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Adam Cole is still NXT champion

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NXT built up their main event match on the May 6 episode as if it were a title fight on a TakeOver event. Unfortunately, many fans were more invested in the behind-the-scenes drama involving the challenger than they were the months-long on-screen story.

Velveteen Dream has chased Undisputed ERA since he returned from injury earlier this year. He orchestrated his feud with Roderick Strong to get Adam Cole alone in a steel cage, and managed to pin the longest reigning champion in brand history two weeks ago to finally earn a one-on-one match.

In the interim, however, he became embroiled in an internet scandal where he was accused of inappropriate communications with minors. Dream denied all accusations and WWE never commented, but the situation has loomed over what could have been the biggest moment of his career.

Whether it was the plan all along or a change caused by the controversy, Velveteen’s big moment did not arrive tonight. The finish, as is often true of big matches involving the ERA, was overbooked. That did give Dream some protection. But in the end, he was still pinned. And Cole’s history-making reign continues.

After lots of back-and-forth action and several nearfalls, it looked like the challenger might be about to wrap things up. That was when Cole’s Undisputed mates Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong arrived, however. Luckily for Dream, Dexter Lumis - the good guy with a serial killer gimmick Velveteen teamed with to beat the ERA two weeks ago - was hiding under the ring to cut them off. Unluckily for Dream, the referee was “knocked out” while Lumis fought Fish & Strong off.

That meant no one was there to see him hold Cole down for three after hitting his Purple Rainmaker finisher. But the official was conscious when, after Dream took out all three men on the floor, Cole hit a superkick and his Last Shot finisher.

Is the Dream over, or just on pause?