For the better part of the last three years, The Undisputed Era has been the faces of NXT. The faction is made up of Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, and the group leader Adam Cole. The team has held every title in NXT and plowed through all the competition in front of them. However, after last Wednesday’s NXT Great American Bash show, for the first time in over 400 days, the Undisputed Era now holds no titles. With the faction now holding no ties to the black and gold brand, every wrestling fan is wondering what is next for The Undisputed Era. But, before we look at what is next, let us remember what they have already accomplished.
On August 19, 2017, NXT held its annual Summerslam weekend Takeover in Brooklyn, and the main event had Drew McIntrye challenging Bobby Roode for his NXT championship. McIntrye would come out on top only to have his celebration halted by the debut of three new superstars. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly would hop up on the apron, giving Adam Cole the opening to attack Mcintrye from behind. The three men then beat down the new NXT Champion, and the NXT Universe was introduced to The Undisputed Era, the newest trio on their screen.
Only three short months later, The Undisputed Era got their first titles in NXT. On November 29, 2017, episode of NXT, Fish and O’Reilly would defeat Sanity and become the brand-new NXT Tag Team champions. This was a very monumental reign in NXT and during this reign, there were many other accomplishments for the faction.
On April 7, 2018, for NXT Takeover: New Orleans we saw more success for this faction. In the opening match of the night in a six-man ladder match, Adam Cole would climb to success and become the first-ever NXT North American Champion. The next big moment for the faction on this night was in the Dusty Rhodes Classic final/NXT Tag Team Championship match. Bobby Fish was out with a serious knee injury so the bout saw Cole in his second match of the night teaming with O’Reilly to defend the titles against The Authors of Pain and also Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne. The odds were stacked against Cole and O’Reilly, but the world was absolutely shocked by the finish of the match. Just as Pete Dunne was about to score the win, his partner Roderick Strong would attack him and hit his finisher, the end of heartache. He then placed O’Reilly on top of Dunne for the pinfall. Strong then would grab an Undisputed Era armband, place it on his arm and become the newest member of this already powerful faction. The faction now held the tag titles, the North American title, and were the winners of the Dusty Rhodes classic.
The faction now had O’Reilly and Strong defending the tag titles while Fish was recovering from injury, and Cole was defending his North American championship. The team would lose the tag titles for only 22 days to Moustache Mountain, as they later won them back and were now on their second reign. Despite the team constantly producing good matches, they did reach a slight weak point. Cole dropped his title to Ricochet in August of 2018, and then they lost the tag titles in January of 2019. However, even in the next six months despite having no titles, the era was never forgotten.
It was June 1, 2019, when The Undisputed Era reached a new high. They were back at full strength and they took over the black and gold brand. Cole was first at Takeover 25 when he defeated fan favourite Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship and kicked off his record-breaking title reign. It was then on August 15, 2019, on an episode of NXT when Fish and O’Reilly knocked off The Street Profits for their third Tag Team Championship reign. Finally, on September 18, 2019, The Undisputed Era would accomplish the impossible when Strong defeated Velveteen Dream on an episode of NXT to become the new NXT North American Champion. The entire Undisputed Era was draped in gold and they were running NXT.
Having all the gold lasted 126 days, but every reign was entertaining and proved to the fans how special The Undisputed Era really was. However, out of all the reigns, it was Adam Cole’s that was extra special. Cole was the NXT Champion for 403 days; this was the longest reign in NXT history and most fans would agree that he was the greatest champion of all time. He brought NXT mainstream popularity, as he made appearances on Raw, Smackdown, and Survivor Series. He made the entire WWE learn who Adam Cole was and that he was running one of the best factions of all time with The Undisputed Era.
This monumental reign reached its end this past Wednesday when Keith Lee defeated Cole in a winner take all championship match. This was an amazing ending to an amazing title reign, but after three long years at the top of NXT, we all now wonder what is next. There are three possible options for the faction, and some scenarios suit them better than others and we can take a look at all three.
Staying put in NXT
This is the worst possible option for the faction, as they have already overstayed their time in NXT. Even though they have been very entertaining for three years, if they stay any longer, they will become stale and fans will turn on them. They have accomplished everything possible under the brand, and there is no more room for improvement which is why they need to head to the main roster.
Smackdown has one of the most stacked rosters in the entire WWE, and even though the Undisputed Era could have many dream matches on this brand, I think they could become lost in the shuffle. The brand already has a plethora of main event players with The Fiend and Roman Reigns, a stacked mid-card headlined by AJ Styles and Matt Riddle, and also a good tag team division with The New Day and The Usos. There is no room for the faction here, and if they will be called up, I want to see these men shine.
Lastly, is Monday Night Raw and this is the best possible option for The Undisputed Era and the way they took over NXT they can take over Raw. Raw is lacking in every division, and they could shine very easily. Their main event scene is lacking greatly, and they have no real challengers for Drew McIntrye; so, who would be better than Adam Cole himself. The tag team division is a true disaster, they constantly pair up random superstars and the matches in the division have been horrible. Then there is the ever so lost mid-card that has a 46-year-old MVP challenging for the title next. Cole, Fish, O’Reilly, and Strong would slot in nicely and if booked correctly they could be the faces of Raw for many years to come. I already have my ideal debut booked in my mind, after Drew McIntrye retains in his title defence at Summerslam have his celebration cut short just like three years earlier. It’s so perfect it writes itself, three years later on the same weekend have the Undisputed Era debut on Raw the same way they debuted in NXT by attacking Drew McIntyre to close the show. This would let everyone know who they are as they would get so much heat, and become automatic big-time players on Monday Night Raw.
Us fans can now only wait to see what really is next for the faction that is, The Undisputed Era.