Adam Cole’s defection to AEW this weekend at All Out has added fuel to a frustration within many WWE fans. That frustration relates to a faction that Cole led with much success throughout his tenure with the company: The Undisputed Era.
Originally comprised of Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish, the trio dominated NXT for months before an injury to the latter forced a reshuffle. That led to Roderick Strong coming in and making himself right at home in the group before Fish’s return took the Era to another level.
By the end of 2019, Undisputed Era had won multiple NXT tag championship, several end-of-year awards, whilst Cole and Strong held the NXT and North American championships respectively.
They did it all on the Black and Gold brand, including cemented the WarGames match as a staple of theirs. Then, 2021 came about and they just…split up. The best faction the company had established since The Shield and The Wyatt Family were no more, without getting out of Full Sail.
And that is where the frustration revolves around!!
During the build-up to 2019’s Survivor Series, the four were a leading part of NXT’s invasion of the main roster, giving the first teases of what they could do. Then, during the summer of 2020, WWE tweeted out that a group of individuals were coming to RAW that night to cause havoc. Many hoped this would mean the Era would finally get called up.
Sadly, it ended up being the beginning of the Retribution angle, but imagine for a second it was actually Cole and co.
The faction warfare we saw later in the year with Hurt Business instantly becomes much more legitimate. The threat of Adam Cole to Bobby Lashley’s US title at Hell in a Cell is exponentially greater than that of Slapjack.
Pitting O’Reilly and Fish with Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander is instant money as well, and would have went a long way to establishing RAW’s tag division.
Not only that, but it goes a long way to expanding a stretched mid-card as Cole builds himself up to the world title picture and Strong continues as the work horse of the group. The establishment of big NXT feuds with the likes of Keith Lee and Ricochet, plus the prospect of encounters like Strong vs Kofi Kingston and Cole vs Randy Orton.
A Mania match we will never see
You could even get to WrestleMania and build towards a match fitting of the show between Cole and AJ Styles, with the former ReDragon facing the New Day for the tag team titles.
This is all just on RAW! You could have just as easily put the team on SmackDown and had similar magic booking dream matches like Cole vs Rollins, Strong vs Kevin Owens and booking the rematch from NXT with the Street Profits.
I was one of many who had a lot of love for the group’s feud with Pat McAfee last year and look forward to Kyle O’Reilly finally getting pushed on NXT. However, I’d happily sacrifice that for the chance at UE potentially surpassing the Shield in terms of legacy.
Then again, WWE creative would have likely messed them up so maybe Cole was right to jump ship? We’ll never know now!
The founding father and ‘higher power’ of the ESSR army, Steven oversees the operation of the Suplex Retweet podcast series and is the show’s primary host. With a broad knowledge of the industry, Steven leads discussions on a wide range of subjects from stables to WCW.
For some reason, he thinks John Cena’s real name is Allen Jones and is madly in love with Becky Lynch.