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Wrestling / The Undisputed Era

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The Undisputed Era was a Professional Wrestling Power Stable composed of Adam Cole (Austin Jenkins), Bobby Fish (Robert Anthony Fish), Kyle O'Reilly (Kyle Greenwood) and Roderick Strong (Christopher Lindsey), performing in the NXT brand of WWE before moving on to All Elite Wrestling in 2021.

The stable was formed in August 2017, after NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, where Cole joined forces with the Tag Team formerly known as reDRagon (Fish and O'Reilly). Since then, the trio had a mission: to take over NXT, smashing other competitors and teams in the process. The stable was completed with the arrival of Strong, who betrayed his partner Pete Dunne in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic in NXT TakeOver: New Orleans on WrestleMania 34 weekend in 2018.

They are 3x NXT Tag Team Champions, the first team/stable in NXT history to do so, and Kyle O'Reilly the first 3x champ (Strong and Fish each have two reigns, Cole only has one). With the Era, Cole is also 1x NXT champion and the inaugural NXT North American champion, while Strong is 1x NXT North American champion.

However, eventually the End of an Era loomed, as Adam Cole turned heel on his friends with a series of Superkicks that left Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong feeling betrayed and the group in tatters. Bobby Fish was out with a tricep injury, so he missed this, and by the time he got back the stable was defunct. All four competitors continued to wrestle for NXT as singles wrestlers until August 2021, when Fish was released and Cole allowed his contract to run out without signing a new deal. Both men would later sign with All Elite Wrestling; individually at first, until Cole acknowledged Fish as an ‘old friend’ of his to The Young Bucks. Another one would soon follow: after departing NXT in December 2021, O'Reilly made his AEW debut by assisting Fish and Cole during a match the latter had with Orange Cassidy. Despite a seemingly rocky start to highlight that the last interaction between Cole and O'Reilly wasn't exactly friendly, it still marked the very first time all 3 founding members of the Undisputed Era not only joined forces, but did so outside of their old stomping grounds to boot. O'Reilly and Fish have now become associates of The Elite through their reunion with Cole, with their sub-faction now rebranded as "The Undisputed Elite".

As usual, you can find more information about them on that other wiki, Cagematch and WrestlingData.

The only worthy tropes are our tropes, and that, my friends, is Undisputed!

