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A rift within NXT's The Undisputed Era could be imminent

The Undisputed Era is the greatest faction in NXT history
The Undisputed Era is the greatest faction in NXT history
Sanjay Dutta
ANALYST
Modified 02 Oct 2020, 12:40 IST
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NXT is going through an exciting phase. With top stars like Keith Lee and Matt Riddle moving up to the main roster and Karrion Kross sidelined due to injury, Triple H and the company had to rebuild the main event scene.

As fans have come to expect over the past few years, NXT has excelled at replacing old stars with newer talent.

With NXT moving to the USA Network, the company is positioning it as a third brand. So, the dynamics surrounding the re-shuffling of the roster have also changed.

The black and gold brand needs face who are marketable. One of the biggest acts in NXT over the past few years have been The Undisputed Era.

NXT could split up their most popular act

The quartet of Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Roderick Strong, and Kyle O'Reilly have been at the forefront of NXT's rise as a global brand. It wouldn't be a stretch to say the success story of NXT would be incomplete without the inclusion of The Undisputed Era.

While Fish and O'Reilly have steered the brand's tag division, Cole and Strong have been the standard-bearers of the singles division on the black and gold brand.

But, as they, all good things come to an end. Almost all of the major factions in wrestling history have gone through this phase. From Seth Rollins putting a steel chair through the back of Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to Randy Orton defying the authority of Triple H in Evolution, breaking up a faction has given us some incredible moments.

The Undisputed Era has been a unit since the summer of 2017. It has been more than three years since they joined forces. They have won every title there is to win in NXT.

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If they aren't joining the main roster ( which one would get to know following the upcoming draft), the only logical step would be to split the group up.

Kyle O'Reilly's recent singles push seems to be an indication of a possible split within The Undisputed Era. For the uninitiated, O' Reilly got the better of Cameron Grimes, KUSHIDA, Timothy Tatcher, and Bronson Reed last week on NXT to punch his ticket for a showdown against Finn Balor for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver 31.

The match against Balor on Sunday is O'Reilly's first crack at NXT's top prize. While the Canadian has been a tag team specialist throughout his run on the black and gold brand, he was an accomplished singles star during his time on the independent circuit. O' Reilly has held two of the most prestigious world titles in the independent scene, ROH and PWG World Championship.

One of O' Reilly's last feuds before coming to WWE was against his current UE cohort, Adam Cole. O' Reilly defeated Cole to win the ROH World Championship at Final Battle 2016. He would hold the title for a month before dropping it back to the Panama-City Playboy at Wrestle Kingdom 11.

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A feud between O' Reilly and Cole is something that is guaranteed to excite the NXT Universe. While Cole and O'Reilly are great as teammates, they are even better as opponents. Their feud in ROH during the fall of 2016-17 is proof of the incredible chemistry that they have together.

Now, there are many ways WWE can go about building this feud. The first and most obvious one would be to have O'Reilly defeat Balor to win the NXT Championship. Then, Cole could attack him during the celebration with the rest of The UE ala Triple H ousting Randy Orton from Evolution. 

While this would be an interesting and quick turn of events, it would also mean a short title reign for Finn Balor. Hotshoting the title onto O' Reilly so quickly doesn't seem to be something WWE would do. If there's one thing we know about NXT, it is that the brand has a knack for telling stories that stretch for months.

In that case, the company could have O'Reilly put on an inspiring effort during his match against Balor but come up short. The next few months would see O' Reilly chasing Balor and the NXT Championship.

In the meantime, Cole is still trying to get his career back on track following his crushing loss to Balor. While he manages to get a few wins here and there, he isn't a part of any substantial program over the next few months. So, Cole begins to doubt himself and gets frustrated with his current position. 

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This happens at a time when O'Reilly is going great guns and is a constant feature of NXT's main event scene. Cole has been supportive of his stablemate's singles endeavor, he can't help but imagine himself in O'Reilly's place. Slowly, but surely, Cole gets infected with one of the most destructive emotions known to mankind, jealously.

After a prolonged chase, O' Reilly finally manages to put Balor down and capture the NXT Championship at the TakeOver event during Royal Rumble weekend in 2021. The rest of the story would be similar to the one mentioned in the first scenario.

As the leader of The UE, Cole takes umbrage with the fact that O'Reilly has leapfrogged over him in the singles division. The built-up envy and frustration lead Cole to snap on O' Reilly.

This feud has the potential to be a rating boost for the black and gold brand. While O' Reilly chase and Cole's fall from grace would make for great weekly TV, the ultimate confrontation between the duo could become one of the most-viewed episodes of NXT since they went live on the USA Network.

A match of this magnitude deserves a big stage, and there isn't a bigger stage in wrestling than the WrestleMania weekend. Kyle O' Reilly vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship in the main event of NXT TakeOver during WrestleMania 37 weekend would blow the roof off.

If one takes into account all that's been happening over the past few weeks, it seems like The Undisputed Era's time together as a unit are numbered. 

Published 02 Oct 2020, 12:40 IST
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