Since finally hanging up his boots in January 2015 Road Dogg has worked on and off for WWE in a number of backstage roles. This put the tag team legend in a perfect position to witness and attempt to understand the inner workings of the sports entertainment giant.
One of Road Dogg’s backstage stints coincided with the NXT runs of Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish. The trio, who were later joined by Roderick Strong, known as the Undisputed ERA, became mainstays of the black and gold brand, but never made the transition to the main roster.
Road Dogg On Why Undisputed ERA Remained In NXT
Although they never moved to the main roster for an extended period, the group, along with a number of NXT stars invaded SmackDown in 2019. This was to build the brand’s involvement at Survivor Series. Discussing the ‘invasion’ on a recent episode of his podcast, Oh You Didn’t Know, Road Dogg gave an insight into why the Undisputed ERA never got a call up to the main roster.
The Attitude Era star claimed that Vince McMahon didn’t think the group could spin off and become singles stars to face the likes of Brock Lesnar.
[Asked if anyone seized their opportunity when NXT invaded SmackDown] “So yeah, look, I think all the NXT superstars did, but I think they’ve been doing that [before Survivor Series]. We asked a lot of them early on, and some of these guys were ready and prepared, and some of them were not.
We asked a lot of when it came to live television when it came to pay-per-views and producing these creative packages and so forth. We ask a lot of the talent. So we knew when it came time to shine, they were going to shine.
Look, I thought they [The undisputed Era] were going to be gone, too. I thought there I didn’t think they were going to be the next Four Horsemen. Because look, I don’t think Vince saw them as the next Four Horsemen. I think that saw them as four smaller guys who cumulatively can do some damage, but I don’t think Vince would see any of those guys facing Brock Lesnar in the main event of a WrestleMania.
Now, whether you disagree with that or not, that’s fine, and you can disagree with it all day. But you weren’t the boss of the company at the time. And that’s what he thought. So I didn’t see them as that. I was scared, like I mentioned earlier, that they would be gone, and a lot of our creative content would go with them. And it would be more difficult for us because we’re lazy and want to do as little work as possible.”
The Undisputed ERA appeared together in NXT from their debut in 2017 until Adam Cole turned on the group in early 2021. Before the end of the year, Cole, O’Reilly and Bobby Fish had all signed and debuted in AEW, while Roderick strong remained with WWE.
At time of writing both Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly are out injured and Bobby Fish has left the company. It was recently reported that some within AEW are becoming increasingly concerned about Cole’s condition as he remains absent as a result of a serious concussion.
If you use any of the quotes from this article please credit the original source with a h/t to Inside The Ropes.