  • Aborted Arc: During their debut at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, the team attacked newly crowned NXT Champion Drew McIntyre, but the latter didn't retaliate in any way at all aside from briefly helping SAnitY fight them off during the build to WarGames. The only real followup was a house show NXT title defense against Cole, which NXT aired as a bonus during the final episode of 2017. Though Cole would go on to become the first ever NXT North American Champion, he wouldn't return to the proper NXT Championship scene until April 2019.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • SAnitY, Roderick Strong (before he joined them) and the Authors of Pain in the road to NXT TakeOver: WarGames.
    • In 2018, Pete Dunne, Moustache Mountain, Ricochet and the War Raiders, which eventually led to NXT TakeOver: WarGames II.
    • They continued to feud with the War Raiders early in 2019, which ended with the Modern Day Vikings snatching the Tag Team titles from Strong and O'Reilly. After the Raiders left NXT, they then feuded with the Street Profits (Fish and O'Reilly), Velveteen Dream (Strong), #DIY, Fergal Devitt, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle (Cole) and Dominik Dijakovic. While they never fought them in a tag team match, the Era also feuded with the OC prior to Survivor Series, which is rather ironic considering Adam Cole was also a member of the Bullet Club.
    • In 2020, they feuded against Pat McAfee's faction, cementing the group's collective Heel–Face Turn.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: They broke out the formal wear for a War Games IV promo (likely a The Four Horsemen Shout-Out), and tend to wear suits annually for the NXT Year-End Awards.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • They won the first WarGames match in WWE history at NXT TakeOver: WarGames.
    • Also, in NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, not only Adam Cole became the inaugural NXT North American Champion after winning a grueling ladder match, but also replaced an injured Fish to team with O'Reilly and defend their Tag Team titles with the aid of Roderick Strong's betrayal of challenging partner Pete Dunne. The latter also allowed them to both win the Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic despite not being formal participants in it, and turn their tag team title reign from a standard reign of Fish and O'Reilly into a Freebird reign involving all four members.
    • By August 2019, the Era had successfully captured all male titles on NXT.
  • Bash Brothers: Fish and O'Reilly, most often, but all four of them can and have teamed together.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: As he has done before, Cole can't stand anyone in his faction achieving more fame or respect than he has. Kyle O'Reilly's failed title run against Finn Bálor apparently woke Cole up, and O'Reilly's apparent attempt to join forces with Bálor set him off; Cole turned on O'Reilly, superkicking him right after Bálor. He made it clear that his focus is now only on himself in the following weeks, where he would cruelly taunt Roderick Strong before beating him down, then giving O'Reilly a brainbuster into the steel steps, injuring him.
  • Canon Welding:
    • The Undisputed Era's breakup is given an indirect nod in All Elite Wrestling as Adam Cole remains (uneasy) friends with Bobby Fish, a reference to how Fish was out with an injury when Cole turned on the remainder of the faction to disband it, meaning Cole never directly betrayed Fish. When O'Reilly's Odd Couple duo with Von Wagner fell apart after a loss and O'Reilly intercepted Wagner's attempted betrayal, he would flash the UE symbol, indicating his desire to return to the group even before leaving NXT and WWE for good. Upon O'Reilly's debut in AEW and rejoining Cole and Fish as a trio, O'Reilly and Cole were shown to be incredibly uneasy around each other and noted that they had issues to iron out, a nod to how their own rivalry formed the basis for the ERA's demise.
    • Combined with Foreshadowing: Prior to forming The Undisputed Era, Cole was a member of Bullet Club and the fourth man in The Elite's "Dream Team" combination before they kicked him out for attempting to usurp Kenny Omega's role as the leader in blatantly comical fashion. During the time The Era's reign over NXT coincided with the launch of AEW, Cole's girlfriend Britt Baker would attend NXT TakeOver: WarGames, and the shot of her covering her mouth in worry when Cole took a massive bump in the titular main event WarGames match became a memetic crossover cameo. She also called out The Young Bucks on Being the Elite for "murdering" her boyfriend to send him packing. In AEW, following a mock "seance" by The Elite teasing his return, Cole promptly rejoined them and reaffirmed Omega as the greatest wrestler on the planet. However, immediately following the fall of Kenny's championship reign after being beaten by former teammate Adam Page and forced out of action via multiple injuries, Adam Cole's machinations began to manifest in much more effective fashion, starting with the revival of the unit on this page:
    1. Cole would integrate Fish and O'Reilly into the fold as his cohorts, with the aforementioned unease maintaining the continuity of The Era's breakup to show that they're all willing to sort through their differences to work towards something together again less than a year after just having had a blood feud.
    2. Aside from Cole threatening Baker's mock-friend-turned-real-friend and backstage road dad Tony Schiavone not to try anything with her, the Pittsburgh couple have worked together on more than one occasion, even once interrupting Cole and The Bucks' infamous cheek-kisses celebratory routine to instead engage in PDA with each other.
    3. A bond has been established between Cole and the post-Elite Bullet Club leader Jay White, who had successfully supplanted Omega for the position in 2018 and who later developed a whole catchphrase speech closing out with "My New Era," later "Still My Era." This bond would be directly responsible for White's appearances in AEW attacking members of AEW's CHAOS branch The Best Friends, who Cole and others were feuding with at the time, as well as specifically shouting out Cole and The Undisputed Elite, going so far as to modify said closing phrase to "Still Our Era" to affirm his solidarity with Cole.
    • Bay Bay has learned not only from his own prior mistakes with both BC Elite and The Undisputed Era, but from those of The Elite as well in managing The Club, and he's clearly had some help from King Switch himself along the way. In the end, Cole and reDRagon betrayed The Bucks, while still being referred to as a good friend by Jay White, hinting that the plan all along was to align with Bullet Club while screwing over The Elite. However, injuries to Cole and O'Reilly, Fish's departure from the company, and The Elite's two-month suspension due to an unsanctioned kerfuffle with CM Punk, and then Jay White's departure from NJPW, all in real life, ultimately preempted whatever was to come.
