize in NXT and it needs to be sooner rather than later. But for now, he has some problems he needs to deal with in his own faction.
For all we know, this could be just a well thought out plan to catch their competition off guard. It’s happened before with other teams, so it isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility here. But if this really is the end of The Undisputed Era, it’s been one heck of a ride.
Until then, we’ll have to tune into NXT in the coming weeks to see what’s really going on.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Shalenehixon21. Thanks for reading!