Adam Cole Reveals Roderick Strong's Inclusion To NXT Faction

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Adam Cole
Adam Cole does his signature pose before entering the ring for a match.

Adam Cole was one of the biggest indie wrestling stars to have ever made the jump to WWE’s developmental brand in the form of NXT and subsequently made the “Undisputed Era” faction alongside fellow indie stars Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish.

2017 and 2018 marked the rise of the trio to the top of NXT’s marquee thanks to their “too cool to hate” charisma and the matches they would put on week in and week out.

They would go on to add Roderick Strong to the group in April of 2018 at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, further making their case as the menaces of the brand.

In an appearance on The Kurt Angle Show, Cole explained that the stable was completely the brainchild of NXT executive producer and WWE executive vice president Triple H, with them only knowing of the formation of the group on the day of the show.

“Bobby and Kyle had just gotten hired [and] then I got hired… We didn’t find out that was the plan until that day on that TakeOver [Brooklyn III] where I debuted and attacked Drew [McIntyre] and just stood there. We were all very excited,” he gleefully reminisced.

Cole went on to explain that it was only supposed to be the three of them within the group and that WWE had confirmed with them that they would not be expanding at all.

However, an ACL injury to Fish during an NXT live event six days ahead of the New Orleans show meant he was going to miss the event and eventually led to them including Strong in the group.

“I remember they came to us with the idea of adding Roderick Strong and the three of us were kind of off to ourselves and we said to ourselves, ‘I know we said we don’t want anyone else in the group, but Roderick Strong would be perfect' because we’re all buddies with him,” he shared.

With Strong on the squad, the group would go on to have a stranglehold on the entire NXT roster by Cole winning the NXT Championship, Fish and O’Reilly becoming the NXT Tag Team champions, and Strong holding the NXT North American Championship.

The group would run roughshod over the NXT roster in some of the highest points in the brand’s long history until their eventual disbandment in 2021 after Cole and O’Reilly had their feud.

Cole would be the first to leave the company once his contract was up in September 2021 to join All Elite Wrestling in one of the most explosive debuts in the organization’s history with Fish and O’Reilly following him soon after.

As for Strong, he has reportedly asked for his release previously but remains on the NXT roster as the main guy of his own faction known as “Diamond Mine.”


Undisputed Era, WWE NXT
(From L-R): NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong, NXT Tag Team Champion Kyle O'Reilly, NXT Champion Adam Cole and NXT Tag Team Champion Bobby Fish.
Photo: WWE

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