  • Continuity Nod: The faction as a whole marks the reunion of various team combinations made by all four men during their time in the independent scene, including reDRagon (Fish and O'Reilly), Future Shock (Cole and O'Reilly), and Mount Rushmore (Cole and Strong).
  • Dawn of an Era: NXT's bookers finally fired the seemingly-inevitable "all the belts" bullet that tends to happen for a truly dominant Power Stable on the 9/18/19 edition of NXT, which not-so-coincidentally was the day NXT debuted on USA and went to live weekly two-hour tapings.
  • Dumb Jock: Not entirely stupid (Fish and Cole in particular are capable of cunning plans), but their humor very much runs on this.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Takeover Brooklyn III. First, Fish and O'Reilly beat down Sanity and AOP, holding up the tag team titles. Then, at the end of the show, when Drew McIntyre has just won the NXT championship, they show up again... to distract Drew from Cole's run-in and beating. This established their gang warfare tactics, strong personal connection, and quest for "all the gold".
  • Expy: Their mysterious personas, penchant for random out-of-nowhere gang beatings, and 'outsider' gimmick recall the early days of The Shield — or, if you want to go back even further, the original nWo. Even more appropriate would be Bullet Club, since Adam Cole was a member.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Cole, Fish, O'Reilly. CFO, the same acronym as Chief Financial Officer. Add Strong and you get CFO$, which goes further and references WWE's active music composer duo at the time named after the original concept.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Adam is Sanguine, Roddy is Choleric, Kyle is Phlegmatic, Bobby is Melancholic.
  • The Gadfly: All of them are instigators, poking (sometimes literally) the teams they're facing or other wrestlers they're targeting, and they're incessant about it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While the group spent much of their NXT run as heels (albeit ones adored by the crowd), they made the shift to proper fan favorites in late 2020 following their rivalry with Pat McAfee and his faction.
  • Here We Go Again!: Adam Cole has a habit of turning on Kyle O'Reilly in pursuit of championship gold, destroying their friendship. It happened at Ring of Honor in 2012, PWG in 2013, Ring of Honor in 2016, and NXT in 2021. You'd think O'Reilly might be used to it by now.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The faction's interference in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic forced O'Reilly and Cole to defend their tag team championships against the tournament's finalists (Pete Dunne and Roderick Strong, and the Authors of Pain) at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans in a match also meant to determine the Classic's winner. Despite Cole forced into double duty after going through a brutal Ladder match to win the NXT North American Championship, they won when Strong betrayed Dunne. This not only allowed the group to win a tournament which they did not participate in, but, since Strong was made part of the tag team champions afterwards by using the Freebird Rule, it allowed Strong to technically become a champion by intentionally throwing a match.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Their go-to tactic. They appear out of nowhere to beat up other wrestlers and either gloat around for a bit or swiftly disappear.
  • I Gave My Word: Josiah Williams debuted the Wrestle and Flow series with his Undisputed Era theme remix. Said remix includes the line: "I am Roddy with the flow. I am Bobby when I'm bold. I'm O'Reilly with the gold. Every title Imma hold." This would go on to become a plot point with the Undisputed Era promising to fulfill a prophecy where they would collectively hold all the male-based titles on NXT. After Josiah was brought into WWE, his first live entrance performance was rapping Adam Cole to the ring for the Takeover XXV main event NXT Championship match against Johnny Gargano, including the line referencing the prophecy. Adam Cole would win the match, capture the title, and kick the chase for the prophecy into high gear; shortly thereafter, Fish and O'Reilly would recapture the NXT Tag Team titles and Strong would become North American Champion, completing exactly what they (and Josiah) said they were going to do.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Ricochet accused Cole of being a coward. Cole responded by orchestrating a 4-on-1 attack.
  • Oh, Crap!: They've participated in every War Games match since NXT revived the concept in 2017, often with this reaction due to all the carnage the match entails. Inverted with their inclusion in the 2020 iteration due to being faces, as all four of them now audibly demanded William Regal put them in to finally deal with Pat McAfee—who himself would be the only one to wear this face.
  • Once a Season: The Undisputed Era are 4-4 in War Games participation. In said match, expect each member to do the following:
  • Power Stable: Initially a Power Trio, they initially seemed like they would go from Power Trio to this when pictures of them alongside Taynara Conti surfaced. Turns out Cole deceived her about something, and she later linked up with two of her countrymen in the developmental system, so that wasn't to be, but after Roderick Strong threw in his lot with them, they have become a four-man army. Following the latest Cole-O'Reilly blood feud in 2021, the original trio would all leave NXT for AEW, where they reunited as a sub-faction of The Elite before later affiliating themselves with Cole's former faction in Bullet Club.
  • Running Gag: Strong's inability to do the stable hand sign with the other three in interviews and promo videos. He eventually got the hang of it.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: They refer to themselves as an era all of their own, ever since their debut.
  • Take Over the World: Their goal is to usher in a new era in NXT, heralded by them. They fulfilled the prophecy with all four of them holding NXT titles.
  • True Companions: Both in Kayfabe and in real life. Cole and O'Reilly used to team in Ring of Honor as Future Shock, with Strong having been there since the formation of the company, and Fish joining them in 2012, forming reDRagon with O'Reilly. The various friendships have evolved into a true brotherhood, each of them insistent that they're not just friends, they're brothers.
  • Wham Episode: Takeover: New Orleans was a double wham episode for the Era. First, Adam Cole wins the ladder match for the new North American championship. Then, he subs in as Kyle O'Reilly's partner in the finals of the Dusty Cup tag team tournament. He and O'Reilly win... because their opponent, Roderick Strong, turned on his partner Pete Dunne and joins the Undisputed Era.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After they convinced Taynara Conti to attack Nikki Cross, they abandoned her and backed out of whatever deal they struck with her, having succeeded in their plans to further screw with Nikki's stable SAnitY.

And that, Tropers, is undisputed.