NXT TakeOver WarGames: What Now for Undisputed Era, Sanity and Authors of Pain?

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

Saturday night marked the debut of the WarGames match under the WWE umbrella with The Undisputed Era defeating Sanity and The Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong at NXT TakeOver: WarGames in Houston.

WarGames was a WCW staple that had never been utilized by WWE previously, but an ideal opportunity presented itself with three factions embroiled in a deeply rooted feud over yellow brand supremacy.

The Undisputed Era, Sanity, The Authors of Pain and Strong all turned in impressive performances Saturday, but the focus now shifts toward how the three groups will be utilized moving forward.

Here is a closer look at all three teams and what to expect from them during the coming weeks and months of NXT programming.


Undisputed Era

During its short time in NXT, The Undisputed Era has made its presence felt with Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish wreaking havoc on everyone in their paths.

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Their assault began at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III in August when O'Reilly and Fish attacked Sanity and The Authors of Pain following their NXT Tag Team Championship match.

An even greater impact was yet to come, as Cole made his shocking debut following Drew McIntyre's NXT Championship win over Bobby Roode in the main event. The Undisputed Era beat down McIntyre and made it clear that it intended to make NXT its own.

Saturday marked the NXT pay-per-view in-ring debut for all three competitors, and it likely laid the groundwork for huge things moving forward.

The Undisputed Era has made no effort to hide the fact that it wants as much gold as possible, and it may not be long before all three members are champions.

O'Reilly and Fish were long one of the top tag teams in the entire world as reDRagon in Ring of Honor, and their sights are very much set on Sanity and the NXT tag team titles.

Cole was the first and only three-time ROH world champion, so it is obvious that he has designs on being the top dog in NXT as well.

McIntyre was immediately his target upon winning the NXT Championship, and there is no more credible challenger on the NXT roster than Cole, although Andrade "Cien" Almas beat McIntyre for the title on Saturday night.

His resume speaks for itself despite his short time in NXT, and he has already shown off the chops needed to be NXT's top heel.

The next big NXT event will take place the night before the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia in January. Every indication is that it should be a banner night for The Undisputed Era.

Assuming Cole is in the NXT Championship match, while O'Reilly and Fish are in the NXT Tag Team Championship match, logical booking suggests they are a little more than two months away from being titleholders.



Sanity has been among the most unique acts in WWE since debuting in NXT, and the chaos created by the likes of Eric Young, Killian Dain, Alexander Wolfe and Nikki Cross has made them popular among the WWE Universe.

Nobody had been able to stop The Authors of Pain leading up to NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, but Sanity used the numbers game to its advantage and became the new NXT tag team champions.

Sanity was a heel stable when it first appeared in NXT; however, the members' unique look, presentation, ring entrance and other factors eventually endeared them to the fans.

They also began to focus their attention on heels such as The Authors of Pain and The Undisputed Era, which made them de facto faces even if they aren't traditional in that regard.

Their numbers advantage has been neutralized to some degree by The Undisputed Era and its willingness to take any shortcut possible in order to get to the top.

The Undisputed Era and Sanity are about as close as can be to polar opposites, and that is primarily what makes their feud so compelling.

It is likely that Sanity will be tasked with defending the NXT Tag Team Championships against O'Reilly and Fish at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, with Cole playing a role in the finish to get the straps on his Undisputed Era cohorts.

Provided Sanity is transitioned out of the tag title hunt after that, Young could be a worthy challenger for Cole provided he wins the NXT Championship.

There is also always the option of placing Sanity back in a heel role, and there is perhaps no better potential angle on the table for the group than a rivalry with the dark and sadistic Aleister Black in the weeks following January's TakeOver event.


Authors of Pain

The Authors of Pain ran through NXT's tag team division over the course of several months with wins over the likes of DIY, The Revival and TM-61 until they met their match in the form of Sanity.

Losing to Sanity at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III made Akam and Rezar appear to be mortal, but they showed once again Saturday night why they are among the most destructive and dominant forces in all of WWE.

There was a perception that The Authors of Pain were green and in need of a great deal of seasoning when they first debuted in NXT, but they have come into their own quickly, and there is little doubt that they are ready for a run on the main roster.

Since the Paul Ellering-led team has done essentially everything possible in NXT, there is little reason to prevent it from making the transition to Raw or SmackDown.

The blue brand is fairly stacked from a tag team perspective currently with The Usos, New Day, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, Breezango and the Bludgeon Brothers leading the way.

That can't be said for Raw, though, largely because of injuries taking The Hardy Boyz and The Revival out of the picture. Although Seth Rollins-Dean Ambrose and Cesaro-Sheamus are great teams, depth is lacking.

Akam and Rezar would be fantastic additions to Raw, and there is no reason they couldn't immediately go after The Shield.

In fact, having them interfere in Sunday's match pitting The Shield against New Day at Survivor Series would make for an impactful debut and would generate instant heat within the rivalry.

The Authors of Pain have the potential to be one of the most destructive tag teams WWE has ever seen, and the time to unleash them is now.